Two thanksgivings are behind us, but I would like to give a big thanks to Kristen Bell and Ryan Reynolds. Why them? There’s actually more: Billie Eliish, Lady Gaga, Wayne Brady, Sophie Turner, Prince Harry, and Kendrick Lamar. These are all celebrities who spoke publicly about their struggles with mental illness. It takes guts to come forward and admit to this, but it’s so important to do. Everyone who suffers needs to know they’re not alone.
I’d also like to thank Abraham Lincoln, Beethoven, Sir Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, and Leo Tolstoy. Now these people didn’t come forward because awareness, knowledge, and resources were limited back then. But just the idea that they had it makes me thankful. Thankful that we can see examples of those who suffered but were able to do great things in spite of that.
For some, like Vincent Van Gogh, his genius and accomplishments didn’t happen in spite of his mental illness, but rather because of it. His ability to connect with his struggles and express himself from that perspective made for some of the most beautiful art ever created in history. The same can be said of Pablo Picasso and his “blue period.”
Kesha used her struggles to write an essay for TIME magazine addressing others with mental illnesses to help them make it through the Christmas season. Prince Harry not only talked about it, he enlisted the help of his family, namely Will and Kate, to join the effort to “end the stigma.”
But not all are/were fortunate enough to have a happy ending. For Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams, it was their mental illness that took their lives. Just like cancer and heart disease, mental illness is a killer.
If you’re suffering, you’re not alone. You are also not stuck with having to hide it and “just move on.” I know for me I’d rather just keep it to myself. I’d rather hide it out of fear of what people would think. But if Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Emma Stone, and Charles Dickens can be judged, I can just go over and stand with them. I’ll be in good company.
Congratulations A Beautiful Mind. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actor: Russell Crowe as John Nash in A Beautiful Mind (2001).
Best Quote: “You know, taking us for ice creams in a blizzard… makes you wonder who the real whack jobs are.” — Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted (1999).
Before writing this Joy sent me a story she found on social media. The details within are well documented, so no worries of hoaxy stuff. It’s about Jimmy Stewart, and you’ll especially enjoy the part where they talk specifically about his It’s a Wonderful Life performance. Click here to read it if you’re interested.