Advocate or Narcissist

Thursday a new member of OC Writers, a MeetUp writing group I attend, referred to my work as “changing the world.” Of course, he hadn’t yet read my blog. As a Christian author, he assumed my writing was altruistic, since I described it as a mental health blog where I have also posted some seminary papers. The question on my mind is whether I truly help others in writing autobiographical posts, or rather whether I indulge in unfettered narcissism? Perhaps only time will tell if I can reach out and help others. This site serves both purposes. In writing I heal myself, overcome my isolation and challenge my intellect, as well as engage others who like me struggle with mental illness or seek an understanding of what it is like to live with mental illness. I’m not sure how well my theological writing meshes with those purposes. But I do know that I believe increasingly, more and more each passing day, that God has called me to perform a mental health ministry, and that in striking me down with bipolar disorder and a stint in a psychiatric hospital God forced me to quit working in the commercial real estate sector to take better care of myself, my sensitive son, and my husband.

6 thoughts on “Advocate or Narcissist

  1. Tertia May 12, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    I am also aware of the mix of motivations in my writing; the desire to reach and affect people coupled with the sheer need to access things for my own sake. In the end, I think I see it all as potential service in the sense that my God wants me to discover and be my deepest, most authentic self, because that version of myself will be the one best suited to serve God’s purposes. That thought comforts me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nyx Goldstone (@nyxgoldstone) May 11, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    The funny thing about touching lives is you never know about it until you need to know. So, in that regard, does it actually matter if you’re motivated by narcissism or altruism? In some cases the ends can and do justify the means. If you need the release, odds are someone out there needs the same thing: a kindred spirit who might be going through the same thing and all they can find right now is the people who don’t understand. Not everyone can communicate through the written word and it is the type of communication that lingers the longest. However, the people who are looking for this can read; they will read your words and find what they need in them. So, even if you argue yourself narcissistic for writing what you write, you’re still helping at least two people: yourself and the person looking for what you have to say.

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    • Kitt O'Malley May 11, 2014 / 10:21 pm

      Thank you, Nyx. Thank you also for YOUR words. They do make a difference, and you use them thoughtfully and eloquently. I LOVE your beautifully crafted writing as evidenced in your comment. Now I must add you to my growing reading list. My reading list keeps getting longer as I befriend writers. I’m going to have to reprioritize how I spend my time to do more reading and writing.

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  3. dyane May 11, 2014 / 11:21 am

    You certainly help me through your blog! Not once did I ever consider you a narcissist. (what a word to spell, that one) I worry about the same issues you mention, sans the theology, and I know I am too self-absorbed in my own blog. At least I know it! 😉

    I practice advocacy with the International Bipolar Foundation when I can, but it’s not much. I carry on with blogging regardless because as fellow blogger/mother with bipolar disorder Doreen Bench writes, “blogging reduces my tension”. The less tense I become, the more I can be of service to others. I also blog to connect with people (as I am semi-reclusive) and to get feedback on my writing. Blogging is a blessing, that’s for sure.

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    • Kitt O'Malley May 11, 2014 / 1:02 pm

      Thank you, Dyane. Yes, writing helps us to cope. It is healthy. It is helpful.

      Like

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