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.

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?

Amazon Women Fight with Words

Amazon Women FIght with Words. Kitt O'Malley, Warrior. Sarah Fader, Coach.
Amazon women fight stigma with words.

Intuitive Coaching & Tarot Reading

Thank you, Sarah Fader, for your intuitive book coaching session and for being a wonderful, supportive, understanding, compassionate friend. Here are the notes from our Sunday, April 8th session, which actually was an intuitive Tarot card reading.

Notebook by bed. Wake up. One page of what thinking. Stream of consciousness. Take pic with phone. Post as blog post. Invite community to comment on it. Whoever can read it will give you insight.
Keep a notebook by my bed.

Notebook by bed. Wake up. One page of what thinking. Stream of consciousness. Take pic with phone. Post as blog post. Invite community to comment on it. Whoever can read it will give you insight.

Talk to self like talk to clients. Not perfection. In morning when first awake, you are free and sedated (sleepy, not quite awake). Actively dream. Take 250mg Mg (magnesium) (Sarah recommended Natural Calm, but it has calcium and my blood calcium was too high when I took supplements with calcium). Compassion. Take care of yourself. Self compassion. [NOT] inner critic road.
Exercise self-compassion. Quiet the inner critic.
Talk to self like talk to clients. Not perfection. In morning when first awake, you are free and sedated (sleepy, not quite awake). Actively dream. Take 250mg Mg (magnesium) (Sarah recommended Natural Calm, but it has calcium and my blood calcium was too high when I took supplements with calcium). Compassion. Take care of yourself. Self compassion. [NOT] inner critic road.

Kitt, I am so sorry you feel this way about you. I am deeply sorry that you feel this way about yourself. Read Sarah Fader's blog post about parenting an ODD child. Must look at self differently. Stop owning perceptions of other people of yourself.
Look at yourself differently. Stop owning other people’s perception of you.

Kitt, I am so sorry you feel this way about you. I am deeply sorry that you feel this way about yourself. Read Sarah Fader’s blog post about parenting an ODD child. Must look at self differently. Stop owning perceptions of other people of yourself.

Validate other's feelings. I'm doing the best I can. Kitt, you are a brilliant, talented, educated, wealthy person. Writer's Block: [memoir draft so far] banal, not you. You are telling a story that belongs to you. You are holding back because you are afraid to hurt people.
Writer’s Block: I hold back, for I fear hurting people
Validate other’s feelings. I’m doing the best I can. Kitt, you are a brilliant, talented, educated, wealthy person. Writer’s Block: [memoir draft so far] banal, not you. You are telling a story that belongs to you. You are holding back because you are afraid to hurt people.

Channel that part of yourself that wants to fight in your book [memoir not yet completed]. Put secrets in book. Will feel bad. Be prepared. Maybe depression. That's OK. BeReal. Stop therapizing yourself. Go back to that warrior part of yourself. Amazon woman. Fight with your words.
Amazon Woman, Fight with Your Words
Channel that part of yourself that wants to fight in your book [memoir not yet completed]. Put secrets in book. Will feel bad. Be prepared. Maybe depression. That’s OK. BeReal. Stop therapizing yourself. Go back to that warrior part of yourself. Amazon woman. Fight with your words.

Published Author at Last!

My Book Published! Amazon.com/author/kittomalley. Books by Kitt O'Malley, Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health.
Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health published today! Visit Amazon.com/author/kittomalley.

Kindle e-book and paperback are live. Copyright registration claimed. Set up author page on both Amazon and GoodReads. Next will get it ready for IngramSpark for publish on demand through other retailers. So excited.

About Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health

Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health offers hope to those living with mental illness and their loved ones, educates the public about mental health, and fights stigma against those living with mental illness by challenging stereotypes.

Kitt O’Malley’s writing recounts her struggle with bipolar disorder type II, the two decades it took to get a proper diagnosis, and how her journey ultimately gave her purpose – and at times, a sense of religious calling.

Though Ms. O’Malley is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she hasn’t practiced as a psychotherapist in over twenty years. Both her clinical background and personal experience inform her writing and enable her to help both herself and others toward mental health recovery.