Thought Catalog

From One Woman With Bipolar Disorder To Another, Thank You Carrie Fisher

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 09:42 PM PST


I have to start this out with total transparency: I never got into Star Wars. I know, that’s practically sacrilegious. If you want to throw vegetables my way with your pitchforks on layaway, I’d understand! I’m the weird one here, I get it.

I once had sex with a guy who liked having the soundtrack play in the background. So CLEARLY it made a huge impact. One that I wish didn’t follow me into the bedroom, but I digress.

As a result of not really watching the films, whenever I thought of Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia wasn’t who came to mind. I thought of Carrie Fisher, the talented writer and actress with the kind of unflinching honesty I always aspired to achieve. She spoke openly about weight gain, aging, how women are treated in Hollywood, and did it all with such sass and wit. Carrie was hilarious. She could make you laugh your ass off with the smallest quip or retort, and I loved seeing that in someone who I shared similarities with.

I live with bipolar II disorder. The quickest snapshot: I experience elevated highs and lows. They run beyond the scope of “normal” human emotions. It’s not just being happy and sad, it’s being manic-can’t-sleep-think-I-can-do-like-25-projects-at-once followed by a deep, swallowing depression. Though my episodes are fairly manageable and I take an antidepressant that works miracles on my brain, I still struggle.

I still have moments when I wake up on the bad days and am mad I even woke up at all.

Or, moments when I make poor decisions. The thing people don’t like to admit is just how fun being manic is…until you realize the things you did. Until you realize how impaired your judgement was and you have to live with the consequences.

Carrie Fisher has said about bipolar disorder, “It's not a neat illness. It doesn't go away.”

You have to make this weird kind of peace with it. Maybe peace isn’t the right word. Peace is so far removed from bipolar disorder. But I guess, you cope. You figure out what helps and works and gives you the tools to survive the healthiest way you can. Carrie was never afraid to talk about it. She didn’t shy away from her disease, despite being in the limelight.

Carrie Fisher was my beacon. Not because she was some fake pseudo-guru Tony Robbins type spouting empty inspirational phrases. And not because she existed as a perfect human who never fucked up. No, she was my beacon because she was real and told her truth. She told her truth.

Whenever she spoke of addiction, mental illness, prescription medications, it was always done so genuinely. I saw her as someone I could be: a writer who didn’t pretend to be anyone other than exactly who they were. And when I feel I’ve failed, I ask myself that very question. Was I being my authentic self?

Carrie was a force. She was unapologetic, real, quick and funny as hell.

Whenever she described her experience living with bipolar disorder, I felt understood. It was hugely influential to me, to see this brilliant and dynamic woman who, like me, had bipolar disorder and struggled with very human things.

So while I didn’t really know her as Princess Leia, I did know her as Carrie Fisher – someone I desperately wanted to meet to thank one day.

Carrie, you’re a big reason I don’t see myself as a freak of nature. You normalized something that I will live with for the rest of my days. Thank you. Thank you for being exactly who I, and millions of others, needed. And will continue to need. You will not be forgotten, both on and off screen. TC mark

When You Hear A Voice In Your Head Saying ‘You’re The Fuckable Girl, Not The One They’ll Commit To’

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 08:00 PM PST


Whenever I meet a guy, it starts off well, they act like they like me and then something goes wrong along the way. Whether that be them reminding me that I’m not good enough/not girlfriend material, or me deciding that my relationship commitment issues matter more to me. The constant trying to not get too involved with anybody, to not let down those barriers I worked ever so hard to protect me. It got to the point where I would shoot a guy down, in the most polite possible way, the moment he told me he had some sort of feelings for me because what would be the point in getting involved in somebody who was just going to hurt me anyway? And I think that’s the saddest part of all.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to play the victim card, I just know too many people in the same situation as I am.

So, what happens when you meet someone who you decide to finally and slowly let down those barriers with? Your barriers fight back and tell you that you can pretend enough that things will be ok with this one, but in reality they’ll just hurt you like everyone else.

