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.
[…] health issues is a balancing act. When my son was very young, I tried working as well, and ended up hospitalized. I could only juggle so many roles. Recently I’ve been exhausted. Too involved in attending […]
This is so amazing and resonates deeply, as I can relate!
[…] my post I do not whisper. I ROAR., I said this about the hospitalization ten years […]
Inspiring Kitt! Great post!
Thank you, Michelle.
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.
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!
Thank you, Eli!
So glad i read this today. Amazing post from an amazing writer. I didn’t know all this, and some hits close to home.
Thank you, Lady Dy, or for alliterative flair, Dame Dy.
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.
Thank you so much. I’m flattered.
The more voices, the louder the ROAR, the more the earth trembles. Yes, we all ROAR together. That is our power.
A-mazing post, Kitt. You are amazing too.
Wait a minute, that’s MY life you’re talking about ;-)! Can we ROAR together??!!
I love every single bit of this! Tweeted, shared, and permanently filed in my brain! 😉
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!!!
Thank you, Emma.
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.