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Remembering Carrie Fisher

 

Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as the iconic Princess Leia, died at the age of 60 on Tuesday after going into cardiac arrest on Friday during a flight from London to Los Angeles.

Carrie Fisher was more than just a talented actress and screenwriter. She had a leading role in the way people view mental health and substance use disorders. In 1987 Fisher wrote Postcards from the Edge, a semi-autobiographical novel, followed by a succession of other books that allowed her to open up about her struggles, finding a way to make the pain of mental health and addiction a source of humor and healing.


“I’ve learned to celebrate my life, to embrace it. If I have the problems, the problems don’t have me. They’re not something I’m ashamed of.”

In an advice column in The Guardian dated November 30, 2016, Fisher wrote, “I was told that I was bipolar when I was 24 but was unable to accept that diagnosis until I was 28 when I overdosed and finally got sober.” Fisher spent much of her career normalizing mental illness. She helped many people find strength in their diagnoses by spreading the message that such conditions are not something to be ashamed of, that “it’s not your overriding identity, it’s just something that you have, but not the only thing – even if it’s quite a big thing.”

Carrie Fisher heroically shared her personal story with the world during a time when many others did not dare to. She was and will continue to be a great inspiration to the millions of people dealing with mental health and substance use disorders every day.

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