Someday I Will Not Be Ashamed (Author Interview)

Someday I Will Not Be Ashamed looks like a great book.  What can you tell us about it?

In the end, it’s a memoir that describes a lifelong quest for self-acceptance…but along the way, it also tells a story about mental health issues, drug addiction, and other dark times. One of the things that make it unique is that it’s written by someone with professional training in psychology and addiction studies, so the writing has a lot of self-awareness. There’s something in it not only for those who have suffered any of the conditions I talk about, but also for those who have loved ones who suffer. And, despite the darkness, it’s an inspirational story, because it ends with me finding a peace with myself the young overachiever never could have imagined.


Can you tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to write the book?

I spent my early adulthood in academia, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in molecular biology. Later, I went back to school for a master’s in counseling psychology. But my worsening mental health and addiction forced me to leave the field. When I began to regain my health after getting clean, I realized having the experience of being both counselor and patient might let me write useful things. I became passionate about reducing stigma for those who deal with mental health issues and addiction (especially as it became clear these two things go together far more often than people think).


What scene or section did you have the most fun writing?

I wouldn’t say anything was “fun,” but the last third of the book felt most uplifting to write, because the memories I needed to use were not as harsh.


What inspired the idea for the book?

I had been writing outreach and personal essays on a blog for six years, and fellow writers encouraged me to do some deeper personal pieces for a writing group. The book took shape gradually from pieces not written in order; I wrote whatever I felt capable of at the time.


How did you come up with the title for the book?

Since it deals with several issues, a title having to do with addiction or mental illness didn’t feel right. The shame and perfectionism that drove me became the thread that ties the book together, so I went with that.


Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Someday I Will Not Be Ashamed?

The hardest thing about writing painful experiences is the need to avoid coming across as melodramatic or self-pitying. There’s a “sweet spot” you need to find. And, of course, my goal was to write with intense honesty, and that’s not easy. The darkest chapters needed me to relive some dark times. There were tears.


What do you like to do when not writing?

I like music, video games, and board games with my family. I like to sew, but I’m the kind of person who starts sewing projects and abandons them. My favorite hobby is Tarot…I don’t really do predictions of the future, just use the cards as a delightful psychological playground.


Where can readers find out more about your work?

My blog is at