“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever”
- Walt Disney
So, there’s been two blog posts (the first is here and the second here) on the Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown and I think two is understandable – I mean, I’d be silly to not blog about such a current issue that’s affecting so many people (including me and my family and friends) and in such an enormous way. I think, though, that it’s important to get a balance with the negatives and positives in life; and so many positives have come from the reality of our situation. One of these has been that the launch of Disney Plus on March 24th came at the most appropriate of times! Just when everyone is desperate to find something to keep them busy through lockdown, Disney present us with a hugely helpful service!
For just £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year, you can have access to a ridiculous amount of Disney films and TV seasons! I literally didn’t know what to watch first – if you’re wondering, I finally opted for Frozen!
Anyway! As a belated celebration of the launch of Disney Plus – and to hopefully convince some of you to sign up for it too – I’ve chosen a favourite quote from the top 20 movies in my Disney Plus watchlist:
Beauty & The Beast
“Bittersweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong” – Mrs Potts
Ok, so I kind of cheated and used song lyrics for this one but I liked them! In June 2012, when I woke up from life support in Intensive Care after making a suicide attempt, I agreed to go to a specialist psychiatric hospital over 100 miles from home. I agreed because I knew that’s what everyone wanted me to do. I agreed because if I hadn’t; I’d have been sent there anyway and I didn’t want to lose control of the decision. I made the decision to be an inpatient with the conviction that I would and could never change. I honestly believed that I was stuck with mental health problems and would end up killing myself before I had the chance to feel better.
Bedknobs & Broomsticks
“It’s not what things are; it is what they seem to be” – Mr Browne
I relate this quote to the hallucinations. Hallucinating impacts so many aspects of life. Aspects that people who’ve never experienced a hallucination, might never have considered. Might never have realized. One of these things is that discovering that what you’re seeing or what you’re hearing isn’t real, leaves you constantly questioning your senses and experiences. There was a person dressed as a Pig promoting a new Butchers and I had to ask the person I was with whether they were really there because I was so scared that I’d hallucinated it. Normally, if you hear someone say something the only uncertainty is if you’ve misinterpreted it; not if it was even said. Hallucinating leaves you questioning yourself.
“Buddha says: A child without courage is like a night without stars!” – Punjab
Going through sexual abuse and rape aged 15, it took everything I had not to do all that I could to escape the reality of the situation. I would be in this person’s first floor office and all I could do while he hurt me was imagine myself jumping out of the window. But I never did. Instead, I summoned up all of the courage and bravery that I had and instead, I distanced myself from what was happening to me and taught myself dissociation to enable my mind and body to safely cope with the traumatic abuse.
“Just summon up this word and then you’ve got a lot to say, but better use it carefully or it could change your life” – Mary Poppins
This quote made me think of two things: the first is when I reported the abuse and rape to the Police. I think it was a huge turning point in my mental health because on the one hand it hugely helped in reassuring me that I had done everything in my power to protect others. On the other hand, it was so triggering to go through the abuse in as much detail as the Police required for my statement. The other thing that I thought of with this quote was I’m NOT Disordered, and how using my words has completely changed my life – it has given me life. Given me purpose. Given me dreams and a reason to carry on.
The Sound of Music
“I don’t care to hear anything further from you…” – Captain von Trapp
This is probably something I’d say to my abuser. When he claimed to be innocent of the entire abuse and rape, I have probably never been so angry. It was so frustrating that I’d taken such a massive step in reporting it to the Police and now he didn’t have the decency to admit to it. But then, why would he have any ‘decency’ when he’s done what he’s done? If I were to be sat in a room with him right now, I honestly wouldn’t want to hear a single thing he had to say. It’d be about me being able to say everything I want to say to him. I believe that if I could, all of the hatred and anger might be relieved – even if just in a small way.
