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[ # ] RIP Carrie Fisher
December 27th, 2016 under Obits, Star Wars

Carrie Fisher passed away today at the age of 60 from the heart attack she suffered on Friday according to The New York Times.
She always has been and will always be Princess Leia from the Star Wars franchise. We loved her for that role as much as we love her what she did and said off-camera. She was an open book and as author of many autobiographies, she shared anything and everything about her life. Nothing was a secret and it was refreshing. From the good times to the bad times, she made us laugh and understand what she was going through.
She was a survivor until the end and now her legacy will live on through her movies, her daughter Billie Lourd and her dog Gary.
Today, keep her force alive by watching one of her many roles or interviews. It has I will be spending the day.


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[ # 1259303 ] Comment from Clinton r gandy [December 27, 2016, 3:29 pm]

Of all the celebrity deaths this year and recently, Carrie Fisher’s was the only one this year that made me feel personally I had lost something of value that I won’t get back. It is not the film credits that she leaves behind that impacted me so profoundly, it was her writing and the way she saw life and it’s absurdities. When you have substance abuse issues and mental health problems you see life as upside down and backwards.
She was the first person to speak about life in a language I understood. She was a brilliant observationist. Anyone that knows me will have heard me quote her. She found humor in the middle of the often painful state of affairs we humans find ourselves tumbling into head over heels.
I clicked the link in the first internet article I read about her death and to my utter amazement, of the thousands of hours during her lifetime of interviews, ABC News showed a 20 second clip from the very interview I had caught by accident so many years ago. They played the portion when she spoke my favorite quote for the very first time.
When I watched the original interview I ran like a crazy person for a pen to write what she said down. Repeating it over and over out loud before until I had a pen and paper to write it down.The quote that changed the way I saw myself was….
“Losing your mind is a terrible thing but once it’s gone it is fine, it’s completely fine because there is no longer a part of you left that knows the rest of you is missing.”
There it was. A funny, beautiful explanation of who I was and how I felt. Something fell together inside me when I heard her say that. It was a one of many pivotal turning points in my life. It altered my course.
The part of me that hurt the most was the part that was vaguely aware that the rest of me was missing. I liked to silence the part of me that refused to give up. I drank and I took mountains of prescriptions to try and kill the “knowing” part of me. “If the last part of me that cared about anything would just die”, I thought, “I won’t know that I’m here at all.” I romanced the notion of oblivion like no one on earth has ever romanced an idea. It was my only goal..complete and total oblivion.
Imagine yourself in a country where the language is unknown to you and your’s is completely unknown to them. You have been there so long that you have given up on ever being able to communicate with another human again and let’s say you are bleeding to death and can’t tell anyone what is wrong while we are at it. That is the way my life was, she was the very first person in the land of foreigners who understood and spoke my language.
I thought that my goal was to silence, kill, eradicate the part that new I was still here and that the rest of me was missing. I thought I could finally find some peace then and only then…then I would hurt anymore or care if I was bleeding to death.
When my grandmother was diving deeper into the despair of dementia, at one point I began to hope that the day soon came when she was no longer so tortured by the awarenss that there used to be another life for herself. I hoped she would forget that she ever was this willful, independant, exacting demanding woman who knew how to get her own needs met. I hoped she reached the point where she quit crossing back and forth over the heinous divider line of knowing that she was losing her mind and that there was no longer a place of vitality for her to occupy ever again. I hoped for herself and I hoped for myself at the same times that we could just forget that we were who were were and embrace oblivion.
It didn’t hurt my feelings at all when I sat with my grandmother and she no longer knew who I was or that we even shared a connection..ever. I watched her do a very valiant job somehow of still feeding herself at such a late stage her her illness. I felt her studying me. In a voice that no longer sounding anything like my Grandmother, more like some creature from a science fiction movie as her vocal chords grew weak she asked me, “What did you used to do before you came here.” I assumed she saw my white hair and believed I lived there at the facility.