I look at myself and see an attractive, intelligent, interesting and (sometimes) humourous young woman who gives so much of a shit. I feel like all of the people who fucked me over in the past don’t deserve me, and that anybody who likes me and I like them back are lucky because I don’t let myself feel that way often and I have so much to give if it actually went right. What people in this generation don’t seem to realise that it’s not about the prize, it’s about how you act during the race. It’s not about what could happen at the end of a relationship, that only leads to there being a definite ending, it’s about what fun you have and memories you make along the way together.

I met a guy who, for the first time in a good while, I actually felt myself wanting to let those barriers down with. I actually felt myself want to be with. I actually told my family about him. More shockingly, I introduced him to my friends. When I’m with him I can’t not smile when I hear his distinctive laugh, and I can’t not talk to him every day because I just want to hear how his day goes on. We don’t have to talk all the time, I just enjoy being in his company and presence. I enjoy having someone I can go to museums and art galleries with, who enjoys them as much as me. When I see his name in my notifications on my phone I can’t not smile, and I always look forward to the next time I will be in his company.

But what do you do, when the guy you finally like doesn’t want to get into a relationship with you ‘yet’? I have no fucking clue. I’m usually the person who fucks things off the moment I decide to feel shit, but I can’t with this one. I don’t want to never see him again or give him his hoodies back that remind me of him and make me smile when I wear them. I hear alarm bells ring in my mind, telling me that I’m just going to get hurt again. I hear voices telling me that it’s just because I’m not good enough, that I’m still the girl who is fuckable but not commitable, that’s good company and reliable, just not girlfriend material. Being asked to wait for someone is a tricky game. I’m torn between being the girl who is above waiting for somebody who might not even want me in the end, and being the girl who waits and something great could come out of it. TC mark

We Ignore The Red Flags And Pretend We Didn’t See The End Coming

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 07:00 PM PST - –

We let them ignore our messages. We let them take their time responding because they're 'busy,' we act like we're not upset because we're 'busy' too and we talk to them like nothing happened, like it's not that important to respond to us on time or it's not that important to give us some attention because we don't want to seem needy or clingy and because we don’t need their attention.

We talk to them for weeks or months without really knowing what we are, because we don't want to push them away or pressure them, so we pretend to be cool with not knowing because we're not in a hurry to be exclusive either and we pretend to like the grey are because it gives us options, but we don't really want to talk to anyone else, we truly only want one person who is not really sure about us, so we continue talking to them until they change their mind and hope that they're not talking to anyone else as well.

We bottle our emotions up and we swallow our words because we're not in a position to tell them what we want and what we don't want, so we act some more, we act like it didn't bother us that they were hanging out with an ex the other day, or that they were tagged in a photo with someone who looks more than just a friend and we can't ask because we're not entitled to. We act like we don't care because we're cool and chill and that's what dating is nowadays and we can't expect more, we can't be unrealistic and we can't be hopeless romantics because the good old days of true love are long gone.

We act like we’re not hurt when things end, we pretend like it didn't break our hearts because we were never together, because we didn't really expect them to be the one since it was all a trial, we pretend that being ghosted or friend zoned is something we're not ashamed of because we say that we weren't into them anyway, that maybe it's better that it didn't work out because someone out there is so much better for us.

We pretend like we're not entitled to feel anything or cry about it because they didn't mean anything to us and we weren’t supposed to get attached to nothing. Also because they never promised anything and because we're not that emotional.

So we forget. We forget what we deserve, we forget our self-worth, we forget that not too long ago, we wanted a fairytale, we wanted a love that is honest, true, genuine, strong and unaltered, we forget that we swore never to be in the grey area again, not be taken for granted, not to be another option and we forget that we promised to run away at the first sign of danger, we promised to walk away when we feel like we're being played or when something doesn’t feel right and we forget that we promised to watch out for the red flags because they tell us how it will all play out and how it will all end.

