What would Carrie Mathison do?
I have always been a movie fan, didn’t care too much about TV series. Yet, there was this one special called Homeland. I started to watch it casually and then, as you might guess, I couldn’t wait a week before the new episode.
What was it about?
Well, don’t expect spoilers here. I am not going to talk about the series.
It was all about Carrie. A bipolar intelligence agent fighting constantly for the safety of her country and catching every moment of breath to survive inner battles, much larger than the real ones. I could relate. Truly, deeply, addictively.
Never before have I seen a character so much like me. Not in a sense that I am an intelligence agent. Far from that. But being a constant soldier fighting for bare life against the dragons inside. I was glued to the screen. I kept watching and what is more, I kept learning. Learning how to deal with immense pain inside and channel it to do good. For me, Carrie is as much a real person as are you, my dear reader. Played by the actress Claire Danes, Carrie produces more different emotions per minute than I have ever seen in a movie. All true. She dwarves Denzel Washington, one of my favorites, to name one, by many orders of magnitude.
What about Carrie?
Her life is full of overwhelming challenges. Every punch she takes is brutal. On top of her illness. Yet, she never gave up. Never. She was close once but came victorious from that situation (trying to take her own life). Every threatening situation she encountered made me think. What would I do? What would I do if I was her? Man, I would crawl into a hole and die. She stood tall. And stood her ground firmly. Every single time.
What would Carrie do?
So, slowly I’ve changed. I began to ask myself. In many situations. What would Carrie do? What if she had a mortgage and was close to eviction? What if she had such a depression only suicidal ideations would occupy her mind? What if she had lost her job? What if she lost connection to her family? What if?
Carrie talk to me!
And she did.
She said that giving up was never an option. She said that I had to fight, every minute of every day and stay focused because things we are responsible for are larger than us. Always. Things we are responsible for are larger.
So I did.
I turned to the dragon that was spitting lava at me. For many months, years. I took my sword, heck, I took my hand grenade launcher and fought full force. I didn’t kill the dragon, I tamed it. Now I use his lava spitting ability when I need it. And I need it often. That was Carrie for me. My teacher. Now, in many situations that life overwhelms me, I think of Carrie and ask myself, what would Carrie do?
But she is just a fictional character…
She is as real as life to me. Because she saved my life. I was inspired. I owe so much to her. And as I have a mental illness I am perfectly fine to have an imaginary friend. I have documents of my diagnosis that say I can. <smile>.
You see. Have you asked yourself? What is real? What we see, or what we feel? It is how we feel that determines what we see. It is how we feel that determines what we do. Feelings are superior to facts. Remember it. I am a LIVING proof of that.
Just a character.
Thank you, Claire Danes. You rule.