As you may or may not know, I am studying Carrie Fisher’s book The Princess Diarist for my thesis this year, and of course I am getting into reading as much as her other books as possible. I am working on questions of autobiography and memoirs, taboo and coming of age. So The Princess Diarist was a perfect choice for that. However, there is another subject that is very dear to me, and that is mental illness. This is why I was so eager to read Wishful Drinking. And this is why I absolutely wanted to talk about it on here.
Genre: Non Fiction
My rating: ★★★★★
What this book is about:
In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher talks about different aspects of her life, growing up, the impact her parents had on her life, and of course the impact Star Wars had on her life, her mental health and addiction problems, the fact that one of her best friends died in her bed, different relationships she had, manic depression and shock therapy, how her daughter changed her life, and loads of other sensible and important matters. The books is actually (for the most part I believe) the transcription of a show with the same name, if I am correct.
“By the end of this book, you could be gay and insane! Unless you began that way.”
(Spoilers: I did begin that way.)
Wishful Drinking is very moving, and cleverly written. Needless to say, I absolutely loved it. It’s a quick read and I devoured it almost in one sitting. I love how Carrie Fisher writes, it’s so easy to read, and yet she talks about incredibly important matters. This book is light in times, and grave when it needs to be. I seem to have learnt a lot, both about her, and about what it’s like growing up the child of worlwide famous parents such as Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. She shares anecdotes of her childhood and hadulthood, relationships and friendships, but more importantly, she breaks the taboo surrounding mental illness. Carrie Fisher sufferred from manic depression, which means she could go through phases of intense despair, and phases of mania, which are quite the opposite and something I cannot begin to describe. And yet she talks about it as something that was just part of her life, just another element that made her who she was, without dramatizing it. And that’s what I really admire about her. She manages to present alcoholism, depression and electroshop therapy as just another eccentricity of her life, when it was also a constant burden, in the life of an amazing person.
“But imagine this though. Imagine having a mood system that functions essentially like weather “- independantly of whatever’s going on in your life. So the facts of your life remain the same, just the emotional fiction that you’re responding to differs.”
That, ladies and gentlemen, is Carrie Fisher talking about bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. And it’s absolutely beautiful.
Before I end this blog post, I wanted to share two additional quotes which I find for the first one, incredible relatable, and for the second one, incredible inspiring:
“I didn’t necessarily feel like dying — but I’d been feeling a lot like not being alive.”
“Resentment is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
That it’s bookworms, I hope you enjoyed, and I most certainly hope you will check out this book if you haven’t read it yet!