Yes, I am sure you all know that Carrie Fisher has died, unless you have been living in the mouth of a strange space monster living in an asteroid for the last week or so. But were you aware of the other things that she has done in her life, outside of telling big walking carpets to get out of her way?
It is now highly publicised how she has always been fighting against her bi-polar condition, being a committed activist to mental health issues. Her fights with drug addiction have also featured in the news media (and, indeed, in film).
This Vox article is worth a read, detailing her life and achievements. In it is this little snippet:
In 2000, Fisher openly spoke with ABC’s Diane Sawyer about her bipolar diagnosis and how it informed her drug addiction. “I thought they told me I was manic depressive to make me feel better about being a drug addict,” she said. “If you could just control yourself, you had an indulged childhood, you were a child of privilege — I don’t know, that’s what I thought. You’re just a drug addict.”
She explained the two sides of her bipolar disorder to Sawyer as two different personalities: Roy and Pam. “One is Roy, rollicking Roy, the wild ride of a mood. And Pam, sediment Pam, who stands on the shore and sobs. Sometimes the tide is in, sometimes it’s out.”
In 2013, she spoke with People magazine about what it felt like to be in the throes of a manic bipolar episode, which she entered while a featured performer on board a cruise:
I wasn’t sleeping. I was writing on everything. I was writing in books; I would have written on walls. I literally would bend over and be writing on the ground and [my assistant] would try to talk to me, and I would be unable to respond. That was what I spent my teenage years doing: handwrite, handwrite, handwrite to the point where I’m running out of ink. I can’t wait to see what I wrote. I don’t know what the hell it says. I do know this – and it was really bizarre – I was trapped in a metaphor. Everything I looked at had a meaning. Everything was a warning or a sign.
In 2016, she received a Lifetime Achievement in Cultural Humanism from the Harvard Humanist Hub. The organization remarked: “Ms. Fisher’s work humanizes a popular culture obsessed with celebrity, and helps readers laugh at the absurdity of contemporary society and relationships. Her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy.”