I wanted to share with you why I admire Stephen Fry so much. It’s not because he’s on TV, in film, does documentaries, yada yada yada – though I do love watching and hearing him. It’s because of the effect he has had on my life, without him even knowing.
Once upon a time, as regular readers know, I had a breakdown in my life and things weren’t looking too good. Somehow I managed to salvage something and turn my life around. It was during this period of my life that I discovered Stephen’s The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive – a must watch for people who have a bipolar diagnosis, new or old.
I remember watching vividly at how he, and others, struggled through their diagnosis and tried their hardest to carry on with life. There were people with a mild form of the disease and those with extreme symptoms. One of which that stood out for me was a gentleman that believed that he was Jesus and he wouldn’t get hurt walking in front of a lorry. He got hurt, badly. Luckily he survived and had surgery to repair the physical damage that he suffered.
During the filming there were periods where Stephen himself was struggling. One comment he said was about walking to the fridge to get something out of there but having to build enough strength to get there. He was in pain, physically and emotionally – he laid bare his darkest times for us all to see. By the way, the fridge thing… I can relate to that!
What stuck out most was that he carried on; he wouldn’t let the disease beat him. From watching him during these times made me realise that if he, Stephen, could carry on and be so successful in what he does then so can I.
I’m not at all saying that I envy the fame and being in the public eye, I don’t want that. I don’t even like praise when I have achieved what I have; I found a way to get where I want and I go for it. It’s everyday life to me.
I found a dream of becoming a psychiatrist and, although I have to take the long route to get there, I am aiming high and going for it. Before the breakdown I never dreamt of even getting into university. Though, here I am four months in and loving every minute of it.
When I got the opportunity to meet him, please let me meet him, at the Mind Media Awards this year I literally jumped at the chance. Less than four sleeps to go and I can say thank you to him, for encouraging me to carry on regardless.
I am sure that I am not the only one that wants to say thank you to Stephen Fry for the work that he has done, maybe unknowingly. So if I get the opportunity next Monday night, then I will be honoured to thank him for you.
If you were asked to push a button that would remove your diagnosis, would you?