Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Upside Down and Inside Out

My family saw "Inside Out" the other week, and it really struck a chord in all three of us. ("Lava" I pretty much loathed -- for God's sake, if you're going to tell a story in song, get a decent songwriter!) Son was intrigued by the idea of all the different emotions working in the control center and we had some great conversations about how seemingly negative emotions can actually be helpful, unless they become monsters -- like fear becoming an anxiety monster, for example. Hub saw a metaphor for depression in Riley getting cut off from both joy and sadness.

What most spoke to me was the islands that form personality, and their destruction. This is pretty much how my life has been for the last 10 years. I spent a lot of time building up some wonderful islands -- "salsa dancing island," which also really built up my neglected "friendship island"; "cooking healthy foods island"; various social networks. And then they all started crashing down on me, leaving me with less and less.

My big question about the movie was, which came first. Did Joy and Sadness and the rest make things happen that affected Riley, as depicted? Or did their adventures follow Riley's feelings? It makes sense for me to wonder that, because for years now, doctors have been telling me that my exhaustion is caused by depression, while I've believed that I have an underlying undiagnosed health issue causing the exhaustion, which brought down all my islands, which caused the depression.

Either way, it helps to have a metaphor.

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