Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Runaway Mind by Maggie Reese

Runaway Mind by Maggie Reese 

Publisher: Xlibris 
Pages: 172
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon  

Amazon: What if you always knew you were special…and then one day you found that being “special” wasn’t a good thing? In fact, it was very, very bad. I was a high school cross-country track star on a full-ride scholarship to the college of my choice when I was hit hard with the most severe form of bipolar disorder (manic depressive illness). Little did I know then that the only way my speed was going to help me was to escape from a maximum-security mental institution! Bipolar. 

On one hand, the word is loaded with stigma. On the other, so many celebrities, star athletes and other notable people have it that it’s often used as a buzz-word on the front pages of newspapers. The fact is over 3% of people have bipolar disorder – and its onset almost always hits during the fragile teenage years. My “lows” took me to the depths of anxiety and pain. By comparison, my “highs” seemed magical…but how long can you live on 2 hours of sleep a night? My poor parents, fearing for me and my safety, hired bodyguards to try to protect me from myself and the predators who surrounded me. One stood by me throughout my long road to recovery. He’s been my rock for 16 years – and my husband for 10. 

I am sharing my personal story, including my shocking extremes of behavior, to help other families understand what is happening to their loved ones. When my parents tried to understand what was happening to me, the only books they found were dry, clinical accounts of sad, mad, lost people – not exactly encouraging words for a mom and dad desperately clutching at straws. Most people find it hard to believe what I experienced, how I managed to survive, and how I can be thriving now. My story proves that you can go away and come back again, and that no matter how bad things look, there is hope for a better future.

Kritters Thoughts:  A memoir that centers around a young woman who is battling a mental disease - bipolar.  Not only does the reader hear from the woman in the middle of battle, but her mother, sister and best friend all share the gift of telling the story. 

Maggie graduates high school and heads to the perfect situation - a great university as a star athlete.  You could not predict the reaction she would have to the stress of school and athletics.  I understood both her not understanding or her parents not understanding the difference between homesickness and depression.  To have parents, family and friends as a great support system should encourage others to find a foundation to help them through any difficult situation.  I loved the honesty that you felt in each woman's take on how to help Maggie get through the storm. 

My one piece of criticism is the timing of the chapters.  There were a few moments where I felt that her mother, sister or best friend shared their parts of the story before Maggie was able to tell us from her point what happened.  I thought that Maggie should share her story and the others could give their points of view after the reader hears it from her first.

This book is a perfect read for a family member or friend that is in the middle of helping someone find their footing with bipolar.  I also think that someone who has bipolar could read this, but maybe only after they have found balance.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row (an emotional one)

Ebook 2012 Challenge: 61 out of 25

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Transmedia Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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