High School Musical
“You know, someday, someday you might thank me for this” – DJ
I used to have little to no respect for the Police. When I was really poorly with my mental health, I saw them as the enemy because they were stopping me from hurting myself or from attempting suicide. I questioned whether they thought I deserved the punishment of being unhappy because that’s how I felt at the thought of being alive. I wondered if they didn’t think I should be entitled to have any control over my life. Now? Well, now I appreciate the whole ‘duty-of-care’ thing and I understand that they have an obligation to help and to keep people safe and that is all they were trying to do for me. I have nothing but respect for them now and I really admire all of the progress they’ve made in their response to mental health crisis.
“Actually, I could…” – Tess
This used to mean something very different to what it does now because when I was poorly with my mental health, I would have interpreted this as ‘actually, I can overdose’ or ‘actually, I can cut!’ I would have used it as a negative and unsafe motivation. Hearing it now, I see it as a motivation to do better, with everything from bettering the content of I’m NOT Disordered, to keeping myself safe. I use this to power me on to achieve my dreams and goals for the future.
The Lizzie McGuire Movie
“I had the most magical day of my life. It wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for you” – Lizzie McGuire
This quote reminds me of the party I hosted to celebrate reaching 100,000 readers. It’s five years since that event but I still stand by the fact that it was the greatest night of my life. Sometimes this makes me sad to think that after five years, nothing has overtaken it but then I’m grateful that at least I have it. At least I have had a night that I can consider to be the best! And the memories of that night – the networking I did, the fun I had, the things I learnt, and the dancing to The Killers at the very end of the event with my best friends – will always be with me and I can always look back on them when I need a little pick-me-up!
“I love you with every cell, with every atom. I love you on a subatomic level” – Brainard
This quote I would dedicate to my Mum, my Aunt, my best friends (Lauren, Ellie, Georgie, Becky, and Marty), and my pets! My Mum taught me a lot about unconditional love as she stood by me throughout the entirety of my poor mental health. She visited me in hospitals, talked me through crisis after crisis, and when the professionals decided that I needed to take responsibility for my own safety, she was the one who fought for me to stop me from slipping through the net. And my best friends and my Aunt? Each of them brings something special to my life. Each have given me unwavering support and fun memories that leave me treasuring them deeply and hoping to never lose each of them. And my pets – my kitten; Emmy, and my bunny; Pixie – are my greatest company and comfort when I feel all alone and scared.
The Sword and the Stone
“Develop your brain! There’s the higher power!” – Merlin
Yes, I’m one of those people who would rather be complimented on my intelligence than my appearance. I’d rather be told that I’m clever and good at something than that my hair is a pretty colour (as much as I like being complimented on my hair and would totally agree that it’s an amazing colour!). Being abused whilst I was in High School and having no teachers realize what was happening to me, really put me off School and my plans to study Law at University completely vaporized because I was so scared to be in a classroom again. The annoying thing was though, I thoroughly enjoy learning! I honestly believe that your brain can be your greatest weapon. That having knowledge on something can be a huge security blanket and can feel like such an achievement that the hours you may have to put in to learn things are completely worth it! So, I do online courses. Lots of them! And I enjoy blogging because every day I’m constantly learning more about my readers, my writing, my content, and myself.
“I propose we leave for home at once” – John
Kind of thought that with the Coronavirus lockdown in place, this was a bit of an ironic/sort-of-funny, quote! This is going to sound sad at first so give me a minute to explain once I’ve said it – my two homes since my mental health first became poorly have never been safe places. I think that this should speak volumes to the power of ill mental health and self-harm. That my family home, and my first home by myself, weren’t safe. Or at least, I wasn’t safe from myself when I was in them. That was only when my mental health was poorly though, since it’s been well; I love my Mum’s home because it’s like having respite; a break from my daily chores in my house. And I love being in my own home because I have the freedom to do whatever I want, and I get to be with my pets when I’m here. I totally agree with what some people are saying in that we’re lucky to have homes that we can be in through lockdown.
