Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Who I Aspire To Be?

Who do I aspire to be like?  That is an easy answer for me!  My mother.  My mom is one of the people that can do anything and everything!  She is like a super hero.  When I was little I would always be in awe by the stories she told us, how she taught us be use our imaginations, to get outside and explore, how to use common sense, how to be have strong character, be confident, shake peoples hands, be polite, have manners, and to live life to the fullest.  With all her hard work raising my brother, sister, and I she accomplished all of it.  I wouldn't be the person I am today without all her amazing guidance.  I survived two life changing episodes that could have destroyed my life in more ways than one.  But because of all the tools mom taught me in life I came out of the depth of hell as strong as an ox and the courage of a lion!  My mom and I get into little rough patches once in a while but so does everybody right!  We always get through it though.  Most of the time it is me taking things a little too serious.  I don't know where I would be today without her.  I hope throughout my life I can be just like mom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I was in a real slump this past October.  I can think back now of coarse and see my triggers!  First of all I booked too many events.  It was hard for me to say no and I always talk myself into more than I can take on.  MISTAKE!  Then I had some rough stuff happen in my family which was emotionally awful.  Third and last I got physically sick.  So take into account all of that it turned into a nice package of depression.  JUST KIDDING.  It was awful.  Lots of crying, anger, agitation, stomping around, hard to eat, and even tougher to sleep!  So I did something wild I bought a puppy on the spur of the moment.  A Golden Retriever.  Matt named him Murphy.  He was the perfect distraction for my depression.  While Allie was at school I walked him, taught him tricks, hugged him, talked to him, and loved on him.  He is so sweet and cute how could I not get a little happy.  AND little by little he started to chip away at my depression and I came back to myself - free of sadness - at least for now.  I love our new addition to the family!  Maggie

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sea Glass

I don't know what it is about sea glass but I love looking for it.  My friend Tara and I started really getting into when our husbands went on a guys golf tournament weekend.  We took the kids to the beach every day to save our sanity!  A friend of mine told me about a couple of fun place to collect sea glass so off we went!  Little did we know we would be getting addicted to it.  Maybe it is something about the tumbled glass and beauty of each piece that intrigues me.  When we go we stay for hours looking up and down at low tide finding these small treasures that bring so much gratification to us.  Our children run up and down looking for sea creatures, building sand castles, and kicking balls into the water.  Even our husbands our happy.  They sit and kick back in their chairs reading the paper, or watching the surfers, or talking about the sad sorry Chargers!  I now need to do something neat with all these wonders of the sea.  Maybe a necklace or two, some candles, or glue them around a frame.  Sea Glass has a special place in my heart from 15 years ago.  I was in a psychiatric ward at Stanford.  One of our craft days was taking small pebbles of rounded sea glass and gluing them on a candle.  Back then it was such a big deal that I could complete an actual task.  When you are in a manic episode it feels almost hopeless to finish anything no matter how small.  Now I think of this sea glass that I collect today.  I am a well person for the most part.  I get to be out with friends and family while collecting it.  I feel the freedom and the passion while I pick up these pieces that I am alive, I am blessed, I am able to be among others.  What a privilege that is.  Maggie

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beach Walks Help Me Smile!

I love the ocean.  Something about sound of the waves, the feel of the sand beneath my feet, the birds in 6 packs running along the shoreline hoping to eat the sand crabs, and the beautiful treasures I find along the way.  At twenty two years old I moved to my first beach town.  Ocean Beach in San Diego, Ca.  It was a funky little place with tons of character.  I would ride my bike all over town, go to the farmers markets every Wednesday for cheese and fresh vegetables, and surf with Matt.  I lived two blocks from the ocean in a 500 square foot beach cottage.  It was a blast.  Even on a bad day as long as I got myself down to the ocean things would start to pick up.  This past weekend we stopped by this little town for a burger.  It was fun to show Allie where Matt and I had lived and where our love continued to grow.   Years later I lived in Coronado Island for a year with Matt and my daughter Allie while looking for a home to buy.  While living on the island, our favorite place was called Silver Strand State Beach.  On a low tide we would find sand dollars everywhere.  Even after we moved off the Island and now live 20 minutes away from the closest beach I still go to get myself out and into the world.  I love getting sandy, chasing my daughter into the waves, reading the Wall Street Journal with Matt, and most of all taking in God's beauty.  Maggie

