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by Terri Cheney
William Morrow, 2008
Review by Harold A. Maio on Sep 2nd 2008

Manic

Immediately, frantically, Terri Cheney's Manic, lives up to its promise: bipolar disorder from the inside out, a personal roller coaster ride: "I didn't tell anyone that I was going to Santa Fe to kill myself," then blink!!- "I leased a charming little hacienda just off Canyon Road, the artsiest part of town, bursting with galleries, jazz clubs, and eccentric, cat-ridden bookstores/cafes. It was good place to live..." Page one, overleaf, page two, dual realities, polar opposites. The words in this fast read may be anchored to the page, but the experiences represented are without boundaries.

Told with both candor and bald wit, the life/lives of Terri Cheney rush by in a florid stream of rapidly alternating highs and lows, manias, hypomanias, depressions, suicide attempts, and normalcy, all experienced while engaged in a highly successful professional life, and faltering personal relationships. The discipline to keep all in control fails often and with sometimes terrifying results, mental and physical. The reader is not spared one reality Terri experiences, the inevitable end to the manias, the terrible consequences of both the falls and the flights. She pulls the reader into each experience -every nasty blemish intact, some screaming shrilly at us, others delivered as if a third party outside oneself, experiencing one's own life as observer.

Be prepared. It is a bumpy ride.

© 2008 Harold A. Maio

Harold A. Maio, Advisory Board, American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Board Member, Partners in Crisis