Lady and the Tramp
“You’re about to be replaced” – Tramp
Finding out my ex has a new girlfriend is something I’m yet to talk about on social media or I’m NOT Disordered because I haven’t really felt the need. But it’s something that’s relevant here. The feeling of being replaced and as though you’re nothing special because it’s possible to replace you. It’s also quite weird because this new girlfriend looks so much like me that when one of my best friend’s saw a photo of them together, she thought it was me! I’m so glad that I’m in a new relationship when I found this out because it’s allowed me the opportunity to realize that maybe it isn’t about replacement; maybe it’s about moving forward? But replacement isn’t just about previous romantic relationships; it’s also when someone you love dies and you feel the need to fill their void with something/someone else. When I had to make the decision to have my cat; Dolly put to sleep, I didn’t hesitate in getting my kitten; Emmy within a week! A lot of people thought it was too soon, but I knew it was the right thing for me and for Pixie and for our home. Without Dolly, there was a cat-shaped hole
in my heart in my home
in my life. Emmy couldn’t replace her. Nothing could. No matter how desperately
“You have my pity” – Buzz
You have to have feelings around someone. They don’t have to be nice; but they’re there. And it’s taken me a long time to understand my feelings towards my abuser. Not just understand them, but to also accept them and learn to cope with them without judging myself for being so full of hatred and anger! I was once asked whether I had loved him… I won’t lie; I jumped on the person who asked me that and punched them in the face. There’s no excuse for violence but for me – then – for someone to have the audacity to even ask that was equally inexcusable. I think it drove me into such a rage because I had spent so long punishing myself through self-harm for being so full of hatred towards him, that the thought I could hold any other feeling towards him made me think ‘if there were another feeling, then why the hell would I be hurting myself?!’ I guess I didn’t like the thought of someone believing that I could hurt myself so easily and that I could feel that I had a choice in the matter. So, I realized that I couldn’t live a healthy and safe life with all of that anger, and I moved onto fear and became overwhelmingly scared of him and the memories around what he’d done to me. That wasn’t helpful. So, pity! I pity him in the most condescending of ways.
“Do you ever look at someone and wonder, what is going on inside their head?” – Joy
With this film pretty much being entirely about mental health – but in a child-friendly sort of way – I pretty much had my pick of quotes from it! I decided on this one because it made me think about the fact that none of us really know what another person is going through. They say it’s a British trait to put on a smile and act as though everything is ok and all is well in the world when all you want to do is cry – but I think that it’s a human instinct. A way to survive by not showing your vulnerable side and a way to maintain your pride by not allowing others to see that you’re struggling at fear of being deemed weak. It isn’t just about hiding your mood though, it’s also about hiding your thoughts and experiences. I think that when I was being abused and didn’t tell anyone, I began acting out and changed my behaviour in a desperate bid to make someone question why I would suddenly start acting in these ways. Doing this, has left me constantly curious of other people’s actions and what could be motivating them; but I think this might make me a whole lot less judgmental.
“There’s no one to blame but me” – Princess Merida
This is how I used to feel about the abuse, and sadly; I think it’s a very common belief that survivors of abuse often hold against themselves. The way I learnt to change it – I say ‘change’ because it hasn’t gone away – has been by telling myself that if it had happened to someone else, I would never tell them it was their fault and that they were blameworthy for what was done to them; so why should I be any different?! Why should I think these things – and punish myself when I would do everything in my power to protect someone else from feeling that way? Sometimes, when I’m struggling, my response to this is that I deserve to be punished because I am to blame but really, I’ve come to accept that a lot of the blame on myself was about feeling that it was easier than holding blame to someone who wasn’t going to be punished any time soon. Blaming someone who wasn’t going to take responsibility any time soon. Someone who might never accept their role in it. It’s a whole lot less complicated to just blame me.
