"I didn't tell anyone that I was going to Santa Fe to kill myself." On the outside, Terri Cheney was a highly successful, attractive Beverly Hills entertainment lawyer. But behind her seemingly flawless facade lay a dangerous secret--for the better part of her life Cheney had been battling debilitating bipolar disorder and concealing a pharmacy's worth of prescriptions meant to stabilize her moods and make her "normal." In bursts of prose that mirror the devastating highs and extreme lows of her illness, Cheney describes her roller-coaster life with shocking honesty--from glamorous parties to a night in jail; from flying fourteen kites off the edge of a cliff in a thunderstorm to crying beneath her office desk; from electroshock therapy to a suicide attempt fueled by tequila and prescription painkillers. With Manic, Cheney gives voice to the unarticulated madness she endured. The clinical terms used to describe her illness were so inadequate that she chose to focus instead on her own experience, in her words, "on what bipolar disorder felt like inside my own body." Here the events unfold episodically, from mood to mood, the way she lived and remembers life. In this way the reader is able to viscerally experience the incredible speeding highs of mania and the crushing blows of depression, just as Cheney did. Manic does not simply explain bipolar disorder--it takes us in its grasp and does not let go. In the tradition of Darkness Visible and An Unquiet Mind, Manic is Girl, Interrupted with the girl all grown up. This harrowing yet hopeful book is more than just a searing insider's account of what it's really like to live with bipolar disorder. It is a testament to the sharp beauty of a life lived in extremes. ...
|Title||:||Manic: A Memoir|
|Number of Pages||:||274 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Manic » Manic: A Memoir|
Manic: A Memoir Reviews
This is an intense memoir by a lawyer with bipolar disorder. Terry Cheney is very smart and successful but also very ill, and this book throws the reader into some awful experiences from page one – where she’s manic, determined to kill herself, and momentarily thwarted in her suicide plan when she’s locked out of her apartment; she unintentionally flirts with the locksmith, who sexually assaults her and then saves her life. Not all events in the book are this extreme, of course, but it is a memo ...more
At its best Manic offers insight, albeit through salacious voyeurism, into mental illness. My main issue with this book though is that I simply did not like the writer. By constantly referring to her own beauty, sexiness, successful education and career, well-to-do family (led by "daddy"), she completely turned me off. The moment she compared her plight to that of Rodney King was it for me.
This book is amazing. It really puts you in the shoes of a bi-polar person rather then just reading about the illness. If you know anyone who is Bi-polar, this is a must read. While I am certainly not a severe as this woman, it does give you a very good idea of what this illness is like.
Not without its well-rendered, vivid, recognizable descriptions of mania and, more sporadically, its moments of intelligence and insight and wit, but overwhelmingly an unsatisfying read on multiple levels.
First there is the problem of its structure, its arrangement, to which there seems to be no discernible logic, so that tracking Cheney—both as writer and as subject—in time and in context is impossible. One never knows what portion of her life—what the state of her career might be, with whom s ...more
There's nothing wrong with the writing in this memoir. It's not astounding, but it's clear and compelling. The description of bipolar disorder seems accurate (to one who is not afflicted, but has known many who are), and it's told in an interesting way -- episodically, which is in keeping with the subject matter.
What's wrong is the protagonist. Should I be allowed to judge the person behind the memoir? That the Universe should save me from such judgment.
I brought the book back to the library, so ...more
Terri Cheney's memoir of her life long battle with bipolar disease is a must read for family members or friends of loved ones who battle this vicious illness. She gives a clear and painful voice to mental illness. Cheney went to Vassar; got her law degree and became an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles; all while battling depression and mania.
Her brutal honesty of her manic times and the months of dealing with the "dark beast" is heartbreaking. Bringing mental illness out into the open is the ...more
Really powerful book. This woman has been through everything and then some.
Terri Cheney details her fight with manic depression through a sequence of non-chronological chapters. She makes it clear at the beginning that this book reflects her life as she has experienced it. It does, on the other hand, result in some doubling-up in the chapters that maybe a part of the mania itself. For example, in quite a few chapters, Cheney describes how sharp each sense develops into during manic episode. The descriptions are the same from chapter to chapter although the circumstance ...more