I only know Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia from the film Star Wars and on Amazon’s dark comedy, Catastrophe. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan, but I do appreciate the role her character played. On the other hand, the role she played on Catastrophe, as the mother of one of the two protagonists, was hilarious. She played it with wit, sarcasm, and a know-it-all personality. A character that many people with overbearing mothers could relate.
The more I read about her, the happier I became because of her role as a mental health advocate. She spoke out about her bipolar disorder, addiction, and alcoholism when it was taboo to talk about it. She wrote memoirs, novels, and stories dedicated to being open about her sickness. Other actresses at the time weren’t open about their own problems.
What’s wonderful about Carrie Fisher and her writing about mental illness, is that she was never ashamed of it. She accepted it. Reading the tweets from other celebrities and just fans of hers, I see that she made them understand mental illness and also destroy the stigma of mental illness. Despite having a Bipolar Disorder, she was a sought out script doctor, novelist, and performer.
In honor of Carrie Fisher, here are my favorite quotes from her!
- “Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ―April 2013, in an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
- “If you feel like your child or friend or spouse is showing signs of this illness, if you can get them in touch with somebody else they can talk to and share their experience with and not just feel like they’re being told they’re ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or ‘stupid,’ then they can relate somehow.” —November 2004, in an interview with bp Magazine
- “We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges. Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic—not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder.” —November 2016, in her Guardian advice column, “Ask Carrie Fisher”
- “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.”
By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Carrie Fisher Uploaded by maybeMaybeMaybe) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons