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Julian C.


Member

Posted Thu Jun 6th, 2013 12:22am Post subject: Recent "News"

Hello Stephen,

Living in Spain and with an often weak Internet connection I am quite usually behind on UK entertainment news. It was with distress I learnt tonight that your situation recently led you to attempt to take your own life.

I have clinically diagnosed depression albeit not bi-polar, and live week to week contemplating death and turmoil. I also have to appear in public as you do in my work and must retain my sense of humour.

Although it's very possible that this heartfelt message may get lost amongst your wealth of correspondence, I want you to know this. Your humour and sensitivity, sense of joy and kindness, intellect and creativity have all brought so much joy to my life, and I wouldn't like to contemplate a Planet Earth without Stephen Fry.

Please be happy because you make us happy,

Julian


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yblad


Member

Posted Thu Jun 6th, 2013 2:18am Post subject: Recent "News"

Dear Mr Fry. On hearing the news of your recent ill health I felt the need to track you down and write my first ever "fan mail" of any kind. Just to say that as a fellow sufferer from that often cursed, perhaps more tragically often intoxicating, disease that you personally and in a way you will probably not believe made a difference to my life. It is only in the last few years that I was finally diagnosed, and I am only just in my twenties. When I was hopelessly ashamed and too terrified to ever have my wrists on show from the damage I caused myself I saw you living so publicly and so wonderfully open about who you are, and for the first time I realised I have nothing to be ashamed of. I still remember walking into the specialists office and there on the wall, no bigger than a hand, your picture and the words "As many as one in three people has a mental health problem, more people have a problem with that". Now I am not ashamed. I walk proud and fully on show to the world. And if someone should notice and ask me why I tell them nothing but the truth.

Now too I am on the bottom end of that fatiguing see saw act which invariably acts upon our lives, battling with myself over whether I can admit to all the world that I need to take time away from my studies because I am too ill to cope, and I hear the sad news of your health and again your shining example makes me realise that I can do it.

I don't expect you to ever see this, and if you do you will doubtless dismiss my words as those of some crazed fan who has never met you. I would never listen to me either. But if you should read this, I hope that for even the briefest of moments you will know that you have made a difference to the lives of your fellow man. Especially to those who suffer like you. I know that if you are at all like me, even if you wanted to, you could never allow yourself to believe that such a thing could be true and you could have done such good. But I hold a vain hope that perhaps you can and will.

I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery. Thank you for being so unflinchingly who you are.


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sarahknowles


Member

Posted Thu Jun 6th, 2013 1:42pm Post subject: Recent "News"

Dear Stephen,

I was sufficiently alarmed by reports in today’s paper of your recent suicide attempt to google contact details for you at once. I read the details of this website's contact page. I haven't sent a snail mail since writing to my late nana in her rest home and couldn't bring myself to find one of those "pen" things in my house, so this forum will do for me. I have never written a “fan letter," not being the kind of person who idolises the famous. This is embarrassing. I also feel self-conscious because I simultaneously read your tweet advising you're now well, which is good. I know that discussing depression, suicide, and other such topics leads to an outburst of emotion from the audience that is usually no longer relevant to one's own state of mind, and it takes strength and grace to handle that. I must apologise upfront for the burst of earnestness I'm about to give you, but I really just have to implore you.

I am Sarah, I’m 37, and I live in lovely Wellington, where you are well-loved. I have major depression. I don’t intend to relate any tedious war stories.

I know that people’s public personas and utterances are not the same as themselves, and no doubt you have loads of irritating qualities and can be a real so-and-so; but as far as someone can be measured by those public things, you really matter a lot to me. I have especially enjoyed your two memoirs, and I took your candidness about your life to heart. I so appreciate that you talk about your bipolar. It’s trite to say it’s brave etc, but really it is. You are very brave. You are very brave to keep living, as well as to talk about it publicly and then take on all the attention that will bring.

The thing that usually makes me resolve not to kill myself after all is this: depression is pointless, meaningless. It’s not a pain that has a purpose or that is caused by a reason. By God, though, I’m not going to let it win. Not because I am tenacious, though. Oh, no! Because I’m bloody spiteful and nasty. If it can be hateful to me, I can be hateful to it. If I won’t do it (usually “it” refers to something that will make someone else feel better) for my husband and family, whom I am reliably informed that when I am in good health I love, then I won’t do anything for anyone. Since I consider depression to be an evil parasite and by that logic alive, I’m not doing anything to oblige it and that includes killing myself, something I sometimes really want to do. I've tried, but thankfully, failed. Medicine is a miracle, and I'm fine at the moment, so talking about thsi feels a bit like talking about someone else.

Please don’t ever kill yourself. You mean so much to me. This letter to you is from the part of me that’s wrong in the head, but that’s only a wee part of me. I'm an art curator, a singer, a really great cook, a bloody stylish dresser, a good friend, so on. I am very open about my illness, so that others can see it's just one of those horrible things about normal life. That's a piece of work I do partly because of the inspiration you give me. You mean so much not only to the part of me that’s wrong in the head, but all the cool parts too, because you’re cool, and awesome. Please, please. Keep living. For me. I need you to win. If we all keep living, then we all win for each other.

It must be revolting being famous; I don't care if you drop off the radar tomorrow and we never hear from you again because you've gone to be a llama farmer in China or something. I don't want anything from you, I'm not asking you to stay alive so that I can continue to be amused by you on the telly. Just please stay alive, because you are so lovely.


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chasingamy


Member

Posted Thu Jun 6th, 2013 1:46pm Post subject: Recent "News"

Stephen. Mr. Fry. The most Erudite and wonderful person I have ever had the privilege to watch work, and very probably the only man I love enough to even possibly consider being a gay man for, as I consider most men to be unworthy of my love just as much as women. All of these titles I bestow to you in my mind and so much more:

My name is Lee. I'm 36, and suffer from Bi-polar depression, Social Anxiety Disorder and undiagnosed agoraphobia.

On the rare chance that you might stumble upon this message, I feel compelled to tell you, inform you how much you mean to me on a personal level; it had been after your...Life changing documentary that I was finally able to get a diagnosis as to why I persistently had it enter my mind that a cessation of breathing privileges might possibly be a positive outcome for my life. It was after your following Douglas Adam's footsteps that I had discovered the plight of the whale, an animal and an episode that, to this day remains my very favourite; not only because it was to feature what would become one of my very favourite animals, but because it featured one of my very favourite people at his most compassionate, and his most human.

I would like, if I may, like to at least attempt to quantify my thoughts with some context. I shall begin now.

Over the past two years, I have gone from bad to worse; my depressive swings have deepened, and my moments of mania have become ever more manic; this has been exacerbated by the department of work and pensions and ATOS informing me that irrespective of my appending social anxiety and agoraphobic tendencies, all of this was essentially in my mind, and that I am, in fact, fit for work.

Quite. I don't think they grasp the irony of inferring the "in my mind" bit but I digress. Over the past two years, I have barely showered or eaten save for once a day, purely because I can't afford to; I have stopped paying for my BBC television licence, and so my outlet for entertainment has become my back catalogue of DVDs, and this is exactly, PRECISELY where you come in.

For the past two years, whenever I have felt the urge to be cheered up or generally entertained, I have watched Black Adder, Last Chance to see, many episode of QI, Oscar, House, Bones and shows that I have discovered through an incidental interest in pursuing links, however tenuous to you. This may sound a little obsessive, but I promise you - I have never even once considered hunting you down, following you all day and smelling your underwear. Calm down darling, I'm not THAT bad...It's ok. I promise. I still have some sanity left. Nonetheless, you have been an anchor and an example; you have been a catalyst for my ongoing healing, and a light in some very dark places that I wish with all my heart that you didn't have to share sometimes...And this brings me to why I'm here. I hope, and I pray that in some way, the words of an anonymous man may reach you somehow and resonate and echo the many others:

