Thank you Stephen Fry
I know, I know… The title is misleading but my intentions are good. I promise. Bare with me, and read on please.
You’ve probably heard the news. The TV presenter, actor and host Stephen Fry announced today that is recuperating after a prostate cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment of the illness. He’s been battling with cancer for the past 2 months, and shared the dreadful news just today.
I’d like to wish him a full recovery, but I’d also like to thank him. As you may know, he’s also been champion mental illness activist, since he’s been also battling with bipolar disorder for the majority of his adult life.
Which leads me to the point of my writing. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Fry for sooooo long, and it’s precisely the exact amount of time that I’ve been wanting to write this. I love his movies, his spoken word performances, his wit, his humor, his thinking, his ideals and I can pretty much spend all day listening him talking about anything. Seriously, I can hear him read the phone-book, let along his lengthily discussions about morality, religion and his travels. But I also love hearing about his struggles regarding the bipolar disease. And that’s what this whole THANK YOU post is all about.
I’ve been open with my struggles with depression in the past, but I credit my understanding, compassion and empathy towards people with bipolar disorder to him. Seriously. My oldest and dearest friend struggles with Bipolar disorder, and since her diagnosis, I’ve been lost to understand and thus help her at easing the struggles that come with disease. But, all of that changed when I began to educate myself on the subject, and Stephen helped with that education.
His numerous interviews were enormously helpful, and more so were the documentaries he did in 2006 and 2016. Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive and The Not So Secret Life of the Manic Depressive: 10 Years On were beautifully done. In them, he emotional and honestly portrayed the day to day hardship, prejudice that the people with bipolar face, but also their daily struggles to end the day on a positive note.
He included celebrities like Carrie Fisher and Richard Dreyfuss, but also regular/unknown people just like my friend. Why? Because it’s not the Hollywood disease, but an illness that everyone can be affected by. Mothers, sisters, wives and in my friend’s case very talented painters.
Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive showed me how to recognize the symptoms, and 10 Years On showed me how their mind works in both states.
Thank you Stephen for your tireless work. I may not know how it feels to have this disease first hand, but thanks to you I know how to help the people that do.