How Disney's"Frozen" Saved My Life

You may have heard this little ditty once or twice: Let it go, let it go. Can't hold it back anymore!
Alright, you've probably heard it much more than once or twice.

In late 2013, Disney's movie Frozen seemed to cover the earth in its frosty power. It became the best received animated film of all time. Critics raved and little girls belted their hearts out. Pretty soon, parents were covering their ears so they wouldn't hear Queen Elsa's song over and over and over.

If I had seen the movie at the same time of everyone else, I probably wouldn't have liked it. I would have gotten sick of the hype and rolled my eyes when I heard the hit song "Let It Go."

But I didn't. I was on my mission for the LDS church, far away from movie theaters and radios. By the time I saw the movie, the height of the craze had passed. My love for the movie came at a time when I needed it, and I believe it helped save my life.

I was called to serve in the Everett, Washington mission for 18 months. I came home after 6. I was diagnosed with clinical depression; medications and therapist visits became an essential part of my life. There isn't enough space in this post to explain the shame and grief of coming home from a mission, so please believe me when I say that it ate me from the inside out.

This was the situation I was in when I saw Frozen. At first, it was just an enjoyable movie. Then it became something more.

One night, my mind was waging a particularly painful attack. In desperation, I pulled out Frozen and escaped into the kingdom of Arendelle. When I seemed to be crumbling apart, I found some relief in Anna's story. My trials seemed to fade into the background.

I always related to Princess Anna and her perspective on life, but it was Elsa who changed my heart. As she escaped to her mountain, I saw a caricature of myself.

Don't let them in; don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know... well now they know.

I had tried for so long to be happy and to deny depression. Now it seemed like I was a bug under a microscope. I came home early and everyone saw my weaknesses.

It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small,

And the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all.

"Elsa found freedom in everyone knowing," I thought. "maybe I can do the same thing!"

Let it go, let it go
I'll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone.

That line was the key for me. The perfect girl I was trying to be was long gone. I have issue, and that's okay. I'm worth loving even with my flaws. In fact, I'm better because of them.

People will say what they will about that song. They'll say it's about coming out as LBGT. They'll say it's about shirking morals and abandoning duty. That's not what it is for me. 

For me, it's about accepting that I'm not perfect. It's about embracing my chemical imbalances and my imperfect life. It's about throwing away the appearances that I keep up for other people... and myself. It's about allowing myself to feel joy, even though I'm not yet all I want to be.

Elsa does not stay in her solitary ice palace. She rejoins her kingdom and her sister. She feels love and it saves her. It saved me, too. Frozen helped me gain strength and perspective in my fight with depression. Along with the gospel, my family and friends, therapy, and medicine, I began to abandon self-destructive thoughts and to love myself again.

Frozen will always have a place in my heart. And I'll always proudly sing "the cold never bothered me anyway."


  1. I'm not the best writer, definitely not as eloquent as you are, but this is what I thought.
    I love what you said about Elsa rejoining her sister and kingdom and not staying in solitude in her ice palace. I never thought about that. I did just that after moving out for college. Then I realized what happiness my family brings to my life! I kept trying to stay away (for weird reasons), but in the end I realized family is everything. Whether that be biological family, friends who are family, or co-workers who are family, they all brought happiness and support to my life.
    Love your thoughts.
    Love you, Kimberly!

  2. Hey Kimberly, I've had anxiety and depression coming home from my mission too :) It's been a hard battle. I've thought about you a lot and your courage. Thank you.

  3. Kimberly, this is such a great post. You are so honest and I love how you tie in the movie "frozen" to you life!