Memoir Madness

 

So, I read The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. It’s the diary of a 19-year-old Carrie Fisher written during the filming of the original Star Wars wrapped inside the memoir of a middle-aged Carrie Fisher fresh from the filming of the recent sequel. It deals largely with her brief affair with Harrison Ford. It’s very discreet, not lurid at all, and is mainly of interest, I would imagine, to those who have also suffered from the misjudgments and self-torture of 19-year-old bipolar brain. It’s all about doubts, misgivings, and the perspicacity that come with time and distance. I also read Wishful Drinking, which I realized about halfway through I was actually rereading. It’s basically a short primer on what it was to be Carrie Fisher.

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Now, I’m reading He Wanted the Moon. He Wanted the Moon is also memoirs wrapped in memoirs, in this case, a daughter publishing the manuscript of her bipolar father’s memoirs with the addition of his letters, medical records, and her own memories of the man. I think it’s safe to say, no matter your opinion of modern psychiatric practices, treatment for mental illness has come a long way since even the mid-twentieth century’s “cold packs” and straightjackets as treatment.

I wish I could remember more of my own experiences in the psychiatric ward. What I do remember and found most annoying was having to wake up obscenely early in the morning to speak to the doctor and that my time was not my own. That and some things I’d rather forget.

 

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