Am I Still a Mental Health Blogger?

Self, Wife, Mother, Caregiver, Writer, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate

What defines being a blogger, specifically a mental health blogger? Must I write regularly or frequently? Must I always write about mental health? What if that is not my focus ALL the time? What if I’m so busy that living with bipolar disorder is not in the forefront of my mind? What if I’m overwhelmed by my life circumstances? What if I’m simply taking a break?

I’m not the most disciplined writer. Never been one for discipline; though, I do brush and floss my teeth every night. My house is a mess – dusty and cluttered. I bathe or shower (I prefer to bathe) at least once a week. (You are probably disgusted by this admission. I try not to move too much, so I don’t sweat and get stinky. Yes, I know I should exercise daily. And, eat better. Just because I know better, doesn’t mean I do better.)

Followers of my blog say they miss me when I write once a month, and not more often. Not sure if it’s nice to be missed, or if it’s stressful, if I have an obligation to write.

No, I have no obligation to write.

That’s why I blog.

It’s mine. All mine.

Yes, I interact with others here and enjoy doing so. I respond to those who comment.
Recently, though, I’ve been busy with life. My illness, bipolar disorder, hasn’t been the focus of my blog. I’m fairly stable. My symptoms are more or less in remission. But, the concepts of remission and recovery can mislead. Serious mental illnesses, like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are chronic, lifelong brain disorders. You can live with them. Medications can help you treat the symptoms. But, the brain disorder remains.

To stay stable, I must be careful. I must plan for how certain circumstances affect me.

Last month I presented and next week I again will present as an individual living with mental illness for NAMI Provider Education at the hospital where over a decade ago (12 years now) I was treated two weeks inpatient and for a few months in their partial hospitalization program until I got bored.f

I get overstimulated in social situations and must recover. I cannot sustain that level of social functioning without paying a high price – psychiatric instability, hypomania and subsequent depression, mood cycling. So, I must keep in mind that I will need downtime afterwards – time to recover.

So… I started writing this piece wondering about the effects of my recent lack of “mental health” blog posts. I’ve also slacked off reading and commenting on others’ blogs. Sorry, folks.

I’ve been too busy doing taxes (scanning tons of receipts), driving my son to and from school and numerous doctors’ appointments (unfortunately, he isn’t motivated to get his driver’s license anytime soon & knows we didn’t get ours until we were 18 & 19), and making sure my parents are happy.

When I haven’t been busy, I’ve been exhausted – too exhausted to write, to read, to do anything verbal. Instead, I took up doing jigsaw puzzles on my iPad – enjoy that they are visual, non-verbal, and engage my mind.

73 thoughts on “Am I Still a Mental Health Blogger?

  1. ridicuryder February 8, 2017 / 7:43 pm

    I think the blog could round you out in interesting ways…not all directly related “mental health…although some gains will usually be made (sometimes lost) in certain endeavors. Good luck, let me know what I might contribute. 🐝

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley February 9, 2017 / 1:08 pm

      Thanks, RidicuRyder. My son and hubby used to ride MX on the Mojave. We’re back in the burbs nowadays, but close to mountain bicycling. My son is pretty proficient at downhill riding. Recently, he’s taken up snowboarding. He always had good balance.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. twentysomethingtenacity February 8, 2017 / 3:53 am

    I don’t see you as less of a mental health blogger because you’re taking time away to take care of your mental wellness. Like someone (or maybe more) said before me; there is no quota. No one is sitting here thinking ‘oh that Kitt, she missed another deadline’ because there are none! You do what you need to do for you. If that’s writing, great; if that’s not, still great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley February 8, 2017 / 10:06 am

      I agree. What’s interesting is that it may be healthier for me to focus on other aspects of my life and not just define my mission in terms of mental health or mental illness.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kbailey374 February 8, 2017 / 2:25 am

    I love reading you and I also love when you take care of yourself, the two are not mutually exclusive 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Garth Amundson, Psy.D. February 7, 2017 / 7:50 pm

    Best wishes to you in your quest for a normal life. It’s boring but strangely fulfilling, lol. You may find my blog of interest in this regard – Stay in touch?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley February 7, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      Intriguing essays on psychotherapy. I was psychodynamically trained, but basically did “whatever worked” as a clinician. As a consumer, I find that my needs change over time. CBT helped me out a suicidal crisis at 18 and gave me tools I could use throughout life. My work in analysis allowed me to work through my issues with my parents, but also deepened my depression when I was severely ill. Supportive therapy has helped keep an even keel. Most clinicians use more than one theory and technique.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Garth Amundson, Psy.D. February 11, 2017 / 3:49 pm

        Yes, there is a depressive aspect to any interpretation offered by an analyst.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Annah Elizabeth February 7, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    Love what you write whenever you write. Can’t think of a better reprieve than jigsaw puzzles! I happen to have a 1000 piece out on a table right now; a Christmas winter scene I wanted to embrace but didn’t until last week. Making up for lost time… 😉

    Keep taking care of you, Kitt, and the rest will take care of itself. Hugs (if you’re a hugger…)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley February 7, 2017 / 9:12 pm

      Thank you! Enjoy your wintertime puzzle. Sending you love.


  6. vanbytheriver February 7, 2017 / 2:50 pm

    About those jigsaw puzzles…my husband became obsessed with 1000 piece puzzles right after he retired (early..not his choice). I didn’t understand why at the time. I do now.

    Write when you feel it, Kitt. That’s the only time the work comes out organically, and that’s how it should happen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kitt O'Malley February 7, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Thanks! My father “retired early,” too. Since my mom had lymphoma, her “pre-existing condition” cancer made it near impossible for my dad to take another job. He was insured by his previous employer until he became eligible for a new group policy. Once they got first catastrophic health insurance, and later Medicare, it was a real problem. As Trump rolls back the Affordable Care Act, I pray we still can get coverage for pre-existing conditions.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jess Melancholia February 7, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    Kitt I’m always here to read your posts. I think it’s hard to keep up with posting all the time especially when life gets in the way. Your true followers will always be there to read and comment and such. Take care of yourself and your family first and then come back and see us when you can.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. saywhatumean2say February 7, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    In my opinion, you are what you consider yourself and considering yourself is of utmost importance. Do as you want….no obligations from me. ~~dru~~

    Liked by 2 people

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.