It was the first time that she forgot who I was and she would never again know me. I looked her in her lovely tired eyes and said, “Mrs. Copenhaver, I guess I’ve done a bit of everything.”
I felt bad, really guility for thinking it as I left the Daingerfield nursing home because I was relieved. I was relieved that she would never have another moment of lucidity when she realized that she had done crazy things like dismantle her entire dresser, board by board and then swear someone else had to have done it. When she couldn’t find things and even though she was convinced someone took her things, there were moments when she was painfully aware that she was losing her mind.
Dementia is a cruel act of nature to strip you of any fragment of dignity that you managed somehow to hold onto as you have outlived your usefulness.
I was glad for her and as glad as I was for her , I hurt for myself because I wasn’t to that place she finally arrived at. I was still painfully aware that I was broken. I envied her because she didn’t know she was broken any more.
As articulate as I can be at times, there are only a few people that understand that horrible, dark, hopeless state of mind and being that many of us fall victim to. In a far fetched but accurate analogy, that if you have never given birth, if you have never had the experience of carrying a child in your stomach then have your body respond to chemicals and contractions that force that life being out of you, you won’t know what it’s like regardless of the millions of descriptive world available to use to sell an idea or point. The same goes for depression and mental illness. It makes it ten times worse when you know something is wrong but are unable to verbalize it. Sometimes people, even total strangers can tell you about yourself.
I didn’t know what I was experiencing was experienced by anyone else and I couldn’t put words to it. I didn’t know. I just didn’t know anything until I heard by “accident” her make that statement to Diane Sawyer. There are few gifts any more profound than when someone through sharing their experience helps you understand your own circumstance in an entirely different way. In recovery, that is what we do for each other because we are so much more alike than different.
We need far fewer opinions shared and much more real life, real heartfelt experience.
The human part of me wanted to be erased. If I had to be here, alive and on this planet, I didn’t want know I was here. At one point I searched out ECT facilities hoping electric shock would kill the “knowing” part of me off. My spirit, and the part of me directly connected to God and the universe of love was the part that wouldn’t let go. My mind, my ego, my human was at war with my spirit over my right to walk on the planet as an invited guest rather than an unwanted party crasher.
Crawling back from the dead wasn’t easy and being alive isn’t always easy now. I almost always remember that everyone I come in contact with has struggles. I’ve said it a million times that we all have monsters 2 inches off our asses a lot of the times. Some of us just present better than others and I’m not entirely sure if that isn’t the worst way to exist. Looking good on the outside and wishing you weren’t here on the inside.
It always me feel like such a fraud. Being so many different untrue versions of myself and I hated all of them. Carrie Fisher spoke of when she went on medication and the bipolar mood swings leveled out that some of her friends admitted to missing her crazy “Rory” character, the name she had given herself when manic. There was a long time when I heard “I miss the old Clinton” from people and it filled me with such rage I could have massacred a town full of people had I not been one of those people who internalize rage and torment myself with it.
When Andrew Cunanan went on his killing rampage in 93 or 94 killing Gianni Versace and others, I remember thinking I understood that rage. I had that rage, I just exacted my revenge on myself.
My favorite people, the people I find funny and smart and interesting all have had painful lives. There is a gallows humor that comes from living through hell. I can spot it a mile away and can’t resist its allure if I tried. The world is in black and white except for those people who have gone through hell and back, they are in color to me, glorious cinema scope and TECHNICOLOR.
Just as there are verbal dialects and accents in and around regions, areas, countries and even states, there are emotional accents from people who have lived through trauma. I hate knowing that she is no longer in human form digesting life and making it available in loving, funny, relatable tales.
“Wishful Drinking” is so funny and real and messy and alive. If there was any person I wanted to be like it was Carrie Fisher. She found a way through a series of impossibilities to become her own self, the least most likely thing to happen. If self and spiritual acculization can happen to her and to me, really it’s possible to anyone I guess.
She found a life after “Side-buns” as she called them and she made me laugh the whole way through it. She never flinched at telling the truth even when the truth exposed her own delightful brokenness and folly. I want to be Carrie Fisher when I grow up.

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