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!Free ♳ I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying: Essays ♶ A deeply personal collection of essays exploring Nigerian American author Bassey Ikpi s experiences navigating Bipolar II and anxiety throughout the course of her lifeBassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria inFour years later, she and her mother joined her father in Stillwater, Oklahoma a move that would be anxiety ridden for any child, but especially for Bassey Her early years in America would come to be defined by tension an assimilation further complicated by bipolar II and anxiety that would go undiagnosed for decadesBy the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO s Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam, channeling her experiences into art But something wasn t right beneath the facade of the confident performer, Bassey s mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar IIDetermined to learn from her experiences and share them with others Bassey became a mental health advocate and has spent the fourteen years since her diagnosis examining the ways mental health is inextricably intertwined with every facet of ourselves and our lives Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie One of my most anticipated reads of the year, this sadly did not completely work for me I found it very difficult to spend time in Ikpi s head especially during the parts when her mental illness was not yet diagnosed She unflinchingly shines a light on her behaviour without ever giving herself the benefit of filtering it through the lense of her later diagnosis As part of her symptoms are irritability and self hate, this made for a very difficult reading experience I can intellectually abs One of my most anticipated reads of the year, this sadly did not completely work for me I found it very difficult to spend time in Ikpi s head especially during the parts when her mental illness was not yet diagnosed She unflinchingly shines a light on her behaviour without ever giving herself the benefit of filtering it through the lense of her later diagnosis As part of her symptoms are irritability and self hate, this made for a very difficult reading experience I can intellectually absolutely appreciate what she achieves here, it also means that this is a book I am unlikely to ever read again.Content warning depictions of depression and manic episodes, eating disorders, childhood abuse, spousal abuse Updated December 9 I loved this book so much I decided to make it a BookOfCinz book club pick This is a truly moving collection that deserves to be read I was simply storing up my tears, I would need them later Somehow I knew this I am speechless and in tears after reading Bassey Ikpi s I m Telling the Truth, but I m Lying Reading this collection of deeply personal essays was like picking up your best friend s well written diary and getting genuine and utterly vulnerable look into thei Updated December 9 I loved this book so much I decided to make it a BookOfCinz book club pick This is a truly moving collection that deserves to be read I was simply storing up my tears, I would need them later Somehow I knew this I am speechless and in tears after reading Bassey Ikpi s I m Telling the Truth, but I m Lying Reading this collection of deeply personal essays was like picking up your best friend s well written diary and getting genuine and utterly vulnerable look into their life I am blown away by not only well written, utterly beautiful and moving the writing is, but how Ikpi is able to remain honest and real throughout the entire collection This book takes guts to write, putting your truth out there takes bravery and I remain in awe at the author s courage I picked up this book because of the snarky title but I didn t know the author or what the book would be about and I am happy I did because I didn t want to prepare myself for how blown away I would be In this collection of essays Ikpi who suffers from bipolar talks about her life, from childhood when she migrated from Nigeria to the US, to her various relationships and ultimately getting diagnosed with bipolar and detailing what that on going battle is like for her It is not every day you pick up a deeply personal collection of essays written by a Nigerian woman that details her battle with bipolar and I was here for all of it What really took my breath away was when Ikpi s doctor listed the signs of bipolar and all the signs were things she thought of as her personality trait WOW Almost all the essays were stand outs but I particularly loved, Young Girls They Do Get Weary, The Hands That Held Me, Yaka, Like A War, This Is What Happens When, Beauty in Breakdown It Has a Name These essays hit home for me in so many ways particularly the exploration of the mother and daughter relationship That theme was present throughout the book and my heart really went out to the author and her mother because mother daughter relationships are so freaking hard When the author sayI forgive her always because how can you not forgive someone whose whole life was a sprint towards survivalI felt that I also really really loved the essay that addresses her relationship with a man who was unwilling to commit and who I felt gaslighted TF out of her When she said This is what he does He shows you his hand and makes you feel ashamed for looking at itmy breath left my body WOW Overall, a truly moving, deeply personal and beautiful collection of MUST READ essays WOW I ve been picking up some books based on Roxane Gay s recommendations recently and damn that woman s got taste I m Telling the Truth but I m Lying is a deeply personal collection of essays exploring Nigerian American author Bassey Ikpi s experiences navigating Bipolar II and anxiety throughout the course of her life I was simply storing up my tears, I would need them later Somehow I knew this Bassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria in 1976 Four years later, she and her mother joined her fa I ve been picking up some books based on Roxane Gay s recommendations recently and damn that woman s got taste I m Telling the Truth but I m Lying is a deeply personal collection of essays exploring Nigerian American author Bassey Ikpi s experiences navigating Bipolar II and anxiety throughout the course of her life I was simply storing up my tears, I would need them later Somehow I knew this Bassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria in 1976 Four years later, she and her mother joined her father in Stillwater, Oklahoma a move that would be anxiety ridden for any child, but especially for Bassey Her early years in America would come to be defined by tension an assimilation further complicated by bipolar II and anxiety that would go undiagnosed for decades By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO s Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam, channeling her experiences into art But something wasn t right beneath the fa ade of the confident performer, Bassey s mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.Throughout the book, we watch as she grapples with mental illness, chasing what she considers to be a normal life But time is not linear and memory is not what it purports to be as her mind has found ways to protect her from memories that it perceives to be dangerous In turn, the same function creates fantastic accounts of what happened Anxiety is its own creature Anxiety asks me to focus on the terrible things I ve done The people I ve hurt The promises I ve broken Anxiety tells me to make a list Mistakes Regrets Lies A litany of shortcomings, a coil tightened, ready to spring Determined to learn from her experiences and share them with others Bassey became a mental health advocate and has spent the fourteen years since her diagnosis examining the ways mental health is inextricably intertwined with every facet of ourselves and our lives Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie The problem is that I don t remember much about my childhood and have only fragments of everything else, Ikpi writes in This First Essay Is to Prove to You That I Had a Childhood The admission is appreciated, but what matters most to me is Ikpi is able to bring us into her world and capture how the moments she shares with us made her feel So, while Ikpi is correct in that what she does remember is presented with stark clarity in select essays, as far as the details that are scant to her, where they may lack in specifics they make up for in beautiful prose on what life with mental illness looks like in all its facets through powerful stories found throughout her debut book.Her writing style can sometimes be quite overdramatic He is the only one I regret being too broken for If I could have allowed myself to love him, maybe this life would have shaped itself differently Maybe I wouldn t have had to wait to break Maybe I wouldn t have broken at all Or fallen Or maybe he would have caught me Or maybe I would have destroyed him I think I would have destroyed him but as a reader you are inclined to indulge her in that regard After all, it s how she s come to survive all of this Bassey is unflinchingly honest in this essay collection nothing is off the table She discusses her childhood and her experience with multiple dissociative episodes Central to her book s title and disconcerting is the fact that she has fragmented and sometimes, false memories of certain life events I thought about the way my mind wanders, how I drift through days losing hours, forgetting to remain in my body How they call me absentminded, forgetful The way I am mercury spilling over surfaces solid and liquid, here and not Although the chronology of the stories does not follow the traditional structure of a memoir, the structure of compilation reflects the fragmentation of time Ikpi experiences in attempts to recall her memories Her recollection of NASA s Challenger explosion is visceral while the memory is mangled by the incorrect time stamp that she alleges is the truth while Google states otherwise This explosion seems to centre the moment where Ikpi believes she lost control of her mind and gained the paranoia that caused her to want to take responsibility for the misfortune In one of the essays titled Becoming a Liar , Ikpi explains one can survive truths by telling lies In recalling the time that she crashed into the garage door at her parent s home, Ikpi creates an elaborate story about how the accident came to be The narrative is ripped and crumbled when she admits that she actually does not know nor recall how the accident occurred, only that she and her family would declare the fabled testimony as truth This book is ostensibly about mental health, and it is that We follow her from the early signs that no one recognized, through the crisis and out to the other side This is not a trite book about victory over mental illness, excepting the fact that she is still with us she is clear that every day is a struggle But to present it as only a book about mental illness is to sell it short This is a book about the human condition and how hard it is to live in this broken world in these frail bodies So if you don t recognize yourself in some of the despair, self flagellation, euphoria, pride, profound love, and profound self doubt, then it s time for some introspection I give them the suggestion Allow yourself morning I tell them it means that today may have been a rolling ball of anxiety and trembling, a face wet and slick with tears, but if you can get to morning, if you can allow yourself a new day to encourage a change, then you can get through it Allow yourself morning This book chronicles how one woman learned to face her troubles You want to root for her well being You want to beunderstanding of others And, for some of us, by the end of I m Telling The Truth, but I m Lying, you might find yourself realizing you are no less guilty of telling yourself certain stories in order to deal with trauma, secrets, and shame The hope is that you ve taken such troubles on even half as mightily as Bassey has Deep truths underlie this fragmented, compelling narrative, which leaves readers wishing only the best for its harrowed author Many thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewAfter giving this a good chance, I ve finally decided to permanently DNF it It just wasn t holding my attention That said, I still recommend you give it a try I think some readers will enjoy thisthan I did Goodreads Blog Pinterest LinkedIn YouTube Instagram Many thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewAfter giving this a good chance, I ve finally decided to permanently DNF it It just wasn t holding my attention That said, I still recommend you give it a try I think some readers will enjoy thisthan I did Goodreads Blog Pinterest LinkedIn YouTube Instagram I have