Pulled My Book from the Shelf

Pulled from Self-Publication. Kitt O'Malley Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health. Eliezer Tristan Publishing to the Rescue.

So, I pulled my book, Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health, from the market. Shortly after I self-published it, my father died unexpectedly. Didn’t do adequate marketing because I was and still am in mourning.

Hate the original title, which sounds like a self-help book and is way too dry. Yes, I have bipolar and I blog. But, my bipolar diagnosis is not all I write about and my diagnosis is not the only reason I write. I’m a writer. There, I said it. Rather, I wrote it.

The previously self-published book contained five years of blog posts, dating from September 2013 when I started writing this blog to its five-year anniversary September 2017. I debated adding more content to it, bringing it up to the present. But, I’m too overwhelmed right now to do so.

Freelance writer and editor Janet Coburn highly recommended book coach Aaron J Smith, author of Cultural Savage, and Eliezer Tristan Publishing.

After messaging my friend and fellow mental health advocate, Sarah Fader, I unpublished my book and contracted with Eliezer Tristan (Sarah is the founder and CEO).

Aaron will edit, proof, and design the book cover. The book’s title must change. Sarah Fader agreed that it was a terrible title because it doesn’t sound like me. Title must match my writing style.

Wish us luck.

 

Our Beloved Dog Thumper Passed Away

Thumper
Our beloved labradoole Thumper as a puppy and full grown.

Our grief deepens with another loss. This time of our beloved labradoodle Thumper. Our newly adult son grew up with him. We got Thumper when our son was six. Thumper would’ve been twelve this month.

Unfortunately, our younger poodle Coco is showing similar symptoms. Our next door neighbor said she found eight dead rats in her backyard. Apparently, someone is poisoning rodents. Not good.

We back up to a hillside filled with rabbits and rats. Predatory animals, including mountain lions, coyotes, pet dogs and domestic cats, eat poisoned rodents and die.

Trap rodents. Don’t poison them.

What I’ve Done Recently

Hypomania, Self-Care, Success!

Frustrated, Defeated and Hypomanic

The weekend before last, I was frustrated, overwhelmed, feeling defeated, and mildly hypomanic.

I felt like a failure as a mother, for I hadn’t been able to get my son to take his high school equivalency exams. Told that I make it too easy for him to stay in his bedroom compounded my feeling of guilt.

How could I balance compassion for my son’s severe migraine pain and social anxiety with consequences that forced him to take more responsibility?

Repeated what I’ve told him before (without a hard date): He had to move forward – with school, with helping around the house, with addressing his anxiety, or with work – or he would have to move out.

Now that he’s a legal adult, we’re no longer legally obligated to house and feed him. We don’t intend to kick him out. But, he must move forward and take responsibility as an adult member of the household.

Provider Education, Take Two

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Orange County (NAMI OC) chapter asked me to retrain for the new two-day Provider Education curriculum.

I had served on the Provider Education team that first structured the five-week course content into a two-day format, and we had done it in two days numerous times.

Turns out the “new” curriculum varied very little from what we were teaching. By lunch on that Saturday, I lost my temper. I was insulted.

Explaining that I had a lot going on in my life (mother’s stroke, dad’s death, son’s anxiety), I left with the “new” two-day curriculum binder in hand.

Self-Care

After losing my temper at NAMI OC, I knew I needed a break to pull myself together and bring myself down from irritable hypomania before the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) Women’s Mental Health panel discussion on the following Tuesday.

How did I recover? I left. Booked myself into a hotel in La Jolla Sunday through Wednesday and relaxed. Not everyone can do this. I realize that. But, it’s cheaper than psychiatric hospitalization.

Women in Mental Health

On the International Bipolar Foundation’s Women’s Mental Health Panel, I represented the mature women living with bipolar. Mental health activist and actor, Claire Griffiths, represented the perspective of a teenager. Aubrey Good, the Social Media and Program Coordinator of IBPF, represented the young adult perspective.

I had a wonderful time meeting IBPF staff and volunteers and loved being a part of their panel discussion. I hope to do more public speaking events in the future.

Success!

When I returned home Wednesday, my son had showered, dressed, fed himself, and was ready to take his first high school equivalency test. He passed. I never doubted his ability to pass the test.

BIG DEAL: He overcame his anxiety and didn’t get a migraine. Two days later, he took the next test despite migraine symptoms. He took migraine and nausea medications and faced his fear. Again, he passed.

Two down. Two to go. Moving Forward.

Connecting with Online Friends in Real Life

This weekend, Sarah Fader came into town. She managed to connect with several mental health advocates and writers over the weekend.

Sunday, we met with:

I never would have tried to visit so many people in such a short time!

Mini-Family Reunion

Sunday night had the pleasure of meeting my uncle, two of my cousins, their spouses and kids in Anaheim. Family. Love. Great food. Fireworks in the sky. Thank you!

I CAN Do It

Lesson Learned: If I take care of myself, I can achieve more AND so can my son.

Should I Change My Book?

As I’ve grieved my father’s recent death, I’ve thought about updating my book. Not right away. Maybe I’m just trying to get my mind off his passing. Still, please help me decide.

Kitt O'Malley Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health

Here’s the thing: my blog subtitle reads “Love, Learn & Live with Bipolar Disorder,” and my book title is Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health.

Though I consider myself a mental health advocate, I write about what is happening in my life. I don’t just write about living with bipolar disorder. I have it, but it’s not the focus of my daily life.

My blog began when my father-in-law was in sepsis over four years ago. My worries over his health crisis and how it would affect my husband triggered hypomania. So, I wrote. I wrote to cope with hypomanic symptoms. To gain control over racing thoughts. To allay anxiety.

As the years passed, I’ve written about raising my son, my mother’s stroke, and my father’s dementia. Most recently, I’ve been writing about grief.

The grief takes me in waves. I’ve been crying more and more often as time passes. Still, it’s been a healthy grief. My medication, psychotherapy, family and support systems help me stay stable.

Grief can trigger worsening of mental illness and can lead to situational depression. But, so far I’ve been mourning my father’s death well, or so I think (perhaps I’m just well defended).

What you you think? When I feel up to it, should I update my book, adding content written since September 2017? Should I change the title and cover to more accurately reflect the content written? What are your thoughts? Any suggestions?