Friday, January 6, 2017

How the Movie "Frozen" Helped Me With Depression

There was an absolute craze when Frozen was released to theaters. I understood the appeal. I loved the movie as much as the next person. It was well played how the sisters ended up saving each other. I am all for empowering women and I think that movie helped. However, all of these reasons are not why the movie meant so much to me.

The first time I saw Frozen was with my big sis and nephew while I was visiting them in San Luis Obispo. I worked hard to hide my tears from them as Elsa was struggling with her powers.

I felt as though I could relate to how she was feeling. At the time this movie came out I was struggling immensely. I was still hiding my anxiety and depression from most of the people around me. My own sister whom I was staying with at the time did not know the extent of what was happening inside of me. So when Elsa was singing, "Don't let them in, don't let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be." I felt like I could have written that song myself. 

I was struggling with depression and I had not come to accept it yet. I felt so much shame from what I was dealing with. I was scared that if I let those in my life know what was going on they would see me the same way I saw myself. 

I am working on projects right now where I will be speaking out more in depth about my mental illnesses and where they come from and that is still a fear; however, I've come to understand now that if I choose to tell someone and they don't accept me then I don't really need them in my life. 

When Elsa's secret came out she went through a dark period when she felt all alone. She didn't know her sister was coming to find her. All she knew is that those around her found out about what was different about her and they did not accept it. It hurt. 

The pain I have felt when an important person in my life did not accept or believe me about my mental illnesses is incomparable to anything I have ever felt. 

But then....

That Perfect Girl Is Gone! When I finally let go of the idealist view I had of needing to present this perfect image I felt as if a year of held breathes was finally released. It was difficult. By no means was this the answer to everything, but boy did it help. 

I could focus on just being me instead of what I thought everyone wanted me to me. I had this idea that I needed to be the "good, little Mormon girl" for the people at church. I thought I needed to be as perfect as I could be at home so as to not give my parents extra to worry about. That was not the answer. The best thing I ever did was coming out about the struggles I face and try to be as authentic as I possibly could. 

Now I am at the point Elsa was when she had accepted herself and was using what made her different to "rise like the break of dawn." Being different doesn't make you bad. 

I watched this movie probably a half dozen times after it came out and listed to Elsa's soundtrack more times than I can count. Each time I hear the song it can bring me to tears. So much of it I can see in myself. 

I think this year I am coming out of the last bit of "don't let them know. Make one wrong move and everyone will know." I am so glad the perfect girl is gone. I like the real me so much better. 

If you haven't watched Frozen in a while I suggest you get it out of the cupboard and push play. Look for the hidden meanings behind the princess. They are there and maybe they can help you as much as they helped me. 

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