But we like to ignore them because we see the best in people, we believe that they will change and we believe that we can be the one they'll change for, so we hold on to that hope and we keep going with one foot in and one foot out, hoping that this time it will be different, that maybe this time we'll get it right and maybe this time we’ll misinterpret the red flags.  TC mark

This Is The Beauty Of Finding Yourself Again

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 06:00 PM PST

Noah Hinton
Noah Hinton

You've been doing this for months. It's the same routine every day. You wake up, look over at your nightstand, and stare into the amber colored plastic. Two pills left. That's two days left in the month. You contemplate not getting the prescription refilled, but you tell yourself you should; that it's better to live the same days over and over again than to deal with any sort of day-to-day differences. You reach over, grab your stale glass of water, swallow the pill. Begin the cycle. Shower, get dressed, go to work.

At work you stare at the same computer screen for the same amount of hours each day. You answer the same phone, eat in the same lunchroom, and clock out at the same time. You come home, flip on the tv, and fall asleep. This is the routine. Of course, in between, you glance at the pile of unfinished paintings, the dust on your of half-read books. You ignore them, and you tell yourself routine is good. I'll tell you one thing: routine is not always good.

Don't get me wrong, schedules are great for many things. They're good for keeping track of your schoolwork, deadlines, appointments. But they're not always what you need. They can make you feel trapped, bored, lazy. They can suck the creativity right out of you. Don't let routine put out your light.

I used to read five books a month. Being able to submerge myself in another world, another life, with new and unknown people, places, and things gave me life. I used to love doing yoga. I would connect my mind with my heart, the earth, the day. It fed my soul. I used to draw and paint. I had stacks of artwork that I always had the intention of framing, selling, or gifting. That all went away when I was swallowed by the throes of depression and pumped with medication.

All it took to diagnose me with depression was one 20-minute meeting with a therapist who knew virtually nothing about me. I was sent off with a prescription in hand, and was told that with one little pill, all my problems would be solved.

I'd be able to walk into a party without feeling a pinch of anxiety. I'd be able to get out of bed each morning and sleep through each night. I would be attentive and efficient at school and work. I was all these things, but it came at a cost.

I stopped reading, doing yoga, painting. I didn't socialize as much as I used to. My art sat unfinished, collecting dust. The pills didn't solve everything. They took away the things I loved most and replaced them with routine. Sure, they helped me deal with the day-to-day bullshit, but they hardened my soul and smothered my fire. After months of taking the pills and living by the cycle, I began to notice the difference in who I had become, and I was determined to get my old self back.

I locked myself in my room, turned on an old playlist, and started the process. I threw paint at canvas, slid the pen across paper. I dug out all of my half-read books and made a mental list of which ones I would finish first. When I was finally too tired to do anything more, I lied on my bed and closed my eyes.

I thought about how great it felt to be creating things again. Breathe in, breathe out. I could feel the fire burning in my chest. It felt good.

I rolled over and saw the orange plastic bottle. Two pills left. Tomorrow I'll take it. I'll shower, get dressed, and go to work. I'll stare at the same computer screen, answer the same phone, eat in the same lunchroom, and clock out at the same time. When I come home, I'll keep parts of my routine, but I'll be sure to feed my soul. I'll grab a pen and paper and doodle. I'll take a bath, listen to music as loud as I can. I'll order take-out, maybe watch a movie. I will not ignore my dog-eared books. I will stray from the cycle to keep myself alive, and I'll do it for me. TC mark

When You’re In Your Darkest Hour, Read This

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 05:00 PM PST

Joanna Kosinska
Joanna Kosinska

You might be alone in your room thinking if things could get any worse than it already is.

You're right.

It could be worse later, tomorrow or maybe a few weeks from now. Nobody knows maybe the earth will suddenly shatter into pieces or a meteor might hit and wipe out our existence. Nobody knows. Nobody knows if you are meant to do the things you've always wanted to do or if you'll fall in love with someone you didn't see coming. The world as it is — mysterious and unpredictable; messed up, yet absolutely worth living for.

And that's why if you're reading this, don't give up on yourself.

For all your worries, fears, hopelessness and heartache will be replaced with feelings that will make you forget what it felt like to fall helplessly into the never ending anxiety that creeps in from time to time.

