I do not whisper. I ROAR.

Roaring Lioness

Originally posted January 11, 2015 on STIGMAMA.COM
I do not whisper. I ROAR. Kitt O’Malley | Stigmama

Motherhood has been transformational for me. I am NOW building a new foundation. My identity changed. Now it changes again. I have constantly reinvented myself over and over during my lifetime. Going from majoring in biochemistry as a pre-med student at UCLA, where I was miserable and suicidal, to studying part-time at a community college as I bided my time and tried to find my direction, to finding my place as a legal studies major at UC Berkeley, I tried to reconcile my inner turmoil with very high professional aspirations. First I worked as a legal assistant, then went to graduate school, earned a master’s in psychology and became a psychotherapist, only to crash and burn. Recovering from that breakdown, I re-entered the workforce as a temporary file clerk in the commercial real estate industry where I had ten years of success. Trying to balance work with motherhood, I failed miserably, and ended up hospitalized in a psychiatric unit with rapid cycling and mixed symptoms of bipolar disorder. After months of partial hospitalization, I became a reluctant stay-at-home mother on disability. What does an overeducated and reluctant stay-at-home mother with a recurring sense of religious calling (or a manic and delusional symptom of bipolar disorder, depending on one’s perspective) do with her mind? Why attend seminary, of course, which I did on two separate occasions and on two separate occasions had to quit.

Here I am… Here I am putting pen to paper. Here I am writing down my story again. To what end? To reinvent myself once again – not as someone who is ill, but as someone who fights and loves and writes and has hope that new chapters of my life lie ahead of me. I will NOT be a caretaker forever. I have a voice that must be heard. I have a message to share and share it I do. I am not just my son’s mother. I am not my diagnosis. I am able. I am able to affect change. I wield power. I am a mover and a shaker. I do not whisper. I ROAR.

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22 thoughts on “I do not whisper. I ROAR.

  1. michelletoussaint January 13, 2015 / 5:41 pm

    Great job, good post, living in a place where people still act like mental issues are a myth, reading this gives a renewed sense of comfort I look forward to reading more from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. findingmysunshine86 January 11, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    I absolutely love this post and you do so much for mental advocacy…it is a privilige to have found you in the blogosphere! Thank you for sharing your story and helping others!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Eli Pacheco January 11, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    So glad i read this today. Amazing post from an amazing writer. I didn’t know all this, and some hits close to home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley January 11, 2015 / 3:21 pm

      The more voices, the louder the ROAR, the more the earth trembles. Yes, we all ROAR together. That is our power.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. dyane January 11, 2015 / 2:16 pm

    I love every single bit of this! Tweeted, shared, and permanently filed in my brain! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Bipolar1Blog January 11, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    Wow, so powerful! I am amazed at your resilience and your abilities. I hear you ROAR! Maybe I’ll be right behind you roaring! Go Kitt!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley January 11, 2015 / 3:26 pm

      All of us who advocate for the destigmatization of mental illness ROAR together as a whole. The more voices joined together, the louder the noise, the less likely we will be ignored.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Emma Duncan January 11, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    Wow, identity is so important to us humans isnt it? as a SAHM myself i struggle with it regularly but without your added bipolar complications. I cant begin to imagine what it is like but I really hope this new start will be wonderful and transformative for you.

    Liked by 2 people

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