STIGMA IS AS STIGMA DOES- Honoring the legacy of Carrie Fisher, the activist and amazing human being almost 6 months after her death….
I knew I’d eventually get around to writing a blog about Carrie Fisher’s death, I knew that 48 hours after she died and then her mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed on, that I would, I knew I probably would wait until all the media attention regarding Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’s deaths had subsided.
Unfortunately though, the coroner’s full report was made public, regarding Carrie’s death, a few days ago and now her death for all the wrong reasons, is back all over the media.
There has been NO ONE celebrity, actually NO ONE HUMAN BEING, that has done more to remove stigma about mental health and drug addiction, than Carrie Fisher.
In my last blog of 2016, which was written before her death and were few and far between, I did talk about Prince’s death. As well as most of my blogs of this year have been super serious between trying to start a dialogue about the super stigmatized subjects such as murder/suicide and the opiate epidemic.
This is where things get kinda tricky for me, to keep on talking about removing stigma regarding mental health and the opioid epidemic, as they do go hand in hand.
While it’s possible to have mental health issues and not have an opioid addiction, it’s not vice versa, and I know better than anyone, to know how lucky to have escaped that, as far as I’m concerned.
But being the activist that I am, I have to choose my words, kind of carefully. I’m not a psychological or medically trained professional, the only reason why I’m writing yet another blog that involves opiates, is because I don’t think that what was in Carrie Fisher’s body at the time of her death, is what necessarily killed her.
The coroner’s report can’t be conclusive of that, for the matter. I will go out on a limb and say that I think that stigma kept Carrie Fisher silent this time, regarding being back on drugs. I think we live in a society where actresses, even if they are beloved legends, aren’t supposed to age or gain weight.
Even actresses who are legends like Carrie Fisher has been, the last 40 years. Add bipolar disorder and a past history that she shared quite freely regarding drugs and alcohol, that unfortunately with most of the psychotropics that are used to treat mental health issues cause excessive weight gain.
I know that better than anyone, that’s how I was able to gain almost 100 lbs, in under 2 years even with serious gastric bypass complications that while I’d crave massive amounts of food, I hadn’t had a prayer of being able to eat enough or keep anything down, to gain that amount of weight.
And while I’ve said in past blogs and it’s true, being fat again after weight loss surgery wasn’t the worst thing to ever happen to me, I’m NOT in the public eye, either.
Absolute NO ONE gives a crap about what I have to say, what I look like when I say ( well except from a few haters).
Which is something I’m extremely grateful for.
Which was one luxury and neccessity that Carrie Fisher NEVER had, when fighting her own demons that caused her to have those drugs in her system, at the time of her death.
Unfortunately and heartbreakingly whatever reasons she had, died with her.
Carrie Fisher, in the last year or 2, in her life both doing publicity for her last book and for Episode VII would make a joke, which now in hindsight, is NOT funny in the slightest. She’d joke about that they only wanted to hire “3/4th of her” and she was expected to lose some weight to be able to be cast in the Star Wars franchises, 35+ years after the first one.
I can’t help but think that being on tour and living in a society that’s so weight and looks obessed had some part in her returning to using drugs and not being able to talk about it, before her death
While she felt compelled in the past to talk about mental health and drug abuse to remove stigma, there’s only so many times when celebrities regress, that they can help without risking their careers and I think that’s what Carrie was up against, should she have sought treatment, again.
I, unfortunately am not even 1/100th of the activist that Carrie Fisher was. I can’t act, I can’t sing and I obviously am not a thriving writer.
And the last thing I want to do as an activist is concentrate on the circumstances of her death. I’d rather concentrate on how she lived her life. Being an amazing activist, actress, writer and singer.
But it does haunt me that for someone who did so much to try and remove stigma, that she possibly died in part, because of stigma regarding mental health, drug addiction and relapses, not just necessarily due to mental health and drug addiction.
But because of the looks obsessed society we now live in.
So hence, the reasons for this blog. To try and remove stigma by creating an honest dialogue about addiction, in hopes of it saving lives. To try and create a dialogue of needing more treatment options that don’t have horrible side effects where that people don’t have to choose between gaining a lot of weight and their sanity, as well as other medications in therapy classes that have almost more adverse side effects than they eradicate in both medical and mental health issues.
We need to be able to have honest and open dialogue between patients and providers. We need as a society that anyone who is struggling with drug addiction can be able to talk about it without stigma. Which there is still so much stigma out there, that people are willing to risk their lives, by finding a dealer versus a medical and/or mental health professional.
We need to stop putting pressure on human beings to be at a weight that is not feasible for them. And to stop putting pressure on both women and men (although this does happen more to women) of expecting them to not age, and expecting them look like the did in their 20’s, when they are in their early 60’s.
But we don’t have a prayer of eradicating deaths and all the life ruining issues that are still around due to STIGMA.
STIGMA IS AS STIGMA DOES…IT HURTS AND IT KILLS…
Rest In Peace, our beloved badass Jedi Princess Carrie Fisher…..
And Rest In Peace, Debbie Reynolds, an amazing activist and entertainer…..
Note: Comments that are potentially triggering to anyone will NOT be published….