The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation by John E. Wade II: Author Interview and Book Excerpt

bipolarmillionaireJohn E. Wade II, retired CPA, author, investor, television producer, and philanthropist, reveals in his memoir, The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation, his personal struggle with bipolar disorder and his experience being the focus of an all-encompassing and benevolent entity he calls the Operation.
Wade takes the reader through his family experiences, political aspirations and beliefs, spiritual journey, relationship trials and errors, and battle with mental illness, as well as writes about how he feels he has been cured of the detrimental aspects of bipolar disorder.
With the help of a unique and powerful network he calls the Operation, and through religious beliefs, personal perseverance, and the help of friends, family, and his mental health professionals, Wade lives an active, creative, and successful life.
His memoir doesn’t end with contentment at achieving a balance in his life, however. Instead, Wade expresses a determined vision for the future, aiming to assist humanity in what he describes as achieving heaven on earth through his writing, political and spiritual endeavors, as well as through being the focus of the ever-pervasive Operation.

*******

I was struggling and dropped into a walk from the jog required of fourth classmen. It was an autumn day in 1963, just a month after I’d had a near-fatal attack of meningitis, and I was still fighting to regain my strength. Panting for breath, I was confronted by a first classman. He asked very directly why I wasn’t jogging. I quickly replied that I had a medical excuse, knowing full well that the excuse had expired. He ordered me to produce the excuse, which I did. Noting its date, he nonetheless allowed me to proceed.

Soon, I was in the academy hospital, lying flat on my back in an almost catatonic state, unable to cope with my mental torment. Although this severe depression, the first in my life, was not diagnosed at the time, it must have been my first bipolar episode, possibly having been triggered by the recent attack of meningitis.

My mother and Carol, my then-girlfriend, came to try to revive me, but I don’t remember responding. Years later, Carol told me that I asked her to help me kill myself, but I have absolutely no memory of making such a request.

Until this illness I had been a model cadet. I had prepared physically according to academy guidelines, so the transition to basic cadet summer was rigorous but easier than it would have been without vigorous training.

One other thing that helped me during basic cadet summer was the stream of daily letters from Carol. My fellow cadets were jealous, partly because of the letters, but also because of the picture of her I had in my room. Even though it was black and white, it was clear that she had blond hair, a sweet smile, and a pleasing, pretty face. That face helped me get through the rest of what we all had to endure to complete our training.

Each week we were given certain “knowledge” to learn, such as types of aircraft or chains of command. I always spent part of Sunday afternoon memorizing the information so that I could recite it during Monday’s meals. The upperclassmen pointedly asked several questions of each basic cadet, which kept us from finishing our entire meal. The first classmen took turns performing the interrogation, but as the questions were considerably shorter than the answers, they always had plenty of time to eat. I always felt I was short-changed because I was the only one who knew the trivia from the first day it was due, and yet I didn’t get a chance to eat more than the other basic cadets.

At the end of basic cadet summer, all the cadets were subjected to a physical fitness test, and I scored the highest in my squadron. At about the same time, we also went on a survival exercise in the mountains for which we were organized into small groups with twenty-four hours’ worth of food and about a week’s time to find our way back to the academy. The experience was particularly taxing for me. I became so obsessed with saving my food that I still had some left when we got back to the academy.

After the final tests, those of us who successfully completed basic cadet summer became fourth classmen. My personal excitement was not long lasting, however. Although I had scored high marks on the physical tests, I was disappointed with my first academic grades, which included some Bs, as I was used to all As in high school. When I asked a first classman for his opinion, he said I did just fine considering that I came from a weak high school.

Basic cadet summer had ended—then the meningitis hit. I’ve since read that physical illness can trigger the onset of bipolar disorder, and although the diagnosis was not made at that time, I believe that is what had happened. My father eventually was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder also, so it appears that I was genetically predisposed to the condition, as is often the case.

I had entered the academy in June 1963, and I received an honorable medical discharge that December; whether I was right or wrong, I considered the situation a great disgrace. It was definitely a life-defining event for me, and I was overcome with depression.

But, there was another aspect to my failure at the Air Force Academy that I didn’t disclose to anyone else until years later: part of the reason I attended the academy was that I had presidential ambitions, which I knew would be shattered by the stigma of mental illness. I internalized and brooded over that stigma for the next forty years.

