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An Icon Took Me In

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By Mara Shapshay

09/11/12

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As the icon got busier with work, we spent less and less time together, at which point the inherent problems in the relationship—the fact that when we were out in public together, fans and entertainment industry people would literally push me aside or flat out stand in front of me to get to her—were exacerbated. I had worked for celebrities before and was used to being shoved out of the way but this was different. I wasn’t working for her. I was her friend.  

All those feelings I’d had growing up feeling neglected and insignificant came back to me in spades. I was in the midst of doing a massive fourth step and it contained glaring example after glaring example of me hiding behind powerful bosses, celebrities and men. I had been eclipsing myself by bright lights for a long time. I came to the realization that the only illumination I needed or wanted was God's and with His help, I could shine brilliantly on my own.

I had been looking for work the months while living with the icon but not until I came to this realization did I find a job. It didn’t pay much but it allowed me to move into my own place. And slowly, little by little, I’ve been able to build a life back up. I would love to say that the icon and I are still close but we’re not. We simply lost touch. Still, I will be forever grateful to her for everything she has done for me. She truly is an angel—one who eventually taught me that I didn't need live in the shadows any longer.  

My current philosophy on life if that it’s one great dinner party and that I can sit at the big fancy table on my own. And if I have any message to give those in early recovery who feel "less than,” it’s this: you’re not. Take your rightful place at your dinner party. And may the force (or your Higher Power) be with you.

Mara Shapshay is a writer/comedian/performer who has a BFA from NYU Film and an MFA from the American Film Institute. She is a stand-up comic who performs regularly at The Comedy Store, Improv, Laugh Factory, and many other venues. In addition, Mara writes for The Huffington Post and Glamour Magazine. This is her first piece for The Fix.

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