“Manic: A Memoir” by Terri Cheney


NOTE: This is not a book review; these are just my thoughts–which may wander.

Terri Cheney, who has bipolar disorder and is a writer, was once a hotshot lawyer for big-time clients in Los Angeles. This memoir takes you through her life’s (mis)adventures (her love life, friendships, career). I don’t want to say too much though, because I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but she definitely takes readers on the roller coaster that is her life.

The story was a little disjointed. Cheney writes about the present and the past, but doesn’t always distinguish where we are chronologically. I realize this is intentional, but it wound up being confusing.

Manic contains a lot of intimate details, but it’s refreshing because the author doesn’t pull any punches, much like (hypo)mania or depression. I think it was brave of her to share her personal history of living with this disease.

However, I didn’t like the narrator, because she’s full of herself (her beauty, her wealth, her Ivy League education). Maybe because in most of the scenes that revolve around her beauty, wealth, and/or education, she’s usually manic.

Cheney does change near the end of the book. She seems humbled. She no longer cares about her appearance (not in a bad way), or how she believes that others perceive her.

If you can get past her attitude, it’s worth reading. She is, at least, outspoken about her mental illness, and that can only help fight stigma.


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