Sunday, September 26, 2021

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher


Carrie Fisher was so funny! I really had no idea how funny she was until I read her memoirs and was treated to her potty mouth and quick wit and thought, "Aha! Here is a woman who would be very fun to sit next to and swap stories with!" After reading and loving SHOCKTASTIC, where she talks about her dysfunctional family, mental illness, and, yes, celebrity at large, I dove right into WISHFUL DRINKING which is basically more about the same.

There's a little overlap with SHOCKTASTIC and she does share some of the same anecdotes, but the stories are mostly different. I feel like SHOCKTASTIC is more focused on mental health and some of the ways it impacted her personal life. This book is more focused on celebrity gossip and her family, with some segues into her addiction and mental illness. I think I liked this one a little better because it didn't have the super slow parts of SHOCKTASTIC, but it also has fewer pictures I think, and the pictures are obviously the best part.

One thing I really love about Ms. Fisher is that she is so unequivocally herself. She seems to embrace everything she is-- at least on paper-- both good and bad, and she can laugh about it. I also liked the afterword where she talks about the importance of reducing the stigma against mental illness, and I loved her for that, too. Even though memoirs like these really show the dysfunction that mental illness can create, it also shows that the people who have these illness are just people like you and me-- they are funny! They have people thoughts! They grew up in a mansion with three pools and were the child of Golden Age Hollywood celebrities! --Wait.

Okay, so maybe not exactly like you and me (unless you're much cooler than I am), but it definitely goes a long way towards normalizing mental illness IMO to see that people you respect or admire also have the disease and are able to cope with it if on medication. Or drugs.*

*And not all of us are lucky enough to have a Cary Grant on stand-by to talk us down from acid.**


If you like books about celebrity gossip and mental health, I believe this is what you'd call a "twofer."

4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars

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