DISNEY’S “FROZEN” – A Testament to Overcoming Mental Illness


This is the email I sent out this morning to my state legislature (etc.), which I spoke about earlier today in my video blog post on Jane Says.  I would typically include this material on Jane Says rather than The Cultivation of Beauty, however I feel it was my inner child grinning through this morning for the senators and reps, so I think it’s okay for just this once…

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Dear Ohio Senators, Ohio House Representatives, Mental Health Advocates and Community at Large:

I am writing today to inform you of an excellent opportunity Disney has provided us to learn more about mental illness in the most joyful of ways — through child’s play.

For those of you who have not caught me yet, my name is Marissa Kristina Varcho, I am 32-years-old, a lawyer licensed to practice law here in the State of Ohio, and a human being who lives with and struggles to manage a mental illness termed Bipolar I Disorder.  Being bipolar affects my state of mood, and makes me prone to wide ranging euphoric highs termed “mania”, all the way down to the lowest depressive, sometimes suicidal states.  In one sense, being bipolar is a curse, as the condition has opened me up to not just one, but two distinct sets of weakness.  On the other hand, my condition is also a blessing, as mania and depression each come also with their own distinct sets of strength.

This unique dual-natured human condition has rendered me a human being different from the rest.  I don’t know if any of you have ever felt that way, felt different from the rest — but if you have, then I do know you have the capacity to understand.  While we, as human beings, have all been cursed in some form by our own individual, inherent imperfections, we all too have the unique capability as creatures of consciousness, to overcome darkness and move on forward into the light.  In that capability, if cultivated, we all too have the power to help other human beings overcome.  We are all special in this sense, in our potential to seek out the infinite — through the cultivation of self-awareness, we are all blessed, with the power to overcome the perceptions of limitation posed by the physical world that surrounds us.

To relate back then, Disney released a new movie called “Frozen” last month, and in doing so, has provided us all the chance to begin cultivating awareness.  The movie showcases two main characters — sisters, Anna and Elsa.  Anna is a warm, charismatic social butterfly; her sister Elsa, bourn of a darker nature, and though wildly charismatic too, grows up to be more cold and emotionally withdrawn.  These two characters symbolize the conflicting dual-nature of my manic/depressive personality — manifesting the ongoing struggle always, to overcome the great force of inner darkness so that my inner warmth and goodness can shine on through.

For your viewing pleasure, Disney just released the YouTube link provided below.  The video showcases Elsa’s “coming out” song wherein she finally reveals to the world what she’s been hiding — the first step on her journey to overcome.  If you’ve ever found yourself pondering the deeper meaning of what our society has deemed “mental illness”, Disney has now provided us a most exquisitely articulate and masterfully beautiful method from which to learn.  We are beyond fortunate, to have such powerfully talented educators among us.

Very Truly Yours,

Marissa K. Varcho