I felt like I just needed to write a brief post about my admiration for Carrie Fisher and my sadness at her passing.
I'm not much of a Star Wars fan (although I really need to get round to watching them as I'm sure I would be) but Carrie was a hero for me for another reason. She helped me realise and come to terms with having bipolar disorder. When a doctor first mentioned it to me in my early twenties that I had described symptoms of the illness I went home and googled it. I found a documentary Stephen Fry had made called The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. Carrie was on there talking in her usual warm and witty way about having the illness. That was the moment I realised I had it- everything all of a sudden made sense and I wasn't as scared. Carrie was proof that you could have bipolar and lead a full and fun life.
Carrie has always been very open about her mental illness and has helped to break down the stigma surrounding it. She is clever, funny, talented, has written some amazing books, and I have always loved and respected her for her ability to be herself and not apologise or be ashamed. She is a true hero and has helped so many including myself in accepting my bipolar disorder.
'In her final column, she was asked for advice on how to handle living with bipolar disorder. Her closing line from this has been widely shared as a poetic final message from one of Hollywood’s most outspoken legends. “Move through those feelings and meet me on the other side,” she told the letter writer, “as your bipolar sister, I’ll be watching.”
[Five ways Carrie Fisher fought back against mental health stigma here]