To make matters even worse, when I finally got home I also lost my girlfriend.

It was quite a shock to me and had a negative effect on my confidence with the women I would date for most of the rest of my life.

I have often wondered what would have happened had I not had the meningitis and bipolar episode. What aspects of my life would have been altered? It’s a haunting possibility to consider.

Still, even though the realization of some of my dreams has eluded me, I have had and am having an interesting, fulfilling life in spite of bipolar disorder, and I invite you to understand its role as I work toward what I believe is my destiny.

*******

Tell us about this story.  

It is a deep, honest and interesting true story of my life to date.  It’s an unusual life from 1963 on—when I had my first episode of bipolar disorder.  I struggled for about eight years before I even got a correct diagnosis and lithium, the first at least partially effective drug for the illness.  I had had a few hospitalizations prior to then.  But I’m very proud that I never gave up and was the first in my accounting class at the University of Georgia, president of the accounting honor society, earning both my BBA and MA followed by passing the CPA the first time.

I had two marriages that succeeded beautifully for a while and then failed, the first producing my daughter with whom I’m extremely proud along with my son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Jobs, good jobs came and went, sometimes my bipolar disorder interfered, sometimes not.

In late 1998 the Operation—that’s what I call it—came into my life.  It is a highly secretive government and private entity that takes on big tasks like what it sought for me; curing the negative aspects of my bipolar disorder, guiding me spiritually and making me a force in the Republican Party.  A good part of the book explains how the Operation used transaction analysis to accomplish these lofty goals.

What is transactional analysis and how was it used on me?  The method was to use thousands of acts directed at me—intentionally overheard conversations, direct therapy and messages from other persons of all types, vehicles and all sorts of unusual and yet normal acts—signs to me, ordinary to others.

Why do you write?  

It has become a compulsion.  My mother was an English major and she was careful to teach her four children proper English, so I really say she taught me to write.  But I went through business school and worked as a CPA in public, private and governmental accounting.

But on January 2, 1998 I woke up and wrote the start of what was to become a complete unedited manuscript, Focus Investing.  Eventually the book was edited and completed with a publishing contract signed by me with John Wiley & Sons, but the deal fell through and the book was never published.  I continued writing with a book of essays which I self-published, Deep Within My Heart.  I conceived, financed and partially wrote How To Achieve a Heaven on Earth, Ronald Reagan’s Wisdom for the Twenty-First Century and A Glimpse of Heaven on Earth.  This book, The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation is the first book that I have authored completely and has been published.  I have high hopes and prayers for it.

I have for years carried around in one of my back pockets a personal notebook, and I write many times as I dine alone.  Many of these writings are typed up by an assistant, go through an editor and are placed on my websites as blogs.  I also love to review worthwhile nonfiction books, going through them word for word the first time and then two to five times, writing my review on the last time through.

Where would you most like to live?  

Right where I do, in the Garden District in New Orleans.  I was blessed with inheritances that allowed me to purchase a comfortable home, renovate it and care for the wonderful grounds in the front and back as well as inside too.  Of course, New Orleans is such a unique place; the food, architecture, music, streetcars, World War II Museum, Audubon Park and City Park…on and on with so many festivals to celebrate.

What is your motto?  

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.

Who’s your favorite writer?  

Walter Isaacson. He gives great attention to details without becoming boring and also he writes about such interesting people.  I’ve read his biography of Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs and listened to his audio book biography of Benjamin Franklin.

