Sunday, June 25, 2017
Her passing had shocked the world, not just in the Star Wars realms, but also in the those of us who saw her as a Warrior for mental health. Finally we had an advocate, who didn't give a shit about what the world thought of her battle with mental illness. Her frankness and her humor, proved that just because someone is battling demons within their own head, it didn't mean they were any less of a person. Robin Williams was also like that, different mental illness but same mentality. Two famous people who tried to conquer demons while at the bottom of the hill. Fisher, was different from most of the Hollywood elites. She wanted to have a conversation about mental health, she encouraged it. In fact, she challenged people to talk about it, which is why, when she passed, her loss was just more than just another celebrity dying. Her passing meant so much more to so many people, that I don't think she would have quite realized.
Like most of us, she struggled with trying to find the right path to healing, again she wasn't shy about talking about it either. Her frankness about drug addiction to seeking therapy, made her a hero. She dared people to call her out on it. She took the stigmas that surrounded mental health and said, "Fuck you". She was open about her childhood, growing up within the Hollywood sphere. It wasn't easy being the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher.
A couple of weeks ago, Ms. Fisher's autopsy report came out. It stated she had drugs in her system when she died.What is disheartening is the backlash over that. Yes she had cocaine in her system. Yes she had Heroin in her system, but who are you to speculate how she managed her mental illness? Who are you to tell someone how to manage their depression or bipolar disorder? It was her path and hers alone to manage how she saw fit. Like anything, you have no idea what she had been dealing with at the time of her death and for that you would have to be close with her or the person managing her health. There is a saying that some of the most dangerous illnesses are the invisible ones.
For many of us, she was our Queen. Like her, we struggle and still do, with our mental health. It is sometimes hard to find what helps or what combination of things will lift your clouds. Most of us are in denial about what really needs to be done to what drugs and therapy we need to have in order to feel better. And there are some of us who acknowledged it, we take it by the horns and we do the best we can and that is what Carrie did. She knew she had a mental illness, she tried her best to do what she could with it, even it meant take drugs to manage it. If cocaine and heroin silenced the demons within her, that was her choice to feel better. You can't take that away from someone, the right to feel better. Now, I get it there are people who abuse that right and harm themselves, again that is their choice,but to criticize someone because you don't agree because of how they are managing their lifestyle, which wasn't hurting anyone, is just wrong.
A lot of us struggle with the stigma of mental illness, as society sees it as a weakness. It's shameful to be depressed or have anxiety. You are considered feeble if you even mention that you might be on anti-depressants or that you had to take a couple of Xanax because your anxiety is threw the roof. So when we have a famous person come along that states, "Hey,its ok! You are not the only one!", we tend to be overjoyed that this person might shed a light on something that most people are ridiculed for or forgotten about.
This is why Carrie Fisher is and will always be a heroine in my eyes. She basically said "Fuck You" to the people who ridiculed her for being Bipolar. She didn't care what people thought about how she dwelt with it and that she did it so publicly, that it gave the rest of us courage to do the same. It is because of her that I can openly talk about my mental illness. It is because of her that many others can do the same. I get that she didn't die by suicide, like sadly most people with mental illness do, but like her it put mental illness back into conversation, for so many reasons. Management, living with it, talking about it and most importantly, acceptance.
Thank you Carrie Fisher for your strength and wit.