25 Aug 2009

The bogart in my brain

This is a wordy post for me; it may cause some people to faint in shock. Not at the content, just the fact that I wrote a long post. 

I was perusing through the several million posts currently languishing in my Google reader. If you don't know what I am talking about, the Google reader is like a dream catcher for blogs or it's actually this Google Reader. Anyhow back to the stream of consciousness that I am currently riding on, whilst perusing I came across a post entitled The Better Bogart Within and thought Aha! That is exactly how I have been feeling lately, so I merrily clicked on it to read more.
Hold the phone! Wait a bloody minute! How could I have been so wrong, that is not the Bogart I have been looking for (lame sort of Star Wars joke). The post in question talks about Humphrey Bogart and I already know from my wee twitter experiment, that Bogart evokes images of Mr Bogart the famous actor. So when I read the word Bogart, what popped into my noggin? 
Which is actually one of these: Boggart

Why did I identify with the Boggart in the first place?
In various children's books and films, the Boggart is something nice that turns into something rather nasty when you upset it, insult it, poke it and just generally piss off the bugger. Well after writing down my feelings of late, I feel like I have been a bit of a Boggart, more to the point I have been feeding mine.
My interpretation of a Boggart, let us call him/her H.Bogart (a nod to good old Humphrey), is that part of you that feeds on all the negative stuff happening around you, on a mostly subconscious level. I say mostly, because sometimes you are more than aware of the stuff that is impacting you negatively. Before you know it, you have manifested your very own Boggart on the brain. My kind of Boggart is not a mythical beast from folklore, but a more tangible beast that lives in my head. What and why have I been feeding this beast of mine?

What does my Boggart eat?
Stress is like a Chinese banquet for a family of six for my Boggart. That stress can be split into handy Boggart sized portions, covering every aspect of my life, from lack of sleep to worrying about a multitude of things. All of this equals one big fat hairy bloody Boggart and if this is all in your head, it can certainly weigh you down. How do you get your Boggart to weigh less? Put them on a ruddy diet! Easier said than done I hear you cry! I have tried diets and they suck monkey's balls. Well guess what? Effort goes into producing a fat hairy bloody Boggart, so effort is needed to lighten the load. Whether it is baby steps or monster steps, just looking in the right direction is a start. Heck thinking about looking in the right direction is a start.
Putting the Boggart on a Diet
Remember your Boggart may be lazy, anti-social and a bit stinky. Also getting him out of that mental closet will prove a tad difficult. Here are some pointers to getting rid of that Boggart mental flab hanging around.
Talk about it- Although you may still be hairy and look like a Boggart, with a bit a spit stuck in your whiskers from all that ranting and raving. I still recommend finding an ear to listen to you, whether that is friends, family, doctor or whatever trusted ear you chose.
Write about it- Not necessarily blog it like me, I am lucky to have this as an outlet. I do occasionally pick up a pen and write on paper! It is a revelation. The good thing about paper is that it burns and it is great at times to write whole load of brain spillage and then burn it. Careful the Boggart may try to eat the paper and crayons, they are funny like that.
Draw it out- Well obviously I love doodling and that works for me. Just think of how many other art forms there are to use and abuse in order to get some of that stuff out of your head. Remember the Boggart and their tendency to eat drawing materials.
Scream about it, Cry about it, Walk it out, Run it out, Swim it out, Dig it out (gardening not lobotomy), Dance it out, Blast it out (musically not explosives).

What do you feed your Boggart? Does it have a name?
Self awareness is the key to combating the inner Boggart; put him/her on a diet if you can. According to folklore the worst thing you can do is give a Boggart a name, but to that I say phooey! 

Don't hate your Boggart; just don't ignore him/her either.
Negative things happen all the time, shit happens, the less polite of us will say. Don't kick yourself in the face when something bad happens, just try and minimise the damage that it does by talking things out, or whatever works for you (See Boggart Diet). If you haven't found anything that works, then try something new. I know, I know, easier said than done in some cases, but that mental shift has to happen to make any difference to your inner Boggart. For your inner Boggart, a lucky horseshoe aint going to do much at all in ridding you of your Boggart like feelings.

Final piece of Boggart Advice: Do not try and escape your Boggart by running away, he will follow you whether you go, unless dealt with correctly. A real Boggart will follow its family from abode to abode, but a mental Boggart lives in your head and you can't escape from yourself. That is not meant to sound all woe is me! Boggart battling may sound scary (or ridiculous), but the outcome is worthwhile.