******

Praise for The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation by John E. Wade II:
“The book is 5 stars without a doubt.”- nursenancy26, Amazon Reviewer
” This is a must read book for any caring person.  What an interesting life story! John Wade writes an insightful memoir of his struggles with bipolar disorder while the “Operation” guides his existence and spiritual journey.
John Wade’s experiences with bipolar disorder and his “cure” should give heart to anyone with the disease and teach the importance of kindness, patience, and respect from those of us who know anyone with the disease.”- Rebecca A Morgan, Amazon Reviewer
” John Wade has learned to overcome his weaknesses and triumph over his disorder. Everyone who has loved ones with Bipolar Disorder or those who are struggling with it should read this well written book.”- E L  Davis, Amazon Reviewer
Praise for How To Achieve Heaven On Earth by John E. Wade II:
“These essays encourage readers to reflect on their own means of achieving peace in their lives, making a fine addition to any general lending library!”-Midwest Book Review
“A fascinating octopus of a book on global change, reaching in all directions at once.”-Library Journal
About John E. Wade II:
John E Wade II Bipolar millionaireBronze Medalist of the 2014 Living Book Award in the category of Social Activism/Charity, John E. Wade II, born in Decatur, Alabama and longtime New Orleans resident, is a philanthropist, an investor, and a retired accountant, who is an active member of his church.
Wade began writing in 1998 and has published many essays, blogs, and book reviews, as well as one book filled with his own essays, Deep Within My Heart, and three books that he has co-authored: How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, and Ronald Reagan’s Wisdom for the Twenty-First Century.
In his free time Wade likes to travel the world and learn about other cultures.  He also enjoys exploring his hometown of New Orleans, enjoying the unique food, architecture, and music.  Wade also regularly attends New Orleans Saints games as well as football games at Mississippi State University, where the Davis Wade Stadium was named after his father.
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With New Eyes by Heidi Siefkas: Author Interview

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Title: With New Eyes: The Power of Perspective

Author: Heidi Siefkas

Genre: Memoir / Inspiration

Heidi Siefkas lost her health, her career, and her marriage after she was struck by a one thousand-pound tree branch. While she made great strides in her physical and emotional recovery in the months that followed—an arduous process that she chronicled in When All Balls Drop—Heidi wasn’t content to merely survive her setbacks. The time was right to build a new life. One she could live on her own terms.

But what would a redesigned life look like? In her quest for answers, Heidi returned to her childhood home in Wisconsin, dove into the South Florida dating scene, revisited old flames in New England, sold her first home, jumped out of a plane, and traveled alone to South America. Every leg of her journey provided a healthy dose of perspective.

 With New Eyes is full of mishaps and bold decisions, all seasoned with sassy humor. Through her signature down-to-earth vignettes, Heidi inspires you to conquer your fears, head for adventure, and be the captain of your own ship.




What inspired your latest work?

With New Eyes was inspired by real-life events and the details of architecting a new life, Life 2.0. I wrote With New Eyes for anyone who is at a crossroads in his/her life. Just like software, people occasionally need life updates, whether to improve features, fix bugs, correct course, or even a complete life overhaul. With New Eyes inspires readers to conquer their fears, head for adventure, and embark on your own Life 2.0.
What living person do you most admire?

I admire Madonna. She paved the way for so many female artists. Madonna is not afraid to make bold decisions, nor be herself. Madonna is a role model of courage and creating your own life path.
What is your most prized possession?

My most prized possession is my charm bracelet. My mother gave it to me. A few of the charms were hers, but many have been gifts I have purchased for milestones in my life. My charm bracelet is like my totem pole. It tells the story of my life throw charms of cheese from my home state, a tree from the accident in New York that sparked my life change, and a boomerang from my recent trip to Australia. The bracelet is getting rather heavy; so, I have created a necklace that serves a similar purpose to continue with more milestones and travels.
What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

I believe happiness is perspective. Just like perspective, happiness changes. With that said, my basis of happiness is a combination of good health, strong relationships with my clan (friends/family/peers), and freedom.
Why do you write?

I wanted to inspire others. In a former life, I was a classroom teacher. I felt that the classroom and the high school audience wasn’t a good fit long-term. However, through writing and speaking, I have found a way to teach, inspire, and entertain readers without walls.
Where would you most like to live?

I currently live part-time in Kauai and part-time in South Florida. Both are tropical with many pluses. However, I’m still with much wanderlust. I’ll have to get back to you.
What is your motto?

I believe that every occasion in life can either be categorized as a good time or a good story. There is a lot of truth behind this. The moments full of mishaps and unexpected occurrences maybe weren’t the most fun, but they certainly are the stories that are shares with your friends or with your family around the holiday table. Good stories come from some of the most uncomfortable, if not almost disastrous events.
Who’s your favorite writer?

I typically say the author of the last good book I read, which would be Steinbeck and his Travels with Charley. With that said, the writing that continues to resonate with me most is Robert Frost’s poetry. His poem Road Not Taken sums up my author and adventurer life.



