Expected release date: August 20th 2019, Find Bassey here
I wouldn’t call this a review, I’m not sure what to call this. I wrote this down in the nearest notebook while being flooded with emotion over the essay “It Has A Name”, sobbing over how much I relate to Bassey, and how important a story like hers is. A friend of mine recently said (oddly, about 2 hours after I wrote this “review” down), “Being this fucked up makes us special as fuck. We have abilities and wisdom and can help other people in ways that no one else can…Flaunt your damage, bitch. Love it. Be proud of who you are and where you come from…Let them see it. There are so many people who NEED to see it”. My friend is absolutely correct (thank you, Stace). There are so many people who need to know that someone has felt the same way they do. Bassey opened herself up and poured her experiences into this book. She helped me. I have the same disorder as Bassey, Bipolar Type 2 mixed. This means that I experience hypomania which is different from mania (typically experienced by those who have Bipolar Type 1). “Mixed” refers to the fact that at times, most times, while experiencing hypomania I am still experiencing depression and vice versa. I will be recommending this book to everyone. Here, this is the “review”… which, if i’m being honest with myself and the person reading this right now, is just my raw emotional reaction to Bassey’s story:
Reading Ikpi’s essay “It Has A Name” and relating to it on a deeper level than even the word “relating” can mean was important. So important to read someone else’s story, someone with a very different background a very different life putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and telling the world how they feel…when they feel the same way I feel. Reading a published author brutally open up about having bipolar type 2 was revelatory. This is someone who knows, who understands what it’s like to live with a brain like my own- a brain that isn’t broken but feels so terribly broken. A brain that tells you, “you aren’t good enough to be heard, to be loved, to eat, to go outside, to open your mouth or your fingers and speak, to breathe…to exist.” Our stories are important. Ikpi’s story is important. MY story is important. It isn’t important because we (the mentally ill) are inherently special or more important than anyone else. It is important because for so long we have been afraid to say “THIS IS HOW I FEEL, THIS IS HOW I SUFFER AND SURVIVE”- we have been afraid to say “I am bipolar” because countless times this fact has been met with someone recoiling from us as if we are dangerous because we are ill. Writers like Ikpi are showing writers like myself that the stories we hold within our bodies and brains aren’t just worthy of being told, they need to be told.