“How Maria Bamford Makes Kintsugi out of her Mental Illness to Create Comedy and Find Love”
Comedian Maria Bamford has struggled with mental health issues her entire life, including OCD, bulimia, and bipolar disorder. But after a severe mental breakdown in 2010, which landed her repeatedly in mental wards, she feared that she’d never work again, let alone have a “normal” life. But with the help of medication, therapy, and the love and support of friends and family she was able to rebuild her life.
In 2013, Maria met Mitch Hurwitz who helped her develop the quirky Netflix comedy, LADY DYNAMITE, which fictionally details her mental health struggles.
That same year she met her now husband Scott Marvel Cassidy. She says his acceptance of her mental health history helped her realize that you can’t wait to be a perfect person to commit to a relationship.
In this New York Times piece , Maria describes a pivotal moment in their courtship:
“…On our fourth date, he said one of the most romantic things I’ve ever heard: ‘I know they don’t let you have sharp stuff in the psych ward. When my mom was in there, she grew a little beard. If that happens to you, I’ll come in and shave your beard!’ His mother, Linda, has passed away, but I think she’d be proud that her son is ready with a Daisy razor. I’ve been stable for the past several years, but I am comforted by that promise of support.”
Scott “was eager to share his own perceived flaws ($52,000 in student loans! Arthritis! An overheating ’92 Saturn! Can’t travel by airplane! ) as well, and in 2015 they sealed their “broken” pieces together with gold and were married.
Maria also creates kintsugi by turning her mental health struggles into comedy gold by defusing the stigma, reframing the issues, and normalizing open discussion.
Maria’s message: “YOU’RE NEVER ALONE!”