Stephen Fry attempted suicide
There’s been a lot of stuff already written about Stephen Fry and his recent attempted suicide revelations, and I’m not sure whether I need to add my voice to the chorus. However, here I am tapping away, so I guess I have made mind up to say something.
I was fortunate enough to be at thewhere the Stephen Fry attempted suicide story came from. Stephen made his revelation about his suicide attempt to Richard Herring, and seeing as he had happily talked long and loud for over an hour by the time he chose to make his revelation, it’s difficult to point out to people that he wasn’t in a sombre mood.
In fact, the hour leading up to it had been witty, wonderful and full of fantastic story telling which Fry is so good at. When he spoke about his battles with depression it was with honesty and a refreshing approach. He didn’t have to say what he said - it was an issue that occurred last year, and having gone so long being kept under wraps, I’ve no doubt that it could have been kept secret for much longer had he wished.
The fact that he chose to reveal this on a podcast also says to me that it certainly wasn’t said for publicity reasons (and as an active member of the charity MIND, any positive publicity would be a great move from the charity’s perspective). Perhaps it was the intimate setting of the podcast. 400 people in a theatre, a few thousand more that listen regularly. It was as close to a safe, secret public place that a celebrity can get.
The most disappointing thing about all of this is some of the negative response I’ve seen. Fry admits in his own Twitter feed that he was door stepped by the press the morning after the revelations made the public domain, and later that he had seen people wishing him dead on websites.
This is a man who has made a very public revelation about something that the majority would keep extremely private had it happened in their lives. He has gone on record to bring mental health problems to light and should be warmly applauded for doing so.
I saw Stephen briefly after the show as he was preparing to leave. I wanted to wish him well, tell him that everything would be ok, or any other numerous things that would probably have been awkward, embarrassing and of little help to the great man, but in truth he looked shattered, and as though all he wanted was to escape. Seconds after appearing at the bar to say goodbye to Richard Herring and his wife, he was gone.
A quick Twitter scan revealed that he didn’t say much about the evening until the next day, though it seems that on his way out of the theatre he bumped into someone who was wandering around Soho and was upset, and he stopped, perhaps only briefly, and said something to her.
I’ll dig out the tweets if I can find them although I suspect they are long buried now. (Pre-posting edit: They’re not buried, so I’ve put a screen shot below.) Quite how he was able to speak to anyone after baring himself so much shortly before is beyond me, but that seems to be what he did.
The Stephen Fry story had an effect on Twitter.
Stephen Fry is a treasure. I’m not sure how or why he became so synced in with the public’s fondness, but the world seems a better place when someone as warm and chatty is here. I hope that he is around much longer, and though I suspect he knows full well that he will never conquer his demons. I just hope he realises he has the strength to ensure they never conquer him.