Q1: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Samantha: What I'd like people to know is how honored I am to be included in this group of brave souls. My soul is lifted knowing that one of the worst experiences of my life can bring a sense of hope to others who are suffering. Being a part of this project has helped me learn that I'm not alone. I'm in good company.
Q2: When were you first open about your depression (anxiety, suicide attempt, etc.)?
Samantha: Up until I wrote the essay “The Dialectics of Suicide” for submission to Shades of Blue, no one really knew. Even my closest friends were somewhat shocked to learn, not only about the suicide attempt(s) but that coping with depression and anxiety is an ongoing, everyday workout for me.
Q3: How has your writing helped your recovery?
Samantha: Writing is one of the main ways I understand life. Through writing I reveal myself to myself. Because of multiple traumas and the way it has affected the way my brain works, I often will not be aware of how I feel or what I'm thinking about something until I have written about it. Though I'm vigilant and hyper aware of much of my thought process, it doesn't feel real to me; it doesn't feel as if it belongs to me until I write it. Writing helps me to live, to know that I am alive and to understand something about why I am here.
Q4: What do you hope Shades of Blue readers learn from reading the essays contained within its pages?
Samantha: I hope for exactly what Amy Ferris intended when she conceived and edited this project. I hope that everyone who reads the essays will feel a kinship and with that kinship will feel more willing to reach out for help and know that they don't have to suffer in silence and isolation. And with this, I hope lives will be saved, that people who read Shades of Blue will know it's worth it to hold on, even on “Code Indigo” days.
Q5: Where can people find you on social media?
Samantha: Hahahaha. I've just this last year learned to use Facebook and am in the process of setting up an author page. I'm still impressed with email and that I have a phone I can carry in my purse.