Don't give up on yourself. For all the times you felt like you're never good enough, you will someday discover what your heart beats for. You will feel passion for the things you do not because you're good at it, but because it makes you feel like you've finally found something to remind you that you just need self-discovery. We all have something we're not good at, but you shouldn't forget that we have other things we're good at — too.

Don't give up on yourself. Those times when you look at the mirror and start to question why you look, act or even exist because all that you can think about is how sh*tty you are. Those times when you tried to change to fit the standards and expectations of society for the fear of judgements that not only hurt you, but give you even more reasons to hate yourself. Just don't give up on yourself, by giving up meaning letting negativity get to you and hate every part of you because you're too tired to keep going. Someday maybe not today, you will find courage to embrace every flaw and love the pieces that make you whole — and that will be your power because no one else is you. They say you shouldn't hurt the people you love. The question is, will you still get hurt the moment you learn to love yourself?

Don't give up on yourself because at the end of those days when you felt all of that, you're all alone. You are your own hero. The strength you have left the moment you close your eyes before falling asleep is all that you have — and frankly, the only thing that can save you the next day you wake up.

Don't give up on yourself because the beauty of life isn't only about blissful days. It's the thrill of not knowing what's to come.

But how will you know if all these good things will happen? Simple.

Every time you feel like giving up on yourself; get up, focus on bettering yourself, build the right mindset and hope for better days even if it burns you a little — that's the only way to keep going.

Again, the world as it is — mysterious and unpredictable; messed up, yet absolutely worth living for. That's why you shouldn't give up now. TC mark

This Is How Your Heart Will Break In 2017, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 04:00 PM PST

(March 21st to April 19th)

Your impulsive tendencies and short temper will lead to and on again off again relationship. Eventually, even a partner that loves you won't be able to handle it and you'll find yourself alone.

(April 20th to May 21st)

You'll find yourself in a mutual breakup with someone you really do care for. And while your heart will break walking away from such a person who made you who you are today, you know it's time you do your own thing. That doesn't mean you won't find your way back again.

(May 22nd to June 21st)

Your heart is going to break clinging to an old love you can't seem to let go of. On the surface you won't show any pain, you'll be as fun and carefree as people know you to be. But at night you're going think back to the person you used to come home to.

(June 22nds to July 22nd)

Your heart is going to break getting hurt by the same person whose heart you broke long ago. Your ego won't be able to take it and you'll find yourself just walking away the moment they try to play games with you.

(July 23rd to August 22nd)

You are going to find yourself in a relationship where you aren't appreciated and it'll break your heart to keep trying for someone who has gotten used to someone so rare like you. You have the best intentions but even the best of people get pushed to their limit. But just know, one relationship ending will lead you closer to one that won't and someone who will reciprocate all you have to give.

(August 23rd to September 22nd)

You are going to get hurt by not letting your guard down. While it's an admirable trait to be so independent, it's going to be difficult for you to let someone in. In the New Year, you'll find yourself getting close to someone but wanting to push them away.

(September 23rd to October 22nd)

You're inability to meet people halfway and put work into anyone other than yourself will leave you alone. You put yourself and your friends first but that will be hard when you find a relationship that needs your attention.

(October 23rd to November 22nd)

You are going to break your own heart hurting the heart of another who loved you dearly. You'll spend most of the year trying to win them back. As strong and stubborn as you are, you are going find it hard to admit when you're wrong. But when you finally realize it, it'll be too late.

(November 23rd to December 21st)

Your heart will break being in and out of many casual relationships. Your lack of emotions and inability to commit to one person will eventually leave you all by yourself. While independence is nice you'll come across one person who will change you.

(December 22nd to January 20th)

Your inability to get close to anyone and always keeping people at arm’s length will hurt you in the New Year. A lot of people don't know how sensitive you are but because of that, you keep your guard up. The toughest thing you'll find is that you push people away even the ones who truly care for you.

(January 21st to February 18th)

Your sarcasm will get you in trouble in the New Year. That and your inability to emotionally connect to people where you seem almost cold, will make your partner question how you really feel. You are a bit aloof to other people's needs that you'll find yourself dumped because of it.

