I don’t want anyone to mistake this article as slander. I think Carrie Fisher was awesome. I loved Princess Leia and the effect the Star Wars movies had on my life. I do not want or intend to undermine what she did. I simply want the world to be more aware of the people it makes into prophets posthumously.
If you were such a Carrie Fisher fan, without going to IMDB tell me five other things she has done besides Star Wars? I posed this question to 25 people close to me and everyone drew a blank except for the few souls who know about the books she’s had published.
Truth is, Carrie Fisher appeared as a hot, strong woman when you were young and you chose to continue to see her in that role YOUR whole life. She had said about a million times that is not her. She even admitted to sleeping with someone to get the role but not remembering who she banged for the job. Fact. She called herself a SPACE SLUT for crying out loud because of all the people she slept with and shit.
Make no mistakes, I am not slut shaming Carrie Fisher here. I love sluts. I simply think this is a perfect case of Hollywood actors and actresses being seen as modern day Gods when they anything but. They are just people. This is a bunch of geeks making a drug addict and struggling woman who openly admitted she was a car wreck into a Star Wars martyr, and I am not sure that is healthy or that even what she herself would want.
There was MUCH more to her than just a cute hairstyle and slave outfit that gave geeks like me 15-year boners.
She was An Extremely Wounded Person, Not An Actual Princess
How about we start with the fact that in 2008, she openly said during an interview she wished she never took the Star Wars job. It started her down a very long road of sexual promiscuity as well as set her up for her addictions (coping with massive fame than losing it). If you read a couple of her books, she is quite honest at how messed up she was in the head (of which I am too, make no mistakes, not pointing fingers but also, I am not the one being turned into a martyr currently). She battled with her (also very famous) Mom, Debbie Reynolds (who she made it seem was NOT an easy woman to deal with, and if she is anything like my own Mom, that is 100% true). All this added to the fact that, by the Return of the Jedi Carrie Fisher was already addicted to coke and slipping fast. Depression had its claws aimed at her and was digging them in fast, sadly.
But wait, it gets darker and kind of sadder very quickly so buckle in.
She Was SO Depressed, She Willingly Got Electroshock Therapy
Now I need you all to understand something about basic psychology. Shock therapy was stopped a long time ago in the mental health field for a reason. It was deemed inhumane and its benefits were unproven. It became more seen as an object of torture. It is still done (very very rarely with most parties having to agree to it beforehand).
BUTTTTTT…(and there is always a but….)
Carrie Fisher chose to keep getting it done. Like, all the way up until death. She was paying people money to electrocute the sadness out of her and claimed it worked. But yet, if it worked, why would she have kept doing it? To me it (I worked as a counselor for the sexually abused and addicts for years), it seems like self-injurious behavior. She couldn’t cut herself or O.D because that “alerted” too many people, so she went and got electrocuted professionally and on the DL and called it science. But on some honest shit, this was a woman who was unwell and admitted that. But right now, instead of using this time to discuss mental health and how she could have been helped and signs we can take from her to help others like her in the future, we are just turning her into a martyr and angel, when even SHE would take a piss on and laugh about.
Yes, she was THAT badass, too.
She Actually Relapsed after Star Wars
She was in Europe after the success of The Force Awakens when she relapsed, just four days before her death. Let me explain to you why relapses kill ALL drug addicts. Long and short is, they take drugs every day and their systems get used to it, so thet take more and more each day. Then they get off the drugs, lose some weight (like she did), get healthy and their body adjusts.
So THEN, when they relapse, they tend to think they are still rockstars who can handle the same amount of drug intake they USED to, when in fact, their body has rebooted itself and now sees that as poison. It is often a copious amount being REINTRODUCED into their systems and acts like a proverbial shock to the system and their hearts can’t handle it and they die. Sid Vicious, John Belushi, and River Phoenix are THREE examples of people who that exact same thing happened to. They stopped, started up again, and died within days of relapse from taking former amount.
But the worst part here is, and no one seems to know…
The Force Awakens Killed Carrie Fisher
Sorry, J.J, but I know addiction well. You wanted her skinnier and clean for your movie and made that very clear with a massive amount of money you payed her for a minor role. So she cleaned up and dropped some major LB’s fast (which is never healthy by the way, you do it slow and steady across time to ensure long term victory and not a shock to the system). What Carrie Fisher did was get in shape fast and kick the drugs. A GREAT thing, but as soon as filming ended, what do you think a former addict does with a paycheck in the millions? The math is not hard.
She got way too clean and healthy way too fast, then she relapsed and the extreme change killed her. I am not lying or overshooting here. That IS what happened. And make no mistakes, all the above facts do not make her death any less tragic. As a matter of fact, it makes it more tragic as it was avoidable. The role she was born to play that haunted her and saved her also ended up killing her.
Life is crazy, huh?
She Did Go Out On a High Note (Terrible Choice of Words)
But even if this life did kill her, The Force Awakens made many of us feel for Leia again, and also made us clap that Fisher was back in her titular role (and kicked ass in it, mostly) and was shining again, even if only for a brief moment, one last time. And even for her to give up drugs and lose weight for that flick was huge and deserves applause. I will NOT undermine that, but I also will not oversell the princess thing.
That is simply a very famous role she played but NOT who she was. You want a better idea who she was read her semi-autobiographical book Postcards From the Edge, which paints a far more honest picture of her and her relationship with her famous Mom while also capturing her gift as a writer. The woman was a genius in that aspect and so few knew, which is a true shame here.
But Let’s Talk Carrie Fisher’s Legacy
She was funny, charismatic, driven, intelligent, tortured, was an absolutely astounding writer and had a presence no one could forget. Read some of her books,. Check out a few of her other roles. There was more to her than just the part of Princess Leia.
But maybe, just maybe….we should use this as an opportunity to talk about the problems she had, her strength in facing them, and then the sadness that the demons won in the end. We are all over social media quoting her and praising her and that is fine, she changed a lot of our lives. But let’s not do Carrie Fisher the great injustice of mourning Princess Leia who never actually existed and is a fictional character and use it as a chance to open the door for talks about depression and addiction and how when our heroes fall, maybe we need to realize, just like us, they were just people.
Flawed and broken people, just like us.
R.I.P Carrie Fisher. Thank you for what you added to our culture and may you finally find the rest you deserve. I shall end this with my favorite Carrie Fisher quote and one that sums up both her laudable spirit as well as her razor-sharp sense of humor and gift for words:
“No matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”
Amen, Carrie Fisher. Amen. I got you.