never read a memoir quite like this Such powerful prose, almost poetic in how it engaged not just my mind but also my soul I could not put this down it just held on to me and I ripped through in two evenings While I haven t experienced much of what Bassey Ikpi has, she tells her story in such a raw and riveting way that I felt her journey in my being I learned so much about mental illness, as she has experienced it, and about myself, in all the ways in which Bassey s journey speaks I have never read a memoir quite like this Such powerful prose, almost poetic in how it engaged not just my mind but also my soul I could not put this down it just held on to me and I ripped through in two evenings While I haven t experienced much of what Bassey Ikpi has, she tells her story in such a raw and riveting way that I felt her journey in my being I learned so much about mental illness, as she has experienced it, and about myself, in all the ways in which Bassey s journey speaks to all of our journeys She is an amazing writer and human being This book is a gift you owe yourself Revolutionary Thank you for telling your story This book is a giant step towards normalizing mental illness within the Black community. This is a searing, lyrical piece of work Bassey Ikpi started her career as a poet, and it shows as she finds music in heartbreaking moments There are lines that will make you laugh out loud I still hate yoga, it s like a game of Simon Says that no one ever wins and descriptions so evocative they make you freeze a sweater is burgundy, the color of Anne s raspberry cordial, and that one line captures a type of girl that, if you were also one, identifies a kindred spirit This book is oste This is a searing, lyrical piece of work Bassey Ikpi started her career as a poet, and it shows as she finds music in heartbreaking moments There are lines that will make you laugh out loud I still hate yoga, it s like a game of Simon Says that no one ever wins and descriptions so evocative they make you freeze a sweater is burgundy, the color of Anne s raspberry cordial, and that one line captures a type of girl that, if you were also one, identifies a kindred spirit This book is ostensibly about mental health, and it is that We follow her from the early signs that no one recognized, through the crisis and out to the other side This is not a trite book about victory over mental illness, excepting the fact that she is still with us she is clear that every day is a struggle But to present it as only a book about mental illness is to sell it short This is a book about the human condition and how hard it is to live in this broken world in these frail bodies Bassey is the canary in the mine what we may sense as a one or two on the Richter scale, she registers as a 10 But if you don t recognize yourself in some of the despair, self flagellation, euphoria, pride, profound love, and profound self doubt, then it s time for some introspection.I love this book and can t wait to share it with my friends A powerful story about Nigerian American author Bassey Ikpi s experiences navigating her newfound Bipolar II diagnosis, as well as the anxiety she faced throughout her life I most enjoyed this book s profound honesty, like Ikpi s initial refusal to accept her diagnosis when she learned about it, how she just could not fathom having to take medication for Bipolar II for the rest of her life As someone in the mental health field and as someone who has experienced mental illness, I found her shar A powerful story about Nigerian American author Bassey Ikpi s experiences navigating her newfound Bipolar II diagnosis, as well as the anxiety she faced throughout her life I most enjoyed this book s profound honesty, like Ikpi s initial refusal to accept her diagnosis when she learned about it, how she just could not fathom having to take medication for Bipolar II for the rest of her life As someone in the mental health field and as someone who has experienced mental illness, I found her sharing so raw and real While everyone has a unique experience with mental health and mental illness, I suspect that many who have grappled with Bipolar disorder in particular will find some solace and solidarity in I m Telling the Truth, but I m Lying I also appreciate her sharing her journey as a Nigerian American woman, given that the face of mental health in the United States is still so often a white one There s a lot of stigma surrounding mental illness in the United States, a stigma that is often heightened for people of color This book is not a tale of triumph over mental illness, rather, Ikpi gives an honest account into the highs and the lows and how she found some peace within a life turned upside down Her story serves as a great reminder about how we should always strive for compassion in a society that ridicules and does not put in the effort to understand those with neurodivergence or mental illness Recommended to those interested in memoir and mental health What can I say about a book that touched my soul so deeply First, Ikpi s experience with mental illness and difficult family dynamics allowed me a path to think about my own life and how my mental illness has impacted me There were times that I literally had to put the book down because her words forced me in a good way to face things that I had tried to push aside I found myself havingempathy for myself, which is something that does not come easy to me I found myself being gentler w What can I say about a book that touched my soul so deeply First, Ikpi s experience with mental illness and difficult family dynamics allowed me a path to think about my own life and how my mental illness has impacted me There were times that I literally had to put the book down because her words forced me in a good way to face things that I had tried to push aside I found myself havingempathy for myself, which is something that does not come easy to me I found myself being gentler with myself I also found myself having to admit things I had done that were hurtful.Ikpi s writing is superb What she is able to do with a sentence and how she makes you visualize what she is writing about floored me I could see myself there, experiencing what she was That sometimes made for difficult reading but it connected me deeply to her story.Thank you, Bassey Ikpi, for this gorgeous book that allows us all to learn about, to grow with, to empathizewith those of us who live with mental illness