Thank you, Carrie Fisher, for making me feel better about mental illness, weight gain, and motherhood

Thank you, Carrie Fisher, for making me feel better about mental illness, weight gain, and motherhood

Dear Carrie Fisher,

Thank you for shutting down the haters who criticized your appearance in Star Wars VII. It meant that others dig up a quote from one of your books that helped me feel better.

“What I didn’t realize, back when I was this twenty-five-year-old pinup for geeks in that me myself and iconic metal bikini, was that I had signed an invisible contract to stay looking the exact same way for the next thirty to forty years. Well, clearly I’ve broken that contract. Partly because, in an effort to keep up my disguise as a human being, I had a child at some point. And then, in an effort to stay sane for said child, I took pounds and pounds of medications that have the dual effect of causing water retention (think ocean, not lake) while also creating a craving for salad—chocolate salad. So yes, in answer to your unexpressed question, sanity does turn out to come at a heavy price.” (Shockaholic, 2008)

"And then, in an effort to stay sane for said child, I took pounds and pounds of medications...sanity does turn out to come at a heavy price."

I'd had my daughter, and still struggled. I struggled more, perhaps, because she reminded me of me at that age--bringing up old memories. Medicine had to change, and I'd recently gained 10 lbs thanks to a brief trial of Seroquel, 10 lbs that are not going away anytime soon.

And I thought back to what I'd read somewhere--this quote.

This quote told me it was okay to gain weight for sanity. It was okay to be a heavy, sane mother. It's okay. That's life. Especially life with mental illness.

I'll never look like she did in that gold bikini, but I can relate to her struggles. To the medication changes. To the weight and water gain. To wanting to be a good mother for your child.

Thank you for speaking out about that. It helped save my own sanity as my clothes grew too tight.

We will miss you.

With admiration,

Holly

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