You are loved. As surely as you are by Hugh, by Rowan and Emma, Ken and any of the old crew you happen to still talk to, but by so many more. You have turned your strength into a beacon of light, your voice into an echo of hope to help people come to terms with homosexuality and face their reality; to help those of us with a mental disorder that we sometimes (often) have no control of, to seek help and sometimes medication, and offered your considerable love and compassion to those who need it most. I know it's difficult. I know it's hard to pull yourself out of those dark places, but please remember that friendship and love goes both ways; my love and my strength, such as it is, is yours whenever you need it - and although I don't expect for a moment to see a message in my inbox with you crying your heart out for whatever reason...I am here. I barely sleep, and so if you ever need anyone to keep you company when you need it most, please IM me. IM anyone on here; I'm positive they would make the same offer to you.

Please feel better Stephen. You're never alone.


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Clive


Member

Posted Fri Jun 7th, 2013 12:32am Post subject: Recent "News"

Dear Stephen Fry,

Thank you for everything you've ever done and everything you've yet to do. There are highly intelligent people in this world, and there are genuinely kind-hearted people, incredibly self-aware people, people with intellectual intelligence and others with emotional intelligence or common sense. I don't think anyone else exists who combines all of these qualities, or combines them in quite the same way, other than you.

My Mum thinks you're Oscar Wilde reincarnated. My Gran actually thinks you are Oscar Wilde. I happened to mention to my Mum that I was posting videos on this new website called Ticckle, and that you also posted the odd video on there and had replied to one of mine. She must've told my Gran, because next time I spoke to her she said, 'I hear you've received a message from Oscar Wilde.' I assured her that no, my literary seances had not yet borne fruit, but I had technically communicated with a living hero.

You are so totally my hero.

I went to the roughest state comprehensive school you can imagine and I used to carry your autobiography round with me like a talisman. Part of me wished that I could inhabit a world more like yours, but part of me realised that the hardships and hurts of adolescence are universal - and you expressed them, and responded to them, so perfectly that it gave me immeasurable comfort. I spent most of my time at school terrified of being pelted with things - toilet paper, midget gems, half-eaten sausage rolls, taunts of 'lezzie swot,' etc. - but every time something hit me I'd think - it's ok. Someone else has been through this. I'm not alone. Unfortunately the line 'Don't touch me, I'll only get an erection' didn't quite work on bullies, because I couldn't get an erection (one day I'll be able to), but it confused the hell out of them and gave me time to sneak away to safety. My sister had a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio on the wall above her bed, and I had a poster of the Sound of Music (I wanted to marry Julie Andrews) and a picture of you.

I feel the need at this point to dilute the creepiness of this by saying that I have been interested in other things and subjects and people throughout my life. I'm just not writing a letter to them, so naturally this will seem to feature you largely. Bruce Forsythe doesn't have a forum so I can't write a letter to him. And Julie Andrews won't return my letters any more (I joke).

When I had my 'nervous breakdown' (my nervous breakdown? Makes it sound like a car or something. 'Let's all hop into my nervous breakdown and head to Aldi') last year, it was in part remembering things you'd said or written about depression that got me through my stay in mental hospital. In fact, one night, when my Mum came to visit me, she said, 'You know, Stephen Fry was in mental hospital once, too. So you'll be alright.' I'd spent most of that day lying in bed staring at the ceiling, partly out of a kind of exhausted, drained despair and partly because I daren't leave my room in case Sheila from the room opposite started to talk to me about the dangers of psychic vampires, and I'd just reached the lowest point I think I've ever reached. But what my Mum said to me somehow began to dig me out of this - I made the decision that night to carry on and get out of there and keep living my life as best I could. So, in an inadvertent and entirely unintentional way, you actually sort of saved my life, as I'm sure is the case for many others, too.

