Usually when a celebrity dies, people can be dramatically affected. This is how I felt about the original Lois Lane, Margot Kidder. Her life was full of ups and downs and tragedies like most of Hollywood, but like another iconic character, Princess Leia, (Carrie Fisher), the alcoholism and bipolar spoke to me the most.
This is a deadly combination. I have been dealing with alcoholism since my early teens, and never knew that it was one of the biggest factors in my bipolar diagnosis. My untreated bipolar went on as raging alcoholism for years, until the psychiatrists finally caught me with a net, threw me in the hospital and pumped me full of pills.
But like these iconic characters from my youth, the pills weren’t the answer because it may have treated the bipolar, but the deadlier disease of addiction was the real malady. I am sure Margot Kidder didn’t realize the extent of her alcoholism like many don’t. In my case, I thought if I could balance the medication somehow with a controlled drinking schedule, somehow, some way everything would be okay. Little did I know, drinking and mixing medication was an even deadlier malady than the addiction itself. I found myself in the horrible cycles of mania, which eventually led me to jails and institutions for almost 20 years of my life.
Finally breaking free of these chains, however, the stories about some of my beloved muses still rock me to this day. How was I able to overcome what they couldn’t? I should maybe step on the brakes right there, because I will never “beat” addiction, I just conquer the urges one day at a time.
The most important lesson that I have learned is there is no cure for addiction or bipolar, it is a constant work in progress that the body and mind have to adapt to. There is a science behind being able to cure yourself with mindfulness and living in the present, because I am on less than half of the medication I was on years ago. Some might say, I have an immunity to them now, but they keep the mania at bay while my abstinence from alcohol does the rest.
Even though Margot Kidder died in 2018 and Carrie Fisher in 2017, these iconic women forever live in my mind as sisters in pain for the ailments of alcohol and bipolar that challenge me every day. I amaze myself on a daily basis how I am able to resist the urge for a drink, and my wild streak of wanting to numb my feelings or just party the night away has been lifted.
Sometimes it just boils down to growing up and taking responsibility for your life.
Because when you realize you are worth so much more than a substance you can be free.
And even if it was in a more tragic way, both Margot Kidder and Carrie Fisher are free too.