Carrie Fisher was never a name in my life that stuck out to me. In fact, until The Force Awakens truth be told I had no idea who she was. I had never heard of her for some weird reason. Maybe because I wasn’t a Star Wars fan (gasp). However, I do remember Princess Leia. I do remember the name, face and the accolades. I do remember googling her and falling in complete love with a woman I had no idea was so cool. Her honest interview with Oprah filled me with joy. Because there was someone out there with balls enough to be who she really was…and not what everyone else expected her to be.
Here was this woman who battled totally different brain demons than me but told me I was not alone in what was my own personal hell. Going through postpartum depression was the absolute scariest experience of my life. I’ll tell you this…that dark feels like death. Every minute of every day. It’s horrifying. And above all? It’s real. And when it grows dangerously dark is when people told me what I was doing “wrong” with my behaviors but never able to tell me, “hey, you might be dealing with a specific depression from postpartum. Let’s go together and see how I can help you get through this.”
Carrie Fisher. I can’t stop thinking about how strong she was for coming out about her illness and struggles with substance abuse. I fell in love with her, not because of her acting talents but because of her honest advocacy for the awful things in her life that she knew was never to be talked of in society. She broke the barrier that gave me permission to share. But now? I’m sad. I’m so sad that this had to come out this way. Why couldn’t they just keep that part of her death silent? Because there are way too many people saying “what a shame.”
There is no shame in being yourself. There is no shame in falling off the horse. There is no shame in sharing your ultimate truths. Being real is the only way to live in your life. But it doesn’t come without consequences.
The dark side. Carrie Fisher. Princess Leia. I refuse to shame her for her dark side. She wasn’t Darth Vader. She was a real woman with a real life illness living in a real world that glorifies alcohol. Alcohol leads to other substance when you are a person with a brain disorder that can’t turn your device off. Addiction develops and that shit is real.
So I refuse to believe she went to the dark side. She was not taken over by the dark side but just like Han Solo in The Force Awakens, she took one for the galaxy. So instead of turning back the clocks, look to the future. Her struggles could be your struggles. Your kids could have her struggles. Your family could be fighting the dark side too. Grab your damn lightsaber and slay that evil beast.
Joey Fortman is the brains behind #RealityMoms. In 2008, after 20+ years in traditional media hosting radio shows around the country, Joey traded in the microphone for a diaper bag, struggling through her own personal crisis: unemployed, overweight and lost in the land of mommy bloggers. Little did Joey know, her traditional media background would pave the way for success at Real Mom Media. As a sought after media magnet, Joey has been featured nationally on Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Anderson Cooper, the Katie Couric Show, Dr. Oz, Redbook, The Today Show, The Talk, Fox and Friends & The Newlywed Game. When not at the sports complex with one of her kids, on an island or a grocery store run, or on Facebook Live with #RealityMoms contributors, Joey is obsessed with adult coloring.