Welcome to What’s Behind The Smile


My Journey with Bipolar Disorder


Why did I decide to write a book telling my inmost secrets of dealing with a mental illness? My first reason is to help others: those whom I have met or have yet to meet who suffer with mental illness and/or substance abuse addictions on a daily basis. You know who you are! I call people who have been diagnosed with mental illness my brothers and sisters. We have a kinship. I truly love all of you! My goal is to assist anyone dealing with these issues to learn to master your mind. Hence, my support group: MasterMinds: Be the Master of Your Own was formed.

There has been a real shift over the years when it comes to mental health that needs to be addressed. The widespread evidences of mental illness are becoming epidemic as more and more psychiatric hospital units are closing due to lack of funds, although it costs tax payers much more to house a person in jail or prison! Is it really fair for an individual to be sitting in jail when all he/she really needs is some compassion and the right psychotropic medication?

This book was also written to shine some light on that misunderstood word: suicide. Suicide is something that needs to be talked about. The wounds to family members left behind from such an act can last a lifetime. If this book stops one person from committing the act of suicide, then it was worth putting myself out there just for that one individual.

Another reason I wrote this book is to help clinicians who are working with us to not give up on us, but to assist us to maintain stability. We are human beings who can be very complicated indeed, so be generous with the encouraging word. There were times where I just “hung on” encouraging words from therapists, psychiatrists and others in the mental health field. You have a very important job!

This book is based solely on my own memories and through journals I have kept over the years. I stuck to the truth and do not expect everyone to understand or agree with the contents in this book. Many names have been changed to protect the privacy of people.

The most important reason I wrote this book is to glorify God for what He has done in my life. He pulled me out of the miry clay and gave me a purpose in life, which is to serve Him. While serving Him, I serve others! Without Him, I would have never been able to write this book. Without Him, I would never have survived living with this illness. I am not ashamed of having Bipolar Disorder. I am just very grateful to still be alive to tell my story.

The book will be available soon
ON SALE NOW! Click here to buy on Amazon
Looking for the Kindle version?
Please contact me if you’re interested in purchasing.

70 thoughts on “Welcome to What’s Behind The Smile”

  1. Nancy I am so proud of you. You are an inspriation to all. God will bless you so richly for the help you give those who are in need. Luv ya, Patty

  2. I knew you when you were a little girl as I belonged to CCL with your mother. I didn’t realize the problems you have faced but you certainly have been a blessing to so many people and God will say to you, “Nancy, job well done.” May God continue to bless you.

  3. As your sister and the first to read your book, I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of you! I’ve been there along your bumpy road and seen you “morph” from a struggling soul to a strong woman who helps others by doing God’s work. This book should be read by all who suffer from any mental illness and those who love them & suffer along side.

  4. There is nothing I can say that truly reveals the depth of my feelings of love, pride and whatever the name of that extra feeling is (no word has yet been heard, seen or used) in my heart

  5. You did it!! I knew you would, I truly love you my friend. I am so proud of you. Only through the grace of our Lord. I remember all you struggles and you helped me with mine , thank you !!

  6. Nancy! I miss your smile and big hugs! I am so happy to see this is finally happening! So proud of you!

  7. This is absolutely amazing Nancy!! Even though we were not connected for many years, God has blessed me with your friendship again and I am very happy for that. You are a true inspiration to everyone you come in contact with. I can’t wait to read this book. Thank you for your friendship and congratulations on this wonderful endeavor. Xoxo

  8. Congratulations! You are a courageous and inspiring woman. I am so happy for you and wish you much success my friend:) Cannot wait to read your book!

  9. Proud of you, Nancy, and so very happy for you! God can use our brokenness and make something beautiful-your life is a testimony to that!

  10. Very Nice to see….Love that you are going to have a Book out there.Maybe you can help me on mine,I have 2 on my Heart!!! Congratulations Nancy!!!!

  11. Nancy, I’m so proud of you!!! I will get your book and read it and pass it to friends. I worked with your mom at Lakeview (or should I say..we had a good time trying to teach our problem students…or maybe we were the problem) ha ha we sure had a good time. I also, am Cindy Miller Dickerson’s mom… I will pass your web sight on to her. Congratulations!!!!!