In my Boggart research I came across this fantastic post and it seems I am not original at all when it comes to using the Boggart as a metaphor for those internal struggles:

Consider my post 'The idiots guide to Boggarts and their ritualistic feeding habits' and the above linked post as 'Boggarts for the Enlightened'. I kind of hate this person for already writing a Boggart post, especially a good one! Curses to them, but it was too good to pretend I hadn't read it and it deserves three thumbs up (Uh oh I am feeling a bit of a green eyed Boggart coming on, back beast,backkkkkkkkkkkkk).

Did this make any sense? If not, just ignore it and blame bloody Humphrey Bogart (What a twat).

/runs off to find a dark closet


  1. Whoa...kinda the opposite of what my post was talking about...but perhaps kinda similar, after all...maybe...have to think about it some more...

  2. Claire, this is rich! It really, truly is... I'll have to think about naming my Boggart - right now, he gets plenty of psychotropic meds!
    I really do love you, ya know! (I can say that, I'm a great-grandmum!)

  3. Good one Claire - almost as if you might have a brain ........... *grandfatherly hugs* ....... fancy a choc-ice?

  4. LOVE this post!

  5. Good grief! I've got one of those too!

  6. you're inspiring me to greater heights!!

  7. Gee, here I thought you were going to be writing about "Bogarting a joint" or something similar and yet you're talking about the bloody boogey monster that lives in all of us! Mine doesn't have a name and I keep him/her beat into submission but every once in awhile that changes and roars are heard (or is that my stomach telling me it's time to eat?).

    Good food for thought here and even though I am somewhat astonished that you wrote an actual post, I am glad you did!

  8. We dont have boggarts here.. LOL

  9. A very likable spin on it all, Claire. And you seem to have quite the talent for boggart drawing. Made me smile.

    (Humphrey Boggart... so wrong... so wrong...) :)

  10. I thought you meant "stop bogarting all the booze" or "bogart the illegal substance that I know nothing about and have no experience with at all". Fantastic post Claire. I also thought about the Harry Potter boggarts and dementors. Just think of something funny (ridiculous!)when you're fearful and something joyful you love (expecto petronum!) when you're threatened by sadness. I think you have most definitely mastered "ridiculous!". Excellent post.

  11. Claire

    Great post and excellent advice. I learned umpteen zillion years ago that whatever you name the beast, if you leave it in a dark closet, it grows, multiplies and has offspring ... it can get truly ugly. Luckily sunshine and laughter tends to make it go poof. Now I have a great name for the exercise: Don't feed the boggart.

  12. This is among the most wonderful, creative and informative posts I have read all year. I'm stumbling it a a must read.

  13. I see a Bogart book with your illustrations in your future ;)

    I like this Bogart way better than Humphrey - who I think is severely over-rated.

    Love it!

  14. I really loved to read your post!

    And although I am more than wellknown with the concept (want to leave it in the dark, but it is not going away so just deal with it) I had never heard about a boggart.

    And this one was priceless: 'Dig it out (gardening not lobotomy)'

  15. Great post Claire!! And I think we all have one of those....just

    This really was a long post, but I loved it and the doodles, as usual!!

    I left something for you over at Candles, Crafts and Whatnot. Congrats!

  16. I adored this post! You know--I have not thought of a Boggart since I was extremely young--I had to have been only 5 or 6--but I had a book of fairy tales that was quite unique--it was probably British now that I think of it--and I remember there was a boggart in at least one of those stories.

    I thought the drawings were wonderful also!


  17. Yes, learning to love your Boggart is the main thing. Pet it every day, feed it good food, take it for long walks in the countryside, and make sure it gets its fair share of good company, fun and rest.

  18. My favourite part was this - "/runs off to find a dark closet"

    Is it just me or does the added / suggest that you are, in fact, an online gamer....??

  19. Claire - are you going to be a psychologist? LMAO - you really should be.

  20. You should call your Boggart "Hum-phooey".

    Clare, this was a lovely post; I'm so glad I clicked in to see what you were up to. I've been away far too long, I know...but seem to be craving a bit of Doodle, so I'm surfin' in to see what the schedule for such might be. : )

    LOVE your doodles here. Be marvelous!!

  21. My Bogart feeds on stress, coffee and anxiety. Although I'm doing something to give it a much beneficial diet, it's never that easy.

    Still, I can do it. :-)

  22. Yes!!! Brilliant!!!! It reminds me of Poe’s “The Imp of the Perverse”!! I am a Bogart, I control the human in me by letting her watch TV every now and then.

  23. Realise i am comenting on this very late - however, really like the idea of the Boggart.

    I always refer to my crows, all there in the debating society in my head. Every now and again I get the crow-scarer gun out and tell them to piss off when they get too noisy. Other times i ask them to debate something for me.

    Good stuff all this personal development eh?