Writing My Book and Speaking Out Loud

Writing My Book. Speaking Out Loud. Stock images of laptop with notepad and pens and auditorium with podium.

I’m Writing

This morning I had a productive and encouraging book coaching session with Aaron J. Smith of AaronJSmithWriter.com. With his help, I’m rewriting my previously self-published work, Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health.

The current working title of the revised memoir is Bipolar Thoughts (or My Bipolar Thoughts – which do you prefer?).

Today we worked on my introductory piece, “My Mental Health Journey,” which chronicles my story of living with depression and bipolar disorder from age eighteen to now. This 5300-word narrative combines and expands on my previously written long-form pieces.

Following the narrative, I’ve organized my writing into sections containing short form pieces which convey my thoughts. The section themes are: Bipolar Thoughts, Write with Purpose, Advocate, and Caretake.

Organizing my short form content into these sections overwhelmed me. But, I chipped away at it over time and got it done.

When I first published my book, I cut and pasted content from my blog. Though I knew it was duplicative and needed rewriting, I found the prospect of a major overhaul daunting, overwhelming, paralyzing.

Aaron has been a HUGE help in breaking down the tasks at hand.

My next step (my homework before our next session) is to write a compelling conclusion to “My Mental Health Journey” about why my story matters to me and how it matters to share it with you, my readers.

After that, we will edit the short pieces.

Public Speaking Gig

Writing the conclusion to my “My Mental Health Journey” will have to wait until next week, for this Friday I was invited to speak at a downtown Los Angeles high school mental health assembly.

My first public speaking gig as an individual independent of any major health non-profit!

The speech is scheduled to be 25-minutes long. That’s a LONG speech! I’ve spoken for NAMI Orange County (NAMIOC.org) and for the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF.org), but never by myself in front of an auditorium and never for 25-minutes straight.

Assuming the principal’s approval pending a background check, I’ll be hard at work this week on the speech. My plan is to repurpose “My Mental Health Journey” into speaking points.

Knowing that doing so will be stressful and overstimulating, likely triggering hypomanic symptoms, I made a reservation at a nearby hotel the night before the speech.

At first, I thought of asking a friend if I could stay with her the night before the event, then I realized that doing so would overstimulate and exhaust me even more.

Socializing gets me going in a bad way. I ramp up. I get overexcited, anxious, irritable. I speak faster, filling the air with more and more words. My thoughts race. I can’t concentrate. My mind stops, free falls, unable to find what it’s looking for. It’s exhausting.

The night and early morning before I speak, I need no distractions or stressors. Not only must I avoid social stressors, I must avoid the stress of driving in Los Angeles gridlock. I need peace and quiet.

Wish me luck! I welcome your prayers and positive energy as I prepare for the speech.

Small Steps

Small Steps. Me & My Dad.
Never too early to learn good oral hygiene (I was probably teething)

Progress sometimes comes in small steps. This weekend I walked the dog with my husband, which meant I stepped away from my computer and actually went outside.

Beautiful outside. Weather warm. Sky clear. Saddleback Mountain gorgeous, every nook and cranny visible as if I could reach out and touch it.

Honestly, I find it hard to overcome inertia, to get up and get out. But when I do so, when I go outside, I benefit. My mood improves. My spirit lightens. Both my physical and mental health reap gains.

Sunday I even ran a car-load of stuff to Goodwill, including my father’s old clothes. My father died a year ago next week, and I’ve been holding onto his old clothes since then.

To remember him, I’ve kept his flannel shirts. Wearing his flannel shirts, I feel enveloped in the warmth of his love, like I’m getting a big hug from him.

When we were little, he’d call us over for big bear hugs, but there was nothing rough in his hugs. Just love. Protective love. The big loving protective hugs of a father for his daughters.

My eyes are tearing up now. Good tears. I was loved. I loved my dad. He loved us dearly and deeply.

Who, Me, Dating?

DatingNews.com
interviewed me about dating and marriage while living with bipolar disorder.
Here’s how the article starts:
Kitt O'Malley: Love, Learn & Live with Bipolar Disorder. Blogger Kitt O'Malley Opens Up About Her Experiences Living, Loving & Laughing with Bipolar Disorder

At age 30, Kitt O’Malley moved in with her parents after treatment for debilitating depression resulted in psychotic mania which left her unable to do her work as a licensed marriage and family therapist. She left her career aspirations behind, and she started seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist who treated her for what was still thought to be chronic depression.

