Meet Greenville cast member Maddie Baldassari

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I live with my husband in Raleigh. I work part time in athletics at a local university, which gives me my sports fill! I also run a food and travel site and this allows me to talk about two of my favorite subjects in life: delicious eats and exploring new places. I make a mean cocktail. I love to read and devour books whenever possible. Lastly, my faith is very important to me.

How has mental illness affected your life?

I almost think the simpler question would be how has it not. It has affected relationships, friendships, my marriage, so forth and so on. I think it often disrupts your life when you least expect it. The hardest part has been how it has mostly affected my relationship with myself. It comes crashing in and brings self doubt and anxiety. The worst part about mental illness is that it's a big liar; trying to discern reality vs illness in life is often difficult with my bipolar.

Why did you want to be a part of This Is My Brave?

I stumbled upon a You Tube video that someone shared last year and it moved me and the opportunity to take part so that others may be moved by my experience was the driving force for me. Plus, I believe events like these are therapeutic in their own right.

What inspires you to get or stay mentally healthy?

My family. I really love and cherish my family and being mentally healthy to experience my nieces and nephews. Also, traveling with my husband and exploring new places together propels me forward. Plus, I just truly desire it. Once you get healthy and ascertain how that can feel, you long to keep yourself in that place. 

What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

I hope they are able to see the reality of mental illness, that they are in a sea of people every day and, more than likely, one of them has some experience with mental illness. Hopefully our stories can put a face to it for them. Our illness may be a part of us, but it doesn't define us.

Tickets for our Greenville, South Carolina show on Thursday, May 5th at the Kroc Center are on sale now! Grab yours today and we'll see you at the show!