Mental Health – “The Next Right Step”

Trigger Warning: talk of depression and anxiety
Spoiler Alert: Plot references from “Frozen II”

Around 2014 we were looking after a couple of kids. It was just about the time that the Disney Movie “Frozen” came out. They had seen it; however, buying a copy was the best thing we could do. Over the first few nights, it was the only thing that got them to settle in and sleep. After that, it became part of a trio of movies (with “The Lego Movie” and “Despicable Me”) that seemed to be on the TV constantly.

I started to know the Frozen songs off by heart and actually quite enjoyed it.

In November of 2019, Disney released “Frozen II” with a whole new set of songs with “Into The Unknown” and “Show Yourself” being the standouts. We watched the movie earlier this year but without the benefit of kids, it wasn’t as impactful…until now.

I must admit that part of the reason I haven’t blogged for so long is that the impact of Covid-19 has been very powerful. I have been isolated for the whole duration of the pandemic and have been told by medical staff to remain that way until the “all clear” is given. This is due to my recently diagnosed immune deficiency, asthma and how quickly I can pick up a virus or infection. My husband has had to take unpaid leave because his job puts him in the front lines (driving an accessibility bus) where he could easily bring the virus home.

On top of this, it has not been easy adjusting to the immunoglobulin treatments, though I can finally say the second seems to be working. 

Needless to say, my emotions have been all over the map. Pain levels went sky high from me not being as active and I just came off 5 weeks of a mixture of migraines and coughing.

So what do “Frozen II” and my mental health have to do with each other? 

We just finished watching a 6 part documentary on the making of the second movie. After the first two, we decided we needed to watch the movie again. Kristen Bell, as “Anna”, sings a song near the end of the movie where “Olaf” is melting away, she feels that “Elsa” had also died, and she doesn’t know what happened to “Kristoff” and “Sven”. The song is “The Next Right Thing”.

In the documentary, Kristen talks about how the song related to her own issues with anxiety and depression. She said that when it was at its worst she would think about the next thing – get out of bed, brush teeth, make coffee, wake up her kids…

There was instant clarity for me as well. I have known those times way too often when I just couldn’t move. To be able to identify and carry out the next right move was a good start to healing – like putting one foot in front of the other until you are walking without even thinking about it.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes such a simple concept can make a huge difference? 

It did for Kristin and I believe it has for me. And it certainly did for Anna. For once she started moving, she was able to save Arendelle, find her sister (who rebuilt Olaf) and get engaged to Kristoff! Oh yeah, and she ended up becoming Queen Anna of Arendelle.

Making the “Next Right Step” goes hand in hand with something my husband has reminded me of a couple of times recently. When I have said that I didn’t get as much accomplished today as yesterday he reminded me to “start counting what you get done, not what you don’t”. 

So, my next right thing might be to get out of bed, or it might be to play on the computer after cleaning the kitchen.

What’s yours?

Lydia! 

The Next Right Thing

[Verse 1: Anna]
I’ve seen dark before
But not like this
This is cold
This is empty
This is numb
The life I knew is over
The lights are out
Hello, darkness
I’m ready to succumb

[Verse 2: Anna]
I follow you around
I always have
But you’ve gone to a place I cannot find
This grief has a gravity
It pulls me down
But a tiny voice whispers in my mind
“You are lost, hope is gone
But you must go on
And do the next right thing”

[Verse 3: Anna]
Can there be a day beyond this night?
I don’t know anymore what is true
I can’t find my direction, I’m all alone
The only star that guided me was you
How to rise from the floor
When it’s not you I’m rising for?
Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing

I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath
This next step
This next choice is one that I can make

[Verse 4: Anna]
So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And with the dawn, what comes then
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again?
Then I’ll make the choice
To hear that voice
And do the next right thing

Written by: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

5 Replies to “Mental Health – “The Next Right Step””

  1. Thanks Lydia, this spoke to me so much. I am not down but would just like to feel useful again and I will as I know once the surgery and healing is done. But this gave me the push I needed. Think of what I can and have done, not what I can’t or haven’t done. 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, I am so glad it spoke to you as well. I kidded about finding inspiration in Disney but the truth is there is a lot to find. Songs like this, “Let It Go”, “The Colours of the Wind”, and “The Circle of Life,” etc., are strong anthems. I do hope that you can rest easy once the surgery is over and you are in healing mode. That is hard work and all you should be focusing on…but I have been there and totally understand how hard it is. Take care my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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