This all sounds so sappy and embarrassingly like I'm blowing smoke up your arse, but every word of it is true.

I want to you continue existing in the world because you are an incredible person and you make it a richer and more beautiful place, but that's a very selfish thing to think. Even more than this I want you to continue existing in the world because you deserve to experience more happiness. I adored The Fry Chronicles, but was disconcerted that you seemed to feel the need to apologise so often for the rewards of your success and your wealth. If there is anyone on the planet who deserves the success and wealth they have and yet more, it's you. You deserve every moment of happiness you manage to wring out of life a million times over. You of course can't feel this completely yourself, because you're yourself, and people don't feel things like that about themselves. So I'm telling you, as an objective observer. You deserve it.

I do hope your medication continues to help you every day - thank you so much, too, for being open about this, as I feel there's something of a stigma attached to it and for many, many people it is indispensable (dispensable from a pharmacy, obviously, but) and makes life not only bearable but also enjoyable again. I don't know how it is for you, but for me, before I was on anti-depressants I felt as though I was trying to paint a picture on a horrible gnarled and bumpy canvas with great gashes and huge lumps of pulp in it and I was just about managing and parts of it were beautiful but others were absolute crap but even the beautiful parts were just so difficult, and I wondered sometimes whether it was all worth it. Now, on the medication, the canvas is (nearly) flat and smooth and I can paint with far more ease and do beautiful swirls and spend more time just concentrating on the pleasure of painting - even the crap bits are less difficult and distressing. People say they fear medication will 'flatten' their mood or their thoughts or their personality. In my experience, it doesn't 'flatten', it smoothens. Which is a far more positive and freeing thing than many people realise.

Oh Lord, this has turned into a saga. I'm still not quite sure I should leave the bit in about the pinup picture of you on my wall. You were entirely clothed, I promise. Of course I have no idea whether or not you read this forum, in which case I'm just writing into the ether, which is okay too, because it's the first time I've written about the stuff that happened to me last year and that's a good thing, I guess. And according to my Mum, even if you don't read this it will probably send out some molecules of positivity into the universe that'll be recycled as good feeling anyway.

So I wish you all the best, and thank you again, and I'm off to bed.

'Vote for E.L. Wisty, or invisible nudists will come along and smash you round the face.'

(E.L. Wisty)

My Attempt at Tumbling

Twitter: @CliveLive49

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andy.roberts


Member

Posted Fri Jun 7th, 2013 2:00am Post subject: Recent "News"

Hello Stephen Fry.

I am a long time admirer of your comedy and tv work since the 1980's. I learned of your Bi-Polar diagnosis a couple of years ago through the media and seeing your documentary.

I write after seeing news today regarding your not too distant troubles and am sorry to hear that you continue to suffer the negative effects of this condition to such an extent.

I too was diagnosed Bi-Polar around 10 years ago after a few "manic episodes", and generally experiencing both great highs and great lows throughout life.

I am much happier and more settled since coming to terms with the condition in my own way and being prescribed sodium valproate (Depakote) and learning to "moderate" life, whilst still allowing myself to be myself. I am lucky to have a wonderful partner, family (and pets) as support and a vocation/small business that I tend.

I hope you have the correct functioning medication and support and internal calm to make the most of yourself and your considerable talent.

I am especially impressed to hear that you are president of MIND, what a great ambassador! I have recently decided to volunteer for MIND, and belive that such organisations can make significant contributions and a major difference to people's lives.

As I am posting this on the forum on your website - and you may possibly never even read it - I would like to extend my best wishes to you, and the spirit of this website/forum further by offering my "advice" to anyone else who is reading this message and "suffers" from being diagnosed Bi-Polar, or a similar condition...

Don't use Bi-Polar as an excuse to give up on yourself and your future. You control you. No-one else can (whatever you may sometimes think - or be told). Seek out and accept help when you need it, but try to retain your own inner compass and self-belief.

Don't fall for tricks of the mind, and don't seek them.

