Pixar and Recovery?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Took some time away last week with my wonderful husband in Florida!! It was amazing and I'll be sharing our experience there soon, but here is something I have been wanting to share for a while  now :) 

In case you haven’t heard because you live under a rock or something, Inside Out is finally out on DVD. Naturally, it is purchased and added to my collection of DVD’s, but before it donned my shelf, it had to be watched. 

This may seem like a reach, and some people might call me crazy, but I really feel like this movie played a part in my recovery. 
Let's be real, it’s played a part probably with how I understand myself in general if I’m honest. 

Before I continue into this blog, spoilers are about to get REAL up in here, so if you haven’t seen the movie. 
Right now
Everything you are doing

Happiness has always come easy to me. A kid of comfort by nature, as long as the world I’m in is comfortable, I’m content. Other emotions are a little more complicated for me to wrestle with. Not that being sad is confusing, I just hate being sad, especially in front of other people. Even family. So for me, now that this season of discomfort has entered my life, I’m sometimes afraid I won’t be happy again. 
Now let me tell you how this movie has given me a sense of understanding that has been helpful towards my recovery. 

To quickly summarize a tiny glimpse, here is a small portion of reading from The Guardian

“...Riley is born, Joy spontaneously appears – a shimmering, big-eyed Tinkerbell-like pixie – and Riley’s view of the world on a glowing, cloud-like surveillance screen. Joy is soon joined by other emotions – Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. . . These five monitor Riley’s life and produce her responses by operating a console of levers and buttons...”

Now, this is only to set the scene, I'll leave out as much as possible. 

At face value, this movie looks like a fun comedy about a middle school girl, dealing with her emotions, from the emotions point of view. But for me, it just reminded me of things I probably already knew, but have helped so much as I'm journeying through different areas of my life. 

"C'mon think POSITIVE!"

Joy lives at the helm of Riley's control panel, and strives to run the show. Making sure that as the day ends, most, if not all of her memories wind up as joyful ones. 
I kind of resonated with Joy. She's super care free, fun loving, and all she wants for Riley was for her to be happy. Which is all I want for others as well as myself. By nature, I'm just a happy person. It really takes a lot to make me frustrated or mad. And I always considered my overall nature of being happy as a positive thing. Which I still believe that. But it made some aspects of recovering a but more complicated. Joy has a hard time letting Riley be anything but happy, and for a long time, I did too. 

"Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life's problems"

Voiced by Phillis Smith (some may know her as Phillis Vance, Vance refrigeration), Sadness seems to be the demise of Joy's number one priority and the cause of this whole big adventure. It would appear to Joy that Sadness really does not play any vital role to Riley and more often that not, she wonders why she's even there in the first place.

And really, who could blame Joy, right? All sadness did was drag them down, drag Riley down causing Joy to wonder why Sadness was even here at all?! But in the end, Sadness is the only one who can truly save the day. 

Too much of the time, I've lived like Joy. Pushing my emotions into the "circle of sadness", wondering why I just can't be happy. Why do I need to be sad, why can't I just decide I want to be out of this disorder and move on. 

Be happy. 

As time has passed these last couple of months, and really, after I saw this movie. I can appreciate the seasons or moments of sadness that have come into my life.

Without admitting to myself that sadness was even there, and allowing myself to really be sad, I don't think was able to move on. And that I truly believe that experiencing emotion is what has been missing from my life.

I kept trying and trying to figure out how to be "un-stuck" from where I have been. Trying to take the short cut out of this process.
But what really needs to happen is just to be.


This time in my life right now has been all over. Sad. Happy. Frustrated. Afraid. And all of this goes against my typical easy going nature. I like to be happy. But making room to feel sad and scared and angry has allowed so much support, compassion and growth in my life. So had I just skipped all this emotionally hard stuff, none of this would have happened. 

So definitely. Some days I'm happy, maybe grumpy. 
Or, like today, I'm happy, I’m sad, I’m restless, and instead of getting mad at myself for feeling this way, I'm trying to be better at just letting those emotions be. 

Joy learns to appreciate Sadness for who she is and what she brings. And she understands by the end it’s okay to be sad because it gives you a new understanding and appreciation for all the good times. 

So be happy. Be sad. Let the bad days make the better days so much better. 
I'm not advocating you need to make yourself sad. Don't leave here to watch a caged up puppy video while the skies are grey. 
Just take your day as it comes :)

But you should go watch this movie
no lie
what are you still doing here. 

go go go!!!

If you haven't already head over to Lord Still Loves Me and check out Julia's lovely blog. She's started a recovery round up where one of my blog posts has been featured! 


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