So when the guy she was dating said “You’re the most independent woman I’ve ever met,” Kitt couldn’t help but laugh. She had never been more dependent in her life, but he didn’t see those circumstances or her mental illness. He saw her, and that in itself was a small miracle…

Read the rest of the interview here. Thanks!

Best Bipolar Disorder Blogs of 2019

Thank you, Healthline, for selecting Kitt O’Malley: Love, Learn & Live with Bipolar Disorder as a best bipolar disorder blog of 2019! Here’s the article:

best blogs 2019 bipolar disorder

If you or someone close to you has bipolar disorder, it’s important to know you’re not alone. The creators behind these blogs know what it’s like to live and love with bipolar, and they want you to feel empowered and have that community, too.

Whether you’re looking for resources after a diagnosis, actionable tips for managing on a daily basis, or personal stories, you’ll find a space for yourself in these blogs.

Bipolar Beat by Psych Central

Bipolar Beat is written by Candida Fink, a psychiatrist who specializes in children and adolescents, and by freelance author Joe Kraynak, whose wife lives with bipolar disorder. From Fink, you can get expert advice on issues like sleep, parenting, medication, and treatment options. Kraynak writes about his and his wife’s personal experiences, and occasionally interviews bipolar experts.

bpHope

This award-winning blog is written by many bloggers from around the world who share their perspectives on living with bipolar disorder. Writers guide you through topics like staying hopeful with bipolar disorder, managing a mental health crisis, and how to make asking for help easier.

Bipolar Happens!

Julie A. Fast is the author of several books about life with bipolar disorder and she’s also a regular columnist and blogger for BP Magazine for Bipolar. She works as a coach for parents and partners of people with bipolar disorder and other mental health concerns. On her blog, she writes about how to best manage bipolar disorder, with actionable and positive ways to keep going, tips for healthcare professionals, and what to do if you’ve just been diagnosed.

Suddenly Bipolar

Imagine living with bipolar disorder for roughly 25 years without knowing it. That’s what prompted Deborah to start her blog. She writes about hospital stays, traveling, and the portrayal of mental illness in media and entertainment. She’s covered everything from gratitude, to college, to what it means to have a purpose in life.

International Bipolar Foundation Blog

The International Bipolar Foundation has created a powerful resource for people living with bipolar disorder. On the blog, you can read about things like life after psychosis, perfectionism, peer support, and managing school with depression or mania. There’s also a forum where people can share their own stories.

Life Unlimited by DBSA

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a peer-run organization for people living with mood disorders. You can find a wide variety of information and resources on bipolar disorder and depression, as well as a section featuring personal stories from people who live with bipolar.

Bipolar Burble

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer and speaker — and an expert on living with bipolar disorder. She also wrote a book about her life with bipolar. On her blog, Bipolar Burble, she shares evidence-based information about what it’s like to manage bipolar, covering topics like working with bipolar disorder, radical self-care, and how to tell someone you have bipolar.

Halfway2Hannah

Hannah Blum, writer and mental health advocate, started Halfway 2 Hannah in 2016 to open up about her journey living with bipolar disorder. She writes on her blog to empower others who have bipolar disorder and mental health challenges, so they can feel less alone and find beauty in what makes them different. Hannah writes about talking about trauma, how to help your partner with their mental health, and creative alternatives to self-harm.

Kitt O’Malley: Love, Learn & Live with Bipolar Disorder

Kitt O’Malley calls herself a mental health advocate, wife, and “mother who neglects housework to write.” Her blog is all about loving, learning, and living with bipolar disorder — from everyday actionable tips people can use to manage their condition, to parenting, poetry, and creative writing.

Bipolar Barbie

“I needed a hero, so a hero I became.” That’s what inspired Bipolar Barbie, a blog about living with — and advocating for more awareness of — mental illness. You can browse topics like myths about anxiety disorders, symptoms of borderline personality disorder, and talking openly about mental health. Bipolar Barbie also shares candid videos on Instagram and vlogs on YouTube.

If you have a favorite blog you’d like to nominate, please email us atbestblogs@healthline.com.


Alaina Leary is an editor, social media manager, and writer from Boston, Massachusetts. She’s currently the assistant editor of Equally Wed Magazine and a social media editor for the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books.


Source:
Best Bipolar Disorder Blogs of 2019, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/best-blogs-of-the-year