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Fresh Start

Allie gives me a reason to get out of bed.  Even when I am really down and out I can't just crawl down in my covers like I used to.  All throughout my twenties on a bad day I would cry and do everything I could to avoid life.  It was tough when I had my job...sometimes I would cancel appointments because I was so depressed.  When you have a child you can't cancel, you can't check out, you have to feed them, clean them, get them to school.  Allie makes me want to live even when my mind is playing awful tricks on me and I want to check out.  She is the light to my daily life.  Yes my husband is too but now that I have a child I feel as though I have so much more of a responsibility to stay on top of my illness.  I need to be here for Allie 100% and that means working on what it takes to beat bipolar one day at a time.   I love Allie more than I thought I could love anybody.  I love this picture of her in her little Burberry coat in front of the famous fountain at Balboa park.  It shows happiness...it show life.  Maggie

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bipolar NDB Media Blog Talk Radio

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ndbmedia/2011/10/28/bipolar-maggie-reese-author-of-runaway-mind Hey check out my interview next week with Host Cliff of NDB Media Blog Talk Radio. He has over 100,000 listeners world wide...tune in next Thursday at 6pmPST or (9pmEST)

Maggie Reese wrote a book about her life dealing with the manic part of bipolar disorder. She started out a success as a runner but then it all fell apart. Ho Oct 27

So the story  behind my first radio interview!  I sent off a book to a Blog Radio guy named Cliff who showed interest in my book and said he might be able to give me an interview if it turned out he liked it!  He read it and loved it.  I didn't hear back for a while which is very typical in all of this kind of work.  It takes time for people to get back....they are busy with life and business!  Anyway I got an e-mail from him and he wanted to do the show.  It was so much fun and not nerve racking at all.  We did a two hour program that included my mom and dad calling in and two close friends.  It was funny my husband Matt was so nervous he had to take Allie to Walmart to go buy an Angry Bird stuffed animal!  Funny!  He then had the World Series game 6 on while the program started.   At the end he gave me tons of hugs and said how proud he was.  My mom and dad called and were all excited too.  FUN!  Cliff or should I say Zeke...radio name) was fantastic.  He also has Bipolar and it was great to connect with him.  He understood me as all fellow bipolar people do.  They just get it.  Which is comforting.  Zeke does mostly baseball type shows so it was really cool that he wanted to do a program on my book.  I hope to fly out to New York to meet him on Tri-City field where he is trying to get an event there for a mental health day.  New York I am there any day of the week.  I like to see what goes on there in my weekly Wall Street Journal.  Fantastic City + Baseball what is not to like!  This may lead to more radio interviews in the future!  Thanks to Zeke for taking that chance on me to tell my story!!  To listen to the show press on the link above.  Maggie

Monday, October 24, 2011

NAMI San Diego Event

I got to the NAMI San Diego group early so I could talk with a few of the members and maybe learn something from ask the doctor.  It was nice to meet some new people.  I didn't gain any new insight from ask the Dr. but I saw how much it helped others so that was a huge plus.  The speech went really well, the Q&A was great, and people got their book at the end.  I even had a girl sing to me at the end of the event which made a couple of tears come out.  Her father had bipolar and she was so touched by my story.  I also had a lady come up to me with an already signed copy of my book.  "Maggie I can't thank you enough for this book.  It has helped me have hope to cling too.  You gave this to my brother when you bought your piano!"  A few weeks ago I had bought a piano from this cool guy named Damion at the Salvation Army.  He and I had gone back and forth on the price of the piano and I got it for half price.  He wanted to know about my background with music.  I told him how I grew up playing and now I needed one in my home to help with a way to release stress because of my bipolar.  Damion said, "Wow that is crazy, my sis has bipolar!"  I told him I would drop off a book for him and I did. It was so amazing that weeks later here was Damion's sister with tears and her hands clutching hard to the book.  Later that month I got the Young Advocate of the Year Award for NAMI San Diego!  Maggie

