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What Can Our Favorite Disney Films Tell Us About Recovery?

What Can Our Favorite Disney Films Tell Us About Recovery?, Disney, Disney movies and substance use disorders,

We’re guessing you don’t generally think of Disney movies and substance use disorders together. After all, Disney has been bringing joy to families for decades, and substance use disorders have not brought joy to anyone at all. Ever.

But various characters in a whole bunch of Disney classics say some mighty inspiring things—things that apply to the recovery journey. Let’s take a look at some quotes and the ways in which they are relevant to the quest for ongoing sobriety.

The Importance of Being Brave

There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it. – Princess Merida, Brave

You don’t have time to be timid. You must be bold, daring. – Lumiere, Beauty and the Beast

Sometimes fear of the unknown keeps people out of treatment, even when they know they need help overcoming drugs or alcohol. Other times, people are afraid they won’t be able to cope with life if they get sober, so they decide not to. 

But if you want to reclaim your life, you have to find the courage within you and pursue the help you need.

Stay Present and Stay Hopeful About the Future

I never look back, darling. It distracts me from the now. – Edna, The Incredibles

To change the past is a big order, but you can change the future. – Timon, The Lion King

When you are in recovery from a substance use disorder, you may find yourself ruminating about the past and wishing you could undo many of the things you did. But the past is just that: the past. 

In recovery, you are much better served by staying in the present moment rather than letting your mind wander through old regrets. And while it is not helpful to worry about things that have not happened yet, it can be useful to maintain an optimistic outlook—and to do the work required to reach a sober future.

There May be Setbacks, But You Can Always Try Again

Sometimes you try your hardest, but things don’t work out the way you want them to. – Nani, Lilo & Stitch

Here’s an unfortunate truth: A person in recovery is always at risk of relapse. Even if you do everything right, you might still find yourself using drugs or alcohol again. That’s the bad news.

But there’s some good news, too. And a whole bunch of Disney characters have shared some version of that good news over the years. Here are just five examples:

  • Though at times it may feel like the sky is falling around you, never give up, for every day is a new day. – Chicken Little, Chicken Little
  • When life gets you down you know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming. – Dory, Finding Nemo
  • Giving up is for rookies. – Philoctetes, Hercules
  • Today is a good day to try. – Quasimodo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • It’s up to you how far you go. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. – Merlin, The Sword in the Stone

Remembering that a relapse (or any setback for that matter) is not the end of your recovery journey is so very important. So is returning to treatment so you can reclaim your sobriety and try again to maintain it. 

You Can Make Something Beautiful of Your Life

The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. – The Emperor of China, Mulan

When your life has been adversely affected by drug or alcohol use, it can feel as though everything good has been ruined beyond repair. But people in recovery can and do live wonderful, meaningful lives. Indeed, it is the very act of reclaiming their sobriety that enables them to do so. 

So don’t despair if you are struggling with drugs or alcohol. Instead, get the help you need to overcome the adversity you have been facing so that your life can truly bloom again.

No Characters in Costume at Bel Aire. Just Effective Treatment.

Admittedly, Bel Aire Recovery Center is not a theme park filled with people portraying beloved characters from your favorite movies. But our Kansas facility is a place where you can reclaim your sobriety under medical supervision, tackle any co-occurring mental health disorder with the help of our expert staff, and count on a continuum of care designed to provide ongoing support as your recovery gets underway. 

If you are ready to get sober, we are ready to help in an environment free from judgment and full of evidence-based treatment practices.

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