I love Carrie Fisher for who she was, and how openly blunt she was about it.
However, I can’t exactly agree with this meme. Yes, people with issues often use drugs to cope. But to say it’s none of our damn business is selfishly short-sighted. Especially when that person is someone we love and care for deeply. Drug abuse may seem cool when celebrities fall victim to it, but the toll on that person, and the people around them, is devastating. That’s why we have interventions, rehab and community support. The idea is to save the lives of the ones we love, knowing damn well that they cannot do it on their own. Just like we can’t do it on our own.
We lost of beloved to drug-related issues. How much longer, how much deeper, could we have been able to love them if they were still with us today? How much better off would they be if we could actually help them deal with their bullshit? How much better off would we be if we had the support, guidance and understanding we know we really need?
Don’t get me wrong. If my autopsy report shows high levels of cocaine, ecstasy, and alcohol in my system, consider it a win. That means I was burning like a blowtorch when my flame was finally extinguished. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t partake of anything influential when I’m in a bad place. If I fail a piss test, it’s because life was good to me the week before. When my pain is emotional or mental, I’m clean and sober, bc I’m very conscious of how chemical dependencies affect how people deal with their demons. I’ve watched too many friends, families and celebrities crash and burn in agony. It doesn’t matter if it’s Whitney Houston or my childhood best friend, the tragedy is still the same.
Don’t normalize drug abuse. Don’t make it that much easier for those losing control to lose it completely. If we care, it is our damn business. The LAST place I want to deal with someone’s reality is at their own funeral. It’s not something we should gloss over. Because our friends, our loved ones, need someone to turn to, not something. Many times, I have given up booze or drugs while a loved one is trying to get their shit together, as a sign of solidarity. I have been hated often for taking the high road and doing the right thing, because I hate going to funerals.
I’m going to miss Carrie dearly. And not just because she’s Princess Leia. Because she was a very real personality who was very real about her reality. How her life ended is a reminder of how real it was. Let’s do everything we possibly can to keep love alive, longer, stronger, for those whose realities have been just too real for them. Addiction shouldn’t be demonized, nor should it be normalized.