  12. Nancy, I posted a comment but it says it is awaiting moderation? what does that mean? Just said how proud of you I am.. and am not going to say what I said because maybe it was too long… hope you find it. I also don’t have a website. donna

  13. So blessed to have you as a friend! May God bless you as you continue to serve Him and the community with your gift!

  14. I am so proud of you I will start reading the book as soon as I can! God Bless you!

  15. Nancy it is very courageous of you to express your feelings. I was around your family a good amount and always thought of you as a very happy girl. I wish you much success and I hope it serves to help others dealing with depression.

  16. Hey Nancy,
    We can hardly wait to read your book and see how our precious Lord will use it for His glory! We’ve travelled some of this road with you and seen you heal and grow in faith over many years.
    Love you tons,
    Dean & Peg :}

  17. Great Nancy! I love the black sweater and the message Makes me want to learn more.
    I wish you the best as you get through the final stages of publishing. Love ya Nance!

  18. Praise God for His goodness, mercy and grace! I am so excited! It is truly an honor and priviledge to see God doing and working inyour life! WOW! what a mighty God we serve. He has done great things for us! I am so proud of you and all of God’s promises. We will bless the Lord! Be blessed! Be healed! Be set free!

  19. I still think of you as the cute girl tagging around with your sister and me on weekends at KSU. Congrats on making it through your struggles and pain and finding your way. I wish you great success with the book and getting out your message of hope! Big hugs.

  20. Hey, This is truly AweSome!! Congrats.!! I want a copy!! I Love u girl and wish u all the happiness in the world! U R A Goodin…… God Bless… 🙂 <3

  21. I know you have been on an incredible journey. I am so glad that journey has given you comfort and joy!

  22. Dearest Nancy,
    From the moment we first met, I knew there was something special about you, the woman with the beautiful smile ! Then, I heard your story and listened to you sing,
    and watched you grow over the years to become that beautiful person (inside and out)
    with a heart of gold. How awesome that you found the inner strength and courage
    thru your faith to advocate for those suffering with mental health and/or substance
    abuse issues and help to break the stigma with your new book. I can’t wait to read it !!
    Please know you are loved and respected and I am proud to call you my friend !!

  23. Nancy, wow! I am so intensely proud of you. I hope you realize and acknowledge the extreme importance of the power of your book. Your words are surely from a higher power and written through you! I am very excited to read this book of experience, strength, and hope. You are obviously doing a wonderful job of working with the power of Gods will. You are a bright light of hope for so many people! This is yet another blessing showing that with God all things are possible. Go you Nancy, very proud!!!

  24. What a wonder gift you have given to all those that have traveled a similar road in life. May your heartfelt words give comfort and encouragement for those still struggling on their journey. I am so happy for you my wonderful, goofy, and sweet friend 🙂

  25. Nancy ,can’t wait to read your book you are a very strong and wonderful person and you have a great man beside you good luck .love laundry lady

  26. Nancy , can’t wait to read your book.. I still have that story u wrote many years ago !!! Love ya.. Angie

  27. bears Repeating:

    “I suspect that “What’s Behind the Smile” will have tremendous implications in both secular and sacred arenas as she shares a message of deliverance and hope. Discussions about emotional & mental health issues have been evaded by many families; however there is no avoiding its impact. Nancy’s experiences reflect that true deliverance is a journey and not an event. For the children of Israel, it involved the Passover, the Red Sea and a sojourn in the wildness before they finally arrived at the Promised Land. Each stage involved a step of faith and an absolute resolve to trust in the sufficiency of God. The same is true for those who God is calling out of the darkness of depression, shame, and despair. ”

    Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II

  28. Awesome! God is good & great! Praise God for making possibilities out of improbabilities! Congratulations! God is a keeper of His word! Glory!!!

  29. Nancy!!!! I am so inspired by your journey that you have shared with me thus far. I look forward to reading your book and to gain an even better understanding of the person you have become. Through all the lemons you had to deal with you definitely are making lemonade now my dear friend. God Bless You Always!!!! Thank you for being my friend. I love you very much! Stay true to who you are and keep your focus on the love and goodness that you have an abundant supply of.

    xoxoxo Christine

  30. Hello, I saw you on Vindy.com. One of the things I do professionally is leave positive verified Amazon reviews. I also advertise on my vehicle. Very reasonable,let me know if you want to communicate further.

