I’m reading Carrie Fisher’s The Best Awful. Since I tend to read several books at a time, this has been my lunchtime reading, so I’m taking it slow.
Honestly, as a book, the writing is not what I would normally enjoy. The book is written in third person, but it’s centered on the main character, Suzanne. If you heard of or watched the movie (or read the book) Postcards from the Edge, the book is about the same character.
There are a lot of parallels between Carrie Fisher’s life and Suzanne’s. They both have a show business mother that’s a little larger than life, they both had an acting career when young, they both suffered a breakdown and changed careers, while still being sort-of in in the business.
Anyway, in this book, her marriage is over because her husband fell in love with a man. Her alcoholism and drug addiction is long in the past. She has a 6 year old daughter, and she’s taking her bipolar medication in order to provide a stable life for her daughter.
Until a well-known producer dies. As she’s on her way to the funeral, her best friend says, “You haven’t done anything interesting in ages!”
Somehow, that leads her to seduce an aging Hollywood bad boy at the funeral.
Shortly after that, she decides to seduce a young personal trainer guy she calls “Thor”. In order to do so, she cuts back on a couple of her medications.
The relationship doesn’t last long, but soon, she’s stopped taking her meds altogether.
After that, it gets fun.
As a book, it’s not the kind of thing I would normally read, and I don’t really like it. On the other hand, as insight into what happens in a bipolar person’s head when they stop taking their meds, it is brilliant. Watching as she justifies the steps she’s taking and lies to the people trying to help her and gets more wild with each passing day.
One of the things I can really relate to is that she has a name for her manic self. She calls her manic self Lucrezia (as in Lucrezia Borgia).
I think the reason I can relate to this naming is that I feel that my manic self was not really me. I know I did certain things, but it never felt like it was really *me* doing those things. The real me sits at home with a book or knitting while watching tv. The real me is socially awkward, and completely geeky. The real me is sensitive to other people.
Manic me is self-centered, childish, impulsive, drunk, slut.
It just doesn’t feel like the same person at all.
I think that’s why even though I don’t like the writing, I can relate to this book.