The Lion King
“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it” – Rafiki
No matter how many psychology sessions you have, no matter how many DBT workshops you do, no matter how many self-help books you read, no matter how many self-care apps you download and use; you can’t change what has already happened. Just how you cope with it and move forwards and on from it. No one can get rid of your memories and I think that accepting this and realizing that you may always have them, is the first step to recovery because without doing so, you’re almost ‘stuck’ in the past and overwhelmed by what has happened to you. Of course, you can refuse to accept this and can spend years – as I did – running from the memories and doing all that you can to block them out. ‘All that you can’ includes using unhealthy and unsafe methods. But how do you learn from abuse? And why would you want to? Why wouldn’t you run like the wind?! I think that I’ve actually learnt a lot from what has happened to me; things about myself, about others, and about the world in general. Learning from the abuse hasn’t made me grateful or thankful for it, though!
The Little Mermaid
“Life’s full of tough choices, isn’t it?” – Ursula
Do I report it or don’t I? Do I want to talk to her or stay quiet? Should I fight back or just accept this is what’s happening? Should I – You get the picture! I picked this quote because it’s so true and some might say that it is especially true in mental health… I’m not sure if I’d agree that were true for me, though. I don’t see a lot of choice in my mental illness; I don’t think I have an option when I self-harm. I don’t think that there’s an alternative when I attempt suicide. Because if I could choose – if there was even the slightest opportunity for me to pick an alternative coping mechanism then why wouldn’t I do it? ‘Because self-harming and suicide are easier’ say those who don’t understand. But it isn’t about what is ‘easiest’ for me. It’s about learning alternative coping mechanisms and working my ass off to make them work when I’m struggling so that I don’t self-harm or feel suicidal. Saying that I’ve chosen to use those safe and healthy skills sometimes just implies that I choose not to when actually, they just haven’t helped. Haven’t been enough. I do agree that life is full of tough choices though; there are so many forks in our paths and sometimes I question whether my decision was really just me continuing on the journey I was meant to be on, but ultimately, I like to think that I’m in control of my life and the choices I do make should reflect this.
“Perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever taken is to be seen as we really are” - Cinderella
I was so scared writing a Facebook post eight years ago when I finally announced to my friends and family that I had mental health problems; until that point I’d hidden my cuts and scars and lied about hospital admissions. I was about to be taken to a specialist hospital over 100 miles away though, and the ‘average admission’ was 12 – 18 months, and I knew I couldn’t lie for that long! Other than the worry of being judged, in publishing the post I was also afraid that I would be defined by my mental health. In a way, I’m glad I had that worry because it led to the title of my blog; ‘I’m NOT Disordered’ is all about the fact that having a diagnosis – a ‘Disorder’ – doesn’t define you and it isn’t all that you are.
The Fox and the Hound
“Goodbye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end. But in my heart’s the memory, and there you’ll always be” – Widow Tweed
Vicki – who slipped through their net
Nana – who read all of my short stories
Saffy – the family cat who gave me company through the abuse
And Dolly – who was always my recovery goal
Alice in Wonderland
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then” – Alice
Alice in Wonderland is probably my absolute favourite film and book – to the point where some of the girls in hospital paid to have the book edited so that in place of ‘Alice’ it said ‘Aimee!’ I love how completely far-fetched it is and that Alice chases a rabbit into wonderland just sums up my hallucinations so perfectly that I could cry with empathy and comfort. This quote also defines one of the key ‘symptoms’ of my diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder – the feeling that you can be a completely different person from as frequently as hour by hour. Your mood and thoughts can change so drastically and in such a short space of time that it can often seem to others looking in, that you become a totally different person and it can leave them – and you – wondering which side of you is the ‘real’ you!
I hope these quotes and how I relate to them have reminded you of some Disney films you might not have seen in a while and that you’re so desperate to have a nice blast-from-the-past that you subscribe to Disney Plus – it’s so easy and hopefully, affordable for you!