It took me a day to come up with the post because I was somewhat in my “bipolar realm” yesterday, ie. drinking lots of wine and beer and bingeing on cigarettes. I was, what you call being, in true bipolar form. Addiction is tough when dealing with this disorder as the late Carrie Fisher knows, and there have been reports today that suggest she suffered a relapse a month before her heart attack. It would make sense because living with this illness is so god damn hard that sometimes you just need a break.
I revisited her HBO special “Wishful Drinking” last night, and I realized how strong this woman really was. We will always remember her as this:
But she became well-known for this:
Carrie Fisher was very open about her bipolar disorder and was an inspiration to us all. My impulses for liquor and cigarettes is undeniable. I binge on them and even though I am on meds I don’t care. I am an emotional wreck when I really think about it, and my actions with men over the past year have proved that. But she knew what it was like, she was one of us. Bipolar is also hard on us with the weight too. We sometimes let ourselves go and don’t really care about our body, which Ms. Fisher could have done with her relapse. Eat a huge meal, go straight to bed, worry with the consequences later, a familiar story. But imagine being your most beautiful in your 20s as an icon and as you age (not gracefully as this illness often won’t let us), you are forced in the spotlight time and time again. I mean who wouldn’t want to be this forever?
She made it iconic, and it was her downfall. One of the best quotes about her and Hollywood was:
Being bipolar is a death sentence in social circles. People basically tip toe around you as they wait for your next episode. I have to admit, I was in the midst of one yesterday but no one was around to witness it. How do we deal with this illness? Well medication helps but it only does so much. I admired Carrie Fisher because of her strength and her openness. No one was like her and she will thoroughly be missed. It saddens me to hear news like this because when another fellow alcoholic (Leonard Nimoy) passed away years ago, it hit me hard. Sure these actors are famous, but we forget they are human too. Of course the media is all over it, talking about Carrie Fisher’s three-month affair on the set of Star Wars with Harrison Ford and I have to say that is in poor taste. We should celebrate her life not her mistakes. She was outspoken, funny, talented and a true advocate for mental illness. One of my favorite quotes by her was this:
I have always been ashamed of my bipolar, even as a young woman. My friends alienated me, my boyfriend left me, and I ended up stealing money from my job and ending my career. But to be a functioning survivor like she was gives me great hope. I am only in my mid-30s but I feel so much older. When bipolar grips you, people around you tend to say “get over it” or “it’s not so bad.” But oh, yes it is. No one understands that. No one understands what it is like to be in the grips of depression where you can’t get out of bed or take a shower. No one understands what it’s like to fly high in the sky with aliens and have visions of angels and Jesus. Back in the old days of history we would be considered oracles or “gifted” people, now we are just labeled and stigmatized.
We lost a great one. I will mourn her today by watching Star Wars movies and reminiscing what it was like to be a little girl and looking up to such an iconic character. We will miss you Princess Leia, you were the voice of us all. A true heroine in every sense of the word.