Kaplan College

I found my way into Kaplan College because my friend Tara knew a friend of hers that went there and really enjoyed my book. Tiffiny gave the book to her instructor who then got in touch with me to come speak to her Psych Nursing students.  They were just about ready to graduate and looked at me with board stares as I began my talk.  I immediately knew if I was going to get the students off their iphones and laptops I had to throw in some crazy stuff to gain their attention.  I first started out with my adventures through Yosemite at 3am rollerblading around the valley floor.  A few heads popped up with curiosity.  Then I threw in the dr. threats, the horse ride in the middle of the night, and the body guard factor from my book.  With that I got the class....even the sleeping guy in the back opened his eyes.  It was fun to make eye contact with each student.  Giving them the insight about what they might see on the job and how my story just may help them out their in the real world.  At the end I had 13 of the 20 students buy a copy.  The teacher said she had never had such a great speaker!  Yes I had won the respect of a bunch of college students and the teacher!  Afterward Tara and I went out for some yummy baked potatoes.  We love to eat out.  It gave us time to recharge, laugh about the guy sleeping in the back that liked me by the end, and then go about our fun San Diego life.  Maggie

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rancho Bernardo Rotary Speech

My mom told me over a year ago that I needed to start speaking!  She said, "Margaret you need to speak for the Rotary Clubs, Lions, ect..."  I was at that point thinking well I would just sell a few books on line and call it a day.  Well mom was right speaking for these groups and it has been such a joy to me.  I love meeting all the members, eating a yummy lunch, and then getting to educate the public on being aware of mental illness.  That it is everywhere and most of the time you can't see it.  Maybe you might see the poor soul lost on the streets but so many of us are just like that person yet we have a home to live in and someone to take care of us.  Yet our minds are the same.  It is been a blessing to speak for these groups....to learn their stories of life, their backgrounds, and some really good advice usually gets tossed out there with a lot of laughs!  Maggie

National Alliance of Mentally Ill San Diego Walk May

This was the first time I had ever been apart of a NAMI Walk.  It was a huge turn out.  About 2 thousands people plus showed up to walk the event.  It was such a neat experience to be able to have a booth there.  It was uplifting but yet sad all at the same time.  I would hear a great story of hope from a parent and then a sad one from someone else who had lost a loved one to mental illness.  I was not feeling well this day physically but I pushed through the event anyway.  I probably shouldn't have done the event with how sick I was.  I ended up getting bronchitis and laying in bed for 6 weeks to get well.  This showed me that while I would like to conquer everything I need to still take care of myself.  I have never  in my life been that sick.  This event led Tara and I to many contacts along with again helping so many families.   If you ever can be apart of a NAMI Walk do it once for everyone knows someone suffering with some kind of mental illness.  Do your part!  Maggie

Warwicks Book Signing in La Jolla

Trying to get in a bookstore is not fun let me tell you!
I found out that if you are a self-published author things look a little bleak....but there are always exceptions to the rules right!  They say to never march into a bookstore with your book.  Well to make a long story short....I did, Warwicks loved it, and they even let me do a book signing there.  I was even able to sell my books out of their bookstore because I sold enough books on the day of my signing.  My big goal is to of coarse get it published by a huge publisher and then go to the New York Best Seller list.  I have always been a big dreamer.  I can't help it.  It is in my blood to go until I cannot go any more.   For a self-published author the average total sales for a book is 150 books then the book dies out.  So far I have crushed that record which remember I like to break records!  I have sold now close to 2000 books since December of 2010 with just in the past 9 months starting to get the word out there!  Warwicks was fun and fancy.  Afterward my assistant/friend Tara and I went out to a cute restaurant named Cody's which overlooks the La Jolla cove.  It was fun to celebrate and smell the salty sea air.  We had got in!  Maggie

National Alliance of Mentally Ill North Coastal Speech

This was a fun speech for NAMI North Coastal in San Diego.  Over 100 people attended that night, a lot of laughs, hugs, tears, and books were sold.  It was one of those nights where we just didn't know what to expect and how my story would touch so many lives.  My assistant Tara got this speech for me by sending out tons of e-mails and staying on top of it.  I have found out that it not only takes e-mails, but sending out books to the proper places, calling, and even hand written letters to get events booked.  Different ways work for all kinds of different people right!  It was mid-July at this time and the weather was hot.  I had a house full of relatives which was a great distraction from being nervous.  I swam all day with the kids and then slicked my hair back for this event.  I call it the swim do!  Do you like it?  I had met Kathy and Bob the Presidents of this chapter from an earlier NAMI Walk that I had done in San Diego.  It was great to see them again and then be talking for their group.  A great night for all!  Maggie