Don't focus on negatives. At low times remember the better days & times in your life to lift your mood. Given the choice of being happy or being sad, which would the wise person choose?

Seek balance. Control and nurture your creativity. Defeat depression. Eat well and walk whenever you can (especially in the countryside!).

From a Bi-Polar medication point of view, from experience: stay off/reduce antipsychotics and antidepressants, they are a revolving door. Get on, and stay on a mood stabiliser.

I wish you (and Stephen Fry :)) great luck and solace in the future.

Regards, Andy.


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sonyapayne


Member

Posted Fri Jun 7th, 2013 3:38am Post subject: Recent "News"

Hello Stephen Fry,

I have just discovered your marvellous site. You are an inspiration in so many ways for so many people, creatively, intellectually, mentally.

I am English, living in washington DC for the past 3 years. One of my "hats" is a counsellor at Crisislink, a suicide hotline. In the call centre we were discussing your recent public disclosure about suicide. It is so important to engage the public with suicide discussion; the stigma here as well as in other countries is a huge burden for suicidal people. Thank you so much for your advocay and honesty. Every day on the hotlines we deal with suicidal ideation, intent and intervention. Similarly I was a Samaritan in London. I really hope anyone reading this might take time to find their local/national hotline numbers for themselves and others they know. Our motto for Crisislink is .... when crisis calls, we answer.... We are voluntary workers with little funding. I hope people will seek us out, there is help out there even in the direst of moments, speed dial our number (when in the USA) or local numbers to other countries.

In th USA: 1.800.273.8255
Check us out at : http://crisislink.org

Thank you again for bringing suicide to the nationl and international forum.
Take care of yourself.

Sonya (artist and Crisislink counsellor)


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diane mears


Member

Posted Fri Jun 7th, 2013 4:24pm Post subject: Recent "News"

Mr Stephen fry
I have suffered with depression, since I was 12. At the age of 16 I tryed to take my own life, in my past years there were a few times.
I wake up empty, lonely and sad. I have a good husband, he is the only thing that keeps me going. I understood,everything you said on the interview. We need to educate, we should not hide behind close doors. people need to understand, any change in circumstances, can trigger emotions of no hope. Not enough places, are there for you go to in time of need. Bi Polar I have, and some of my siblings too. It needs to be addressed
Diane Mears


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canuckuk


Member

Posted Fri Jun 7th, 2013 9:40pm Post subject: Recent "News"

Dear Stephen,

As with the above, me too.

Enjoy your holiday in Wales.

Love from me.


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Cordie


Member

Posted Sat Jun 8th, 2013 9:26am Post subject: Recent "News"

Just like so many other writers on this topic I have never written a fanesque letter before but so wish to on this subject.
Dear Stephen you have made so many ordinary little people so happy; please next time you stand on the precipice remember it is necessary for you to just wait there because the feeling will pass. We need you, to comfort and reassure reading Harry Potter, to make us spill our tea laughing on QI and to make us proud when you support the oppressed or financially challenged internationally and locally. When you feel better turn and climb back out into the sunshine even though another pit may open later because it really is worth it after all.


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balance


Member

Posted Mon Jun 17th, 2013 3:46pm Post subject: Recent "News"

Dear Stephen Fry

In a few weeks you became one of my heroes . I read about you story. I was one off The best sportphotographer in Holland. But working 90 Hours a week nearly killed me. I tryed to take my life. I have bipolair. Lost my wife and Son because of that, but after 8 years it got worse. The medicine made me a vegetable. So Many ideas en creativity gone lost because of that.
Now i am figthing to keep my house so my Son can see me. He is 8 years old and we love eachother so much. Hè stays at my house for 4 days a week.
I Hardley go out any more because this desease is a taboo in this so could open minded country.
But there are No people who can understand What it does too you and than i dont want to talk about The horroble medicine that are making it worse to mine opinium.
So we have to stay alive to make it not a taboo.
I always admired you and Please go on with What drives you.


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