(February 19th to March 20th)

You are going to break your heart loving the wrong person and trying too hard to win them over. As selfless and caring as you are, it's going bite you in the ass in the New Year because you'll find yourself falling for someone who has no intention of catching you. TC mark

Harrison Ford’s Response To Carrie Fisher’s Death Is Heartbreaking

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 03:24 PM PST

Star Wars
Star Wars

Harrison Ford has issued a statement to People following Carrie Fisher’s death today, and it is a gut punch:

"Carrie was one-of-a-kind… brilliant, original… Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely… My thoughts are with her daughter Billie, her mother Debbie, her brother Todd, and her many friends. We will all miss her."

Earlier this year Fisher had revealed that the two had an affair in 1977 while filming Star Wars.

Of Ford, she said “I looked over at Harrison. A hero's face — a few strands of hair fell over his noble, slightly furrowed brow… How could you ask such a shining specimen of a man to be satisfied with the likes of me?" TC mark

If He Does These 13 Things, He’s Too Self-Centered For A Serious Relationship

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 03:01 PM PST

Unsplash, Dylan Hibbert
Unsplash, Dylan Hibbert

1. He makes all the decisions. He chooses where you eat. What movie you watch. Where you go on dates. He never asks for your opinion, and whenever you offer it to him, he doesn’t bother to take it into consideration before making his decision.

2. He cares about his reputation. He doesn’t care about how he treats people. He only cares about how people view him. That means he’ll spend hours getting his hair just right — and he’ll even tell you what to wear. If you look too sloppy, he won’t want to be seen with you.

3. He does whatever he wants. He’s the type of guy that would rather beg for your forgiveness than ask for your permission. He’ll do what he wants when he wants, regardless of how you feel about it. And when you get mad, he’ll find a way to manipulate you into accepting his apology.

4. He gets pissed when he doesn’t get his way. If he wants you to come over, but you’re busy with work, he’ll get irrationally angry. He has some nineteenth-century idea that your life should revolve around him.

5. He doesn’t care if he hurts you. If his friends invite him out for beer and chicken wings, and that’s what he feels like eating, he won’t think twice before canceling plans with you. He does whatever is best for him — not for the relationship.

6. He rarely spends money on you. Maybe he’ll pick up the check at a restaurant, but he never surprises you with your favorite candy bar or a milkshake. Sentimental little things like that just don’t cross his mind.

7. He focuses on his future. He has plans for ten years down the road, but they only involve what he wants. He’s mentioned a wife, but you have the feeling he doesn’t even care if you’re the one he marries. It could be any girl.

8. He never offers oral. You’re always on top in the bedroom and you can’t even remember the last time you had an orgasm. He doesn’t bother trying to get you off. You’re on your own.

9. He always tries to one-up you. He’s never happy for you. If you tell him about the compliment your boss gave you, he’ll tell you about something even better that happened to him at work. He wants to create the illusion that he’s superior.

10. He doesn’t put in any real effort. He doesn’t send you mushy good morning texts. He doesn’t ask you about how your week went. He doesn’t even clean up after himself.

11. He hasn’t given up flirting. If a pretty girl hits on him, he’s going to return her affection. Flirting makes him feel good. And he does whatever makes him feel good, even if it makes you feel like a complete idiot.

12. He assumes you’re just like him. He won’t understand why watching him play Minecraft bores you. He doesn’t see how anyone could have a different opinion than him.

13. He lies whenever he feels the need. If he can get out of working a certain shift or going on a boring date with you by lying, he’ll do it to make his life easier. He won’t even feel bad about it. Deception comes naturally to him. TC mark

16 Things To Know Before Dating Someone Who Is Good At Being Alone

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 02:01 PM PST


1. She's not going to trust you at first.

She's going be wary of anyone new who enters her life because a lot of people have come and left.

2. She’s learned to only trust herself.

Relying on others in the past led to disappointment. She knows if she wants anything done right to rely on her doing it.

3. She doesn't need you in her life but she might want you to be there.

She's learned to not need anyone and to be honest, that's one of the scariest things for a strong woman to learn. But even strong people need others sometimes.

