Some of my Heroes

In February, Carrie Fisher, of Star Wars fame, acted erratically while performing on stage during a cruise, which included her belting out songs off key, and having to clean up after her dogs who pooped on stage. Carrie was not drunk as some believed. She had to see her doctor and have her meds adjusted. Carrie has been up front and honest about living with bipolar disorder and even wrote a couple of books about it.

Carrie Fisher is one of my heroes.

A few weeks ago, Catherine Zeta-Jones checked herself into a health care facility to better manager her medication for her bipolar disorder. Catherine has been open about having bipolar disorder, hoping it would diminish the stigma associated with it.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is one of my heroes.

In 2004 Jane Pauley released an autobiography, in which, she openly discusses being diagnosed with bipolar.

Jane Pauley is one of my heroes.

Other heroes I admire are Jean-Claude Van Damme, Linda Hamilton, Sinéad O’Connor, Mariette Hartley, Sting, Patty Duke, and more.

None of these individuals are my heroes because they are celebrities. None of them are my heroes because they are celebrities who have bipolar disorder. I consider these folks heroes because they are celebrities, who have bipolar disorder, and have been open and honest publically about it. Coming out of the mental illness closet can be a huge inspiration for many out there living with bipolar disorder. It also comes with a huge variety of risks. Each of the individuals above took that risk in industries that are all about the publics perception.

Coming out of the closet as a gay man was extremely difficult. I knew it was going to change my life forever, either good or bad. The same thing can be said regarding my coming out as being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Mental illness is a scary thing. It’s scary for the individual with the disorder, and it’s scary for the general public, most of whom have no idea what it is like living with bipolar, chronic depression, schizophrenia, etc.

My entire purpose for starting this blog 5 years ago was to educate and to let others know they are not alone. In most respects I believe I have been successful. I continue this blog with those same goals today. I look at the names above and am happy I don’t stand alone with that goal.

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