Book Promo ~ Journey of the Self: Memoir of an Artist

Ruth Poniarski set out to find the ideal friend and the perfect mate,
but what she encountered were spells of paranoia, extreme anxiety, and hallucinations.

Long Island native Ruth Poniarski’s first book, Journey of the Self: Memoir of an Artist, published by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Warren Publishing, is a stunning and unflinchingly honest memoir that challenges the stigma placed on mental illness. The book has received glowing reviews, including a Kirkus Star review.

It started as a college prank; a friend offered Ruth Poniarski a brownie that, unbeknownst to her, was laced with angel dust. What resulted was a debilitating accident, and the first of many mental breakdowns that spiraled into diagnoses of psychosis, schizophrenia, severe anxiety and bipolar disorder.
 
For years, Poniarski struggled to cope with her new reality as she undertook a rigorous architectural program, sought out new friends (and the perfect mate) and battled through the depths of mental illness. Her journey led her in all directions as she sought comfort, solace, stability and love.
 
Now an accomplished artist, Poniarski considers her memoir to be a portrait of sorts.

“This book, like many of my paintings, is about introspection,” she says. “So many of us, particularly when we’re young, seek definition through labels or through what others think of us. It’s so easy to say, ‘I have bipolar disorder, therefore, X,’ or, ‘So and so doesn’t love me the way I love him, therefore, Y.’ But none of that is who we truly are.”
 
The release of Poniarski’s memoir is particularly timely in light of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing orders.

“People were stuck at home for months or a year––or more. This kind of isolation forces a person to examine themselves; what makes them unique beyond who they are to society,” says Poniarski. “That kind of self-reflection allows us to become more available to others. You have to know yourself first.
 
“So, who am I?” Poniarski laughs. “Well … you’ll just have to read the book!”

For more information about Ruth Poniarski or her book, please visit: ruthponiarski.com.

Journey of the Self: Memoir of an Artist
ISBN: 978-1734707557

Available at 
warrenpublishing.net
amazon.com,
Amazon Kindle 
barnesandnoble.com
NOOK 

REVIEW:

After Poniarski inadvertently consumed PCP at a college party, she found herself consumed by the notion of an incoherent conspiracy involving socialists and alien craft-which she continued to have after the drug wore off. “My brain fed me lies,” she says of the experience, which caused her parents to put her under the care of a psychiatrist for the first time. Her memoir continues from this moment, recounting her tumultuous 20s during the late 1970s and early ’80s in New York City. Poniarski struggled to finish an architecture degree as she bounced from one program to another, unable to successfully finish courses and fearful that her peers might learn of her “psychotic side.” In a similar manner, she shuttled between her parents’ home on Long Island and apartments in Manhattan, her independence constantly jeopardized by paranoid thoughts and mistrust of roommates and friends. Most poignant, however, is Poniarski’s account of search for a suitable romantic partner. As she struggles with shame about her sexual feelings, she finds herself drawn to various lovers who each reject her, which only fuels her desire to break out of a lonely existence. Poniarski tells a story with heavy themes, but her prose remains graceful throughout. As she recounts outrageous thoughts and actions, she does so in a manner that not only gets across her distorted view of reality, but also the very real emotions she felt; at one point, for instance, she tells of slapping a man on an airplane after falsely thinking that he was making fun of her. In her fractured accounts of exchanges with colleagues, friends, and lovers, Poniarski also offers clever insights into sexism, the high expectations of her affluent Jewish community, and changing attitudes toward mental health. Kirkus Reviews 

Why Did She Jump? by Joan Childs

Turning Personal Tragedy Into Inspiration For
Others To Learn How To Find Healing And Peace

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported the incidence of suicide is up by 24% since 1999.