  31. My son has struggled from the time he was a teenager. He was suicidal at the age of 21. He shot his girlfriend, who survived and spent 9 years in prison. He was never diagnosed for Bipolar until now at the age of 37. He married and has a son who is 4. He would mask his symptoms and he recently stabbed his wife. He is now in prison for 16 years. He would use alcohol to get through his pain. No doctor ever gave him the help he needed. As parents we feel we let him down, we never knew what the problem was.I would love for my son to read your book. Hopefully, I can send him a copy. I did send him your article in the vindicator. Thank you for your time.

  32. Dear Nancy: Although I have never suffered with any disorders (perhaps my close friends would say differently — ha.ha.), I have read your book and found it inspirational and informative. There is something to be gleaned from your life story for every living being — disorder or no disorder. Thank you for being brave enough to share your lows and highs and, now, to dedicating your career to helping others. You are a champion who deserves a gold medal!

  33. Dear Mary, I’m very sorry about what happened with your son. As hard as it is, you need to remember, he made his own choices. You probably did everything you knew how to help him but we are only responsible for our own actions, no one elses. I hope that he gets meds in prison. You have been through a lot but I can assure you that God knows every tear you have shed. God bless you and your son.

  34. I first meant Nancy McCurdy Montagna through a support group that my bi polar ex husband was in with her together. I went there to support him. I have just gotten done reading read Nancy’s book. I knew her personally but did not know the ordeal that she had gone through because she did not choose to share those things. I was a normal person up until a few years ago. My ex husband went to one of the support groups and that is how I meant her. Since then I have been diagnosed with a few things. I feel with living with him and his ordeal and having to deal with the special needs of our 2 sons it has not been easy. I thought our marriage was going to work out and I felt like it was a sin to get a divorce but with much pastoral counseling. I know that God would not have me in that marriage. I called someplace safe and my pastor said if I do not get out one of our sons is going to end up in jail and the other in a mental institution. This is when my oldest was in 3rd grade and my youngest was in 1st grade. My oldest is now 20 and my youngest is 18. I now have mild depression, anxiety, seasonal effective disorder, Adult ADHD and many other medical issues that I am on disability for. After reading Nancy’s book It was a blessing to me and I am amazed that she went through so much and is alive today to still talk about it.
    This book gets more than 5 stars I give it 10 stars. It will bless you to death Nancy is a sweet heart and God is really using her to reach others for Christ.

  35. Nancy has helped me along my journey with dealing with my inner most turmoil and I have no idea where I would be today if her presence in my life wasn’t known.

  36. Thank you Rose Ann! We’ve known each other for a looong time. I love you and am proud of how you raised your boys. Bless you today and always!!

  37. I love you, Marnie!!! We met at the perfect time, for both of us. So proud of how much you have grown in the short time I’ve known you!

  38. I have bought Nancy’s book. It has changed my life. I have some same things that Nancy wrote about. I also have bipolar disorder. God has changed my life by reading the book. I always thought that it was what defined me. I have learned that bipolar disorder doesn’t defined it’s just a diagnosed. We all have something in our life that we need not be defined as. We need to stop judging others and start looking at them as Christ Jesus looks at our heart and not our body. I’m very blessed. Yes, this sounds to good to be true. Yes, I still get down but I am able to come back quicker than I used too.

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  40. Much of your life I did not know you then. I didn’t realize the problems you hd then before or sinde until you told me recently. Please call me so I might be able to visit you soon.

  41. Just finished the book. So sorry for the difficult times you’ve endoured. I’m glad to read that you persevered and have found happiness.

  42. I have been given this number from a customer.. im absolutly passed myself with my 15 year old boy.. i beleive hes had issues all his life( but i only started reconising it 2 years ago). . We are going through hell at the moment. His half brother took his life a year ago and i dont think hes coped with this.. recently he has refused to go to school. Has anxiety attacks. Temper tantrums etc etc.. he did say he would go to the doctors. So this week i sorted an apptmoint (which is bloody hard to get). I closed my barbers so i could be there for him.. what happened?? He didnt even go in and ran off. Consequently when i got home he had smashed his knuckles into a wall.. desperate mother please any advice !!

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