Thank You to Carrie Fisher, Who Gave Me Courage to Fight Bipolar Disorder

I recently learned about Carrie Fisher while watching the documentary “Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.” I had just been diagnosed with bipolar I and was very interested in learning about my illness. To my knowledge, there was a small population diagnosed with bipolar disorder, especially type I. I tried to keep an open mind when researching to understand everyone’s experiences will be different.

While watching the documentary, Stephen Fry visits Carrie Fisher. I only vaguely knew her as princess Leia from Star Wars. I knew this because my fiance loves those movies. However, the way she spoke about her illness with such confidence really inspired me. She owned that she had a mental illness and it blew my mind. She made me feel “normal” for having bipolar disorder and allowed me to realize manic episodes were nothing to be ashamed of. Carrie showed me even though I am mentally ill, I deserve to be treated with respect and equality.

Carrie Fisher demonstrated the courage of a true warrior and the lessons she has taught me will stay with me forever. Her passing has truly left me breathless. Her courage followed her into the next life when she was buried in a Prozac pill. Even in death, she is owning her illness.

I wish I had the opportunity to have dinner with her and tell her just how inspiring she is to me. I dream I could share my experiences with her because she made me feel less alone. I wish I could hear more of her experiences and her wisdom.

Carrie Fisher truly mastered living with bipolar disorder and gave me the courage to become a mental health advocate and truly accept my diagnosis. Thank you Carrie, for being so courageous and setting an example so many would like to follow. Thank you for being so open and honest about your illness and showing the world what living with a mental illness is truly about.

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