Instead of being deferential like Mary Richards on "Mary Tyler Moore," Cox scared the inside-the-beltway crowd. As the Wonkette in the early days of Gawker, she dug up and then dished the dirt.
That was her ticket to just about any writing job she wanted in establishment and startup media.
Then she disappeared. Where she turned up was back in her home state of Texas. Divorced. And no longer socializing in the D.C. loop.
She remarried and does writing for The Guardian. Of course, she retains a gigantic global fan club. To those who follow her on Twitter, she revealed she was in recovery.
Starting before Thanksgiving, she warned with her Tweets how self-defeating it was for any of her fans to resume drinking. My hunch is that she prevented plenty of relapses. She might be thought of as the ultimate digital recovery sponsor.
Today, on Twitter, as a salute to the late Carrie Fisher, Cox revealed that she too, like Fisher, is bipolar.
That was an act of heroism. Those of us who have faced the demons of "brain disease" - as "mental illness" is now called - know that it's getting okay to be a clinical depressive. But, no, it's not okay to out ourselves as bipolar.
Fisher positioned and packaged her bipolar condition as, well, a long-running joke. In my support group for various forms of brain disease we would quote the witty ways she did that. We had a good communal laugh. We left the meeting with a spring to our step.
Fisher could financially afford to take on the role of patron saint of the bipolar. For Cox, there could be risk. But it is through that outing of herself that others struggling with a bipolar diagnosis might have hope. They could be thinking: Hey, look at Cox now. I too can do that.
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