A mother of five and grandmother to nine, married and divorced four times, and a clinical social worker in private practice for nearly forty years, Joan Childs thought she had experienced or seen it all. But nothing could have prepared her for the death of her beautiful daughter, Pam.  A brilliant psychotherapist, Pam battled constantly with Bipolar Disorder until one fateful summer day in 1998 when her demons overwhelmed her, she plunged to her death from a 15th floor balcony. Even with their combined credentials and medical knowledge, Pam still could not be saved. She became the driving force behind Joan Childs’ latest book, Why Did She Jump? (HCI Books), and brings hope to anyone struggling with grief from the loss of a child or loved one to mental illness, that there is hope for better tomorrows.

Fierce and tender, Joan’s compelling storytelling gives us an insightful yet sensitive look at her daughter’s life dealing with Bipolar Disorder. Peeling back the layers of pain and despair, Joan takes readers through the dark days of grief and guilt she felt both as a mother and as a frustrated professional who doesn’t understand why more hasn’t been done about this disease. With brutal honesty, Joan recalls how the lives of her entire family became entwined with her daughter’s illness as they watched her sink deeper into a place where no one could reach her. It is a powerful story of courage, hope, acceptance, and finally, forgiveness. Now, Joan reflects on her daughter’s many accomplishments, in spite of her illness, and sees them as Pam’s legacy to the world.

In an earlier book, The Myth of the Maiden: On Being a Woman, the author looks at the evolution of women from helpless maidens to dragon-slayers. Both books are excellent resources for personal growth and development after life changes and loss. In spite of many personal losses, Joan ‘walks the talk;’ she lives life to its fullest and maintains a level of energy and passion at age 76 that would put a 40-year-old to shame! A strikingly beautiful woman and energetic and inspiring speaker, Joan ignites the passion in others to find their own path to courage, healing and hope after the heartbreak and struggle of losing a loved one/child to suicide or any other cause of death.

Joan’s television series, Solutions, was dedicated to the memory of her daughter Pamela, and offered information and resources for anyone suffering from mental and mood disorders.  She provides lectures, workshops and seminars dedicated to her profession of mental health and women’s issues and is a spokesperson for bipolar disorder and suicide.

About the Author:

Joan E. Childs, LCSW, has been in private practice since 1978. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in couples therapy, known as Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy. An expert in Codependency, Inner Child Work, Original Pain Work, and Second Stage Recovery, she is certified in many modalities including a master practitioner in NLP, (neuro-linguistic programming), a master practitioner in EMDR, (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), Supervision, Hypnosis, PAIRS, (Practical Applications for Intimate Relationship Skills), and is a Certified Grief Counselor. She was the first affiliate of the John Bradshaw Center in the United States and has made appearances on national TV shows including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Mark Wahlberg Show, Maury Povich, The Montel Williams Show, and many more.

For more information on this remarkable woman and her work, please visit the website:  www.joanechilds.com.

Available at all online outlets and Amazon
Why Did She Jump?
My Daughter’s Battle with Bipolar Disorder

By Joan E. Childs, LCSW
Publisher: HCI Books
ISBN-13: 978-07573-1697-5 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 07573-1697-2 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-07573-1698-2 (ePub)
ISBN-10: 07573-1698-0 (ePub)

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Excerpts from five-star reviews on Amazon.com:

“… I lost my 23 year old daughter Kaitlyn to suicide… she was just starting her 3rd year of medical school… I have come to know (Joan’s) daughter through her eyes and memories and she was a beautiful person and was so loved. Her book has truly touched my heart.”

“… A true story of how Pamela, a young, beautiful psychotherapist, lived with a chronic debilitating mental illness and how her family got caught up in the whirlwind. It is also a story of how the mental health system continually failed her in not being able to provide her with any kind of useful assistance… This is a book for anyone who is contemplating a career in the health care field to make them aware of the challenges ahead.”

“This book should be read by anyone who’s lost a loved one due to mental illness and/or suicide. As a mother, I can’t imagine the pain Joan must have felt after losing her beautiful daughter. Her strength is inspiring.”

“Readers will learn more about Bipolar I Disorder, which thankfully, not every family has to deal with, but also about the grieving process, which we do all deal with. Despite being a heart-breaking story about illness, death and grief, Joan skillfully leaves you feeling better and actually hopeful at the end.”