In 1983, Fisher married singer Paul Simon. “One of the things I really liked about Paul,“ she says, is that “any words that have a certain rhythm are very soothing to me. Before I got into drugs, I was into books. And I was into the ways you could say it … Because otherwise it was just me, inside of all that. And that was something that I thought Paul did … He conveyed those worlds and those rhythms. And he could take you there.”
But neither the marriage nor the calming rhythms lasted. At one point, she says she was taking 30 Percadin a day to try to mellow out her manic state. Fisher, who has written about her drug addiction in the best-selling book Postcards From the Edge, was hospitalized two years ago. “I had a psychotic break. I was in lock-up for two weeks,” she says. “I continued as an outpatient for five months. And I belonged there. I wasn’t there by accident.”
Today, thanks to doctors, time and six different medications taken daily, Fisher is healthier and has written a made-for-TV movie entitled “These Old Broads,” about a wife who is betrayed by her husband who runs off with one of her glamorous friends. The movie stars Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley Maclaine, Joan Collins, and, ironically, Elizabeth Taylor as the other woman.
“I outlasted my problems,” says Fisher. “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.”