On Depression and Losing my Childhood Icons

Living vicariously through my heroes and villains – and finding myself along the way.

I haven’t done a new post in a while–I’ve been fighting monsters.
No, really.
I’ve been fighting my daily chronic migraine without meds for a month, and it’s been really an exercise in willpower to find reasons to keep fighting while I wait (and wait and wait) to hear anything on my application for disability.
Depression has been my constant companion lately, and the death of yet another of my childhood and adult heroes has affected me deeply.
Carrie Fisher was the princess we girls needed in the late 70s and early 80s–a tough, take no shit lady with a vulnerable side. As an adult, her openness and advocacy for mental health has been amazing and a role model for my own advocacy.
Her death on top of the loss of so many other pieces of my childhood has left me reeling.
It’s also made me think (scary, I know)–why do the deaths of my childhood icons affect me so profoundly?
Because they’ve been a part of the many lives I’ve lived. Imaginary lives, but still…I’ve been a Rebel Princess, a warrior princess, a crime fighting “angel,” an amazon princess, a smart arse teenager with a stolen baby sister..I’ve been in a galaxy far, far away, in the Labyrinth fighting a goblin king, and my own house simultaneously. I’ve fought with lightsabers, blasters, a lasso of truth, my fists, and my wits. I’ve journeyed Middle-earth and Narnia. I’ve been a wizard, a mutant, an elf, a hobbit…all before second breakfast.
I’ve been a glittery rock star and a soulful crooner (not for an audience, thankfully). I’ve sworn to never dance again the way I danced with a good friend.
But mostly, I lived and dreamed and breathed through other characters when I was a kid still trying to find out who I was and who I would be.
The people who brought to life all those pieces of me…have been pieces of me. They’ve given me heroes and adversaries worthy of them. They gave me an escape when I needed one, sang to my soul, and gave me the courage to become me in all my many facets.
I mourn what they were to me and the loss of the people they were in their own lives.
Rest in peace, Carrie. You are one with the Force now. Thank you for all you gave me.

The heroine we needed.

– Selena