An Interview With 2 Time Author Samantha Steiner
I was able to first interview Samantha Steiner last year when her first book, My Bipolar Mind, came out. Now I am honored to be able to interview her again for her second book, My Bipolar Mind: Surviving The Choas.
Her second book picks up right where her first memoir ends. But this time she adds facts about mental illness and tips for those struggling with their mental health.
Now onto the questions:
What made you feel like you had to release My Bipolar Mind: Surviving The Choas?
I was tossing the idea around of creating a part two for a long time; pretty much since the original release of “My Bipolar Mind: You’re not alone” in December of 2018. Then. shortly after I re-released my first book in mid-April of this year, (I had to have the book taken down after a horrible dispute with my former publisher.) I became highly manic and got this very strong urge to put together a manuscript for part two, so I did. I also manically decided to ask my friend, Jessica Sayers, to create a wonderful book cover for me for both of my books – and she did!
In a nutshell; creating a second book just felt natural to me. But a manic episode where I felt like I could do anything caused me to actually finish a manuscript and release the book. Plus, I just felt like I wanted to continue to help people which is what I had to keep repeating in my head during the manic episode.
In Surviving The Chaos, you added tips and facts about mental illness and how to handle it, what made you decide to add those sections?
I actually really wanted to include them in the first book which my former publisher did not recommend doing. They said it would take away from the storyline when really, I believe that people could benefit from some of the tips and facts that I have randomly placed throughout the second book. I really should have done it my way the first time around :-)
Insomnia seems to play a part of your life, how do you handle your insomnia while trying to keep up with your everyday life and responsibilities?
Insomnia; this is a loaded word for me haha. It really does play a major role in my life. I feel like I am at my most creative at night when the rest of the world is sleeping. However, on the nights I do struggle with my insomnia, I know that I am going to be in for hell the next day because I will most likely be cranky from sleep deprivation.
But I deal with it one day at a time. I am prescribed Trazodone to help me sleep at night but sometimes even that isn’t enough. I try to listen to the sleep rules that I have listed within the book in one of the tip sections, but some nights I act like I know nothing about good sleep hygiene and will get up in the middle of the night and start reading or blogging if I can’t go back to sleep right away.
Sometimes I will drink what I call sleepy time teas which are said to help promote getting a good night’s rest. Sometimes they help and sometimes they don’t. Insomnia can be tricky like that.
You make a great connection in your book of mental illness and self-worth, how do you practice good self-worth/self-care with your mental illness?
For me, self-worth and self-care are both things that I struggle with almost every single day. But they are both also something that I try to work on a little bit every day. I even went out and purchased a self-esteem self-help workbook a while back and have slowly been going through it again and makes notes along the way per my therapists’ request. I try to tell myself that I beautiful and worthy and I repeat it over and over as much as I need to until I can start to believe it for myself.
A common theme in both your books is a supportive system to help you with your mental illness. Do you have any tips for helping those find their own support system?
When it comes to mental health, building a mental health wellness toolbox is very important. Inside that toolbox, you should have your mental health care team as one support system and you should also have trusted friends and family as your every day go-to support system when you need someone to talk to or vent to. Make sure that the people you let into your life to help support you mentally, that they know about your diagnosis, and ways that they can help you cope with whatever mood you are in. That is why trusting the people in your support system is very important.
You can also help build your support system up by joining in person or online support groups for either your specific mental health condition or all mental health conditions. I even created and manage an online mental health support group on Facebook called My Bipolar Mind.
Therapy seems to be a big part of your life now. Would you recommend someone going to a group, family, or individual therapy when first seeking help?
When first seeking treatment, I would personally, from experience, recommend going to an individual therapist first and then see if he or she would recommend any group therapy for you and where you can or should go. If you have family issues you need to work on, you can try family therapy or do a family session with your individual therapist. I really believe that therapy can be beneficial for almost everyone.
You call bipolar a rollercoaster ride, how do you handle the ups and downs of something that’s apart of you?
I handle my many ups and downs by using my coping mechanisms such as writing, journaling, blogging, and talking to others about what is going on with me. It is something that I had to come to terms with and learn to accept that having these ups and downs is part of who I am. I am might not always like the mood that I am cycling into but I have to try to make the best with the cards that I was dealt.
How have you felt writing has helped you in your mental health journey?
I believe that writing has been very beneficial to me and my mental health. It is my main go-to coping mechanism. It’s my outlet; my way of venting and getting everything out. I using writing in many different forms such as personal blogging, journaling, writing articles for various sites, creating poetry, writing short stories; the possibilities are honestly endless. There is also always some type of writing that could suit my every mood.
In book your My Bipolar Mind books, you put your own poetry in it. Would you ever consider release just a book of your own poems?
Funny you ask that because I have been thinking about creating a poetry book for years now. I have almost every poem I have ever written since I was a teenager since I wrote them on all these little poetry journals. I even started creating a manuscript of some of my better poems but I honestly haven’t worked on it in quite some time. Hopefully, I can get it together and finally finish my poetry book!
What’s next for you?
Next, I would like to work on creating a book three to the My Bipolar Mind series as well as finalize that poetry book! Plus, I have one more book that I wrote when I was younger that I would love to edit and publish one day!
Pick up your copy of My Bipolar Mind: Surviving The Chaos today on Amazon.