Voice Award - Hollywood Baby

Okay so I have never been to Hollywood.  I like to think of myself there in maybe in a different life but I think...you know if I was there right now it probably wouldn't be a good one.  I did have the opportunity to go to the Voice Awards this past August.  I dressed up in a beautiful dress that my mom had bought me from Neiman Marcus about 10 years ago.  I was overjoyed that it still fit even after having my baby girl Allison.  My good friend Tara found my shoes...Good old Steve Madden did the trick there.  My two good friends Carrie and Kathy rode into Hollywood in style in a stretch limo.  I thought well I better show up to Paramount Pictures in a decent vehicle.  So in we road laughing and drinking water!  We listened to incredible people who had recovered from addiction and mental health problems.  They had been to the depths of hell and had made it back and big!  That is the kind of people that inspire me.  The after party was fun and it was neat to see all kinds of famous people.  I did do one crazy thing....I ran after the producer of my favorite movie The Fighter.  I gave him my card in front of the fountain of Paramount Pictures.  He laughed when I told him to make my movie.  He was kind.  I don't know if he tossed my card but it is always worth a shot.  I never let an opportunity pass me by!  Well off to pick up my little one from school.  She is more important than anything I might ever get in Hollywood.  Maggie

International Bipolar Foundation Speech

So here is the story behind my speaking career....My 94 year old Grandma Virginia goes to a luncheon in Fresno, Ca about mental health.  She gives my book to somebody in the International Bipolar Foundation....which gets to the President Muffy Walker.  She loves it and asks me to be a speaker for their monthly meeting where they have usually about 65 or more.  My Pastor gives me 15 minutes to talk in front of my church....a good practice.  Then last march I did my first professional speech for The International Bipolar Foundation which went off well.  I give the credit to God, my Grandma, Muffy for that chance, and my Pastor for believing that I could be a speaker and a good one!  This picture was taken in La Jolla right before I went in!  I wore my Italian Boots from my Florence trip in Italy and the rest of my clothes I got the idea for my outfit from Gwyneth Paltrow from her music video Glee.  I believe that you mix fashion with what ever you are doing and my goodness you just might feel a bit better!  At least that works for me.  I eventually went on to be asked on the Executive Board of Directors for the International Bipolar Foundation.  Funny how life has a thread and where that thread leads if you keep following it.  You have to never quit but keeping digging where that next opportunity will come from.  Maggie

Tri-City Medical Center Mental Expo Fair

This event was such a neat event for me to do.  First and foremost because my sister Amy (left in pic...yes we look like twins) has never seen me speak.  I was the Keynote Speaker which was such an honor.  When I first started speaking I had just a few people in the audience and then people started to tickle in and fill the seats.  By the end the room was full and I felt like my heart went out to the people in that room and I gave them everything I had about how to live with bipolar disorder and how to win at this awful illness.  To have my sister there was such a blessing.  For q&a she even answered a couple of great questions that the audience had it was a hard day but so worth it.  It makes me so happy to give back, to give hope, and to beat the stigma of mental illness!

National Alliance of Mentally Ill San Diego Awards Banquet

I am not going to lie!  I like to get awards.  It has been inside of me since I was a little girl.  I loved getting the first place ribbons in running, then medals in high school, then getting a full-ride scholarship in college because I won so much.  I must say that winning the glass award for The Young Advocate of NAMI San Diego was probably the best one I have ever received.  To have my entire life messed up at 19, my scholarship taken away, my life gone, it was truly a blessing to have this award given to me 15 years later.  It was so awesome to have my family and friends there to support me on this special night.  My husband Matt has been incredible through this wild life of mine and to have him by my side that night meant the world to me.  Isn't it funny how life throws you these wild curve balls and then it is up to you on how to adjust and make the best of it.