4. She knows the only person she needs is herself.

She's become her own best friend. She's become her own best company. She's become someone strong enough to stand alone and learn to like it.

5. She'll push you away at times.

She might think you're going leave so she'll try and beat you to it. She might look for excuses for things to go wrong so she can go back to being alone. She might even give a million reasons to walk away. Don't.

6. She's afraid of being vulnerable.

She's afraid of someone seeing her weak. She's afraid of someone getting to know her so well, suddenly she doesn't remember a life without them. She's afraid of getting too comfortable with someone so she tries not to.

7. She probably dated a lot in the past.

She won't tell you about it for a while. But every story and every heartbreak would make you understand why she is wired the way she is. She doesn't want sympathy, she doesn't want pity but she's been through a lot that has made her guarded and rough around the edges.

8. Which taught her it's best not to date at all.

It's not like she doesn't get asked out or people don’t ask for her number but she pushes a lot of people away. She rejects even more of them. When her friends ask her why she'll make up some excuse but the truth is she's scared shitless of relationships. So if you've made it this far, proceed with caution. Don't push her in any way. Do everything at her pace.

9. She's used to going places alone.

She never uses her plus ones at weddings. She is always the person going stag to events. She almost likes not having to answer to anyone or watch out for anyone but herself. She's fiercely independent to a point where it might be a flaw.

10. So if she invites you somewhere take that seriously.

She doesn't call upon many people. So if she's suggesting you go somewhere with her just say yes. Her inviting you somewhere is her way of letting you in.

11. She's gonna have a life beyond you.

It's gonna seem like she doesn't have time to date. That's only because she made sure to make her life about something more than her relationship status.

12. She probably learned that making someone priority could end badly.

She has pity for the people who relationship hop and are never single. Maybe because she was like that once upon a time and learned never again.

13. When something goes wrong in her life don't take it personal if she shuts you out.

She's used to dealing with things on her own. The aspect of emotionally relying on someone is foreign to her. Her strength is almost a flaw in a way. You want to get into her world even the bad parts but there's always gonna be walls and layers to her.

14. She’s just is afraid of relying on someone.

It's human to need people but she perceives that as weakness.

15. She seems kind of hard to love.

If I can let you in on a little secret the best people in life usually are.

16. But once you figure her out she'll love you harder than anyone.

She'll change you in the best way possible redefining what you thought love could be and you'll realize the best people to date are ones who usually don’t. TC mark

James From ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Could Inherit ‘Tens Of Millions’ From George Michael

Posted: 27 Dec 2016 01:44 PM PST

James Kennedy Instagram
James Kennedy Instagram

George Michael passed away from heart failure on Christmas Day, leaving an estimated $100 million fortune that is now expected to be split among his godchildren. They include:

[*] Roman and Harley Moon Kemp — children of his bandmate Shirlie Holliman

[*] Bluebell Madonna — goddaughter of his former partner of 13 years Kenny Goss (Geri Halliwell is the mother)

[*] James Kennedy and his brother

George Michael and James’ father, Andros Georgiou, were close friends whose families emigrated from a suburb of London to Cyprus together and later famously had a falling out. In fact, as recently as 2012. Andros had publically spoken out about how he feared George Michael would fall victim to his “wild ways” and die before the two could reconcile.

Andros can hardly believe they are now worlds apart.

He says: "When I married Jackie, I told her, 'He comes first. My kids are his
kids and he'll be in the delivery room with us' and he was.

"When my son James was born in January 1992, Yog and I gave him his first

George Michael is the godfather of both James and one of his brothers.

James posted a tribute to his godfather on Instagram which read “Rest In Peace George I’m heartbroken we never got to speak again after so many years, I can’t believe this has happened, please watch over me in heaven Godfather. Enjoy paradise I love you. ❤️”

Instagram Photo

He also posted a photo of his dad and George together:

Instagram Photo

It’s also expected that George’s sisters Melanie and Yioda and boyfriend Fadi Fawaz will be named as heirs. TC mark