Author Bio

Heidi Siefkas is an author and adventurer. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she lives in Kauai and also calls the Midwest and South Florida home. Heidi is currently writing her third book, Cubicle to Cuba, which features a humorous collection of stories about her travels to Cuba, Peru, New Zealand, Italy, and other far-flung places.

Heidi invites you to share photos on social media that show where you are enjoying With New Eyes (#withneweyes). You can connect with Heidi at http://www.heidisiefkas.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Book Blitz: An Irruption of Owls by Sara Tucker

Family Saga / Memoir

Date Published: 7/14/2015

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An odyssey, a homecoming, and six winters in Vermont.

A mysterious illness is the catalyst for this story about a daughter’s homecoming. Part of a family saga that takes place on three continents.

In picking up where OUR HOUSE IN ARUSHA (ISBN: 978-1456585440) left off, AN IRRUPTION OF OWLS views from the perspective of small-town New England the forces that shape the family’s lives.

The year is 2007, and the Texiers—Patrick, Sara, and nineteen-year-old Thomas—have left their home in Tanzania. They are biding their time in a New Jersey suburb, pondering their next move, when a family crisis spurs them to action. Idora Tucker, Sara’s mother, is suddenly unable to live alone. Something is very wrong, and nobody on her rapidly expanding medical team can figure it out. Within weeks, Sara has moved back into her childhood bedroom, Thomas has enrolled at a school in Prague, and Patrick has become the only French safari guide in recent memory to take up residence in Randolph, Vermont.

EXCERPT

My mother, a cautious person, knew about the dangers of falling. She was a doctor’s wife, she had read the statistics, and she had buried one of the fallen—her father, who pitched headfirst off the back porch at the age of ninety-three, landing in a heap on the

asphalt drive. Grampa died in a coma a few weeks later, and my mother went on high alert for the next twenty-five years. At age eighty-six, she had ice grippers for her shoes, handrails in strategic places, and a necklace with a button that would send an SOS signal if worse came to worse. One of the handrails was in the spot where Grampa had taken his fatal plunge; another was on the stairs to the basement. Nothing short of an earthquake was going to disturb her equilibrium.

If, despite her precautions, she were to fall and break a hip, I was not to worry, because she had a plan for that, too: “Just put me in a nursing home,” she said. “Promise me. I’m telling you now, in case I lose my marbles.”

This advice—it was really more of an order—was drilled into me. My brothers and sisters heard it, too.

Nobody was very impressed. My mother was never going to lose her marbles.

On the other hand, Vermont does experience earthquakes from time to time. In 1962 there was one that rocked the State House, dislodging a support beam and cracking twenty windows. The State House is only twenty-three miles from my mother’s house.

“Maybe I’ll want to take care of you” was my standard response to the nursing-home prescription.

“Did you ever think of that?” Over and over, we had this conversation. Then my mother’s legs gave out, and we never had it again.

For the next five years, she lived at home. My husband and I lived with her, quitting our jobs and moving three hundred miles, doing odd jobs to make ends meet when we should have been chucking money into retirement accounts. At dinner, we sat on three sides of the kitchen table, my mother, my husband, and I. The middle seat was mine, a position that allowed me to surreptitiously kick whoever was misbehaving. Usually that person was my mother. “Try not to be so bossy,” she wrote in her final diary.

When I say that my mother’s legs “gave out,” I do not mean that she fell. She never fell, not once. As her legs deteriorated—muscles weakening, bones cracking—she kept herself upright through sheer willpower and a growing set of props. One of her canes had a metal tip with retractable teeth that would dig into the ice but not gouge the floors. Another was decorated with a butterfly motif. A third collapsed to fit into a handbag. She had a set of titanium trekking poles to use when the driveway was slippery. And she had me.

About the Author

Sara Tucker has written headlines for the Louisville Courier-Journal, reviewed theater for the Albuquerque Journal, and edited articles about dusting for Martha Stewart Living. Everything she knows about winching she learned from the editor of Four Wheeler Magazine. At Condé Nast Traveler, she once played a singing reindeer in an office skit. At Cosmopolitan, she ran the copy department under Helen Gurley Brown. She has a house in Vermont and an apartment in France and divides her time between them. You can follow her adventures at sadieandcompany.blogspot.com

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