To Conform or Not to Conform

I always have had a beef with conformity, with hiding your authentic self to fit in with the crowd. Why not be brave and be yourself? Why not be different? Isn’t that what makes life interesting?

As I have aged, though I still am very much Kitt, I find I have more in common with others than not. Our differences are primarily superficial. Of course, my struggles with bipolar disorder are not universally shared. But, we as humans all love and desire to be loved. We have families. We have friends. We protect our young and mourn loss.

To the extent that we differ, we should, we must, respect and appreciate those differences. We are all deserving of love, of acceptance.

Bottom line: I am Kitt, my personality exists independent of my illness. I am a unique individual whether or not I have bipolar disorder. You and I, every living being, are both unique and alike. Paradoxical, but true. We are individuals with unique personalities. We are also human, with similar needs and desires. We are all more alike than different. To the extent that we are alike, let’s show compassion. To the extent that we are different, let’s strive for understanding and acceptance.


  1. Thank you. Happy Holidays. God Bless. Happy New Year.

  2. Kitt – This is a brilliant post. I’d like to see a large cross-stitch of this in every doctor’s office – not just in the office’s of mental health providers. However, we’d need to change just a few words to remind the provider of care the client in front of them is no different than they the provider are and no different than any other client. If this business of ‘seeing’ those with a mental illness as damaged goods, then they will never receive the medical care they need to live full and productive lives.

  3. Interesting how we sometimes misinterpret people’s behavior. I’m glad that your coworker reached out to you and told you how you made him feel accepted for his true self.

  4. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Thanks Kitty!

  5. Years ago I had decided to quit a sales job because the owner of the place was driving me crazy. I was done, finished, packed up and on my way out the door. The graphic artist I worked with, actually a difficult person who I was sure hated me, was the one who convinced me to stay. He told me if I left then he would lose the one person he knew who accepted and liked him for his “crusty” self. He said, “You are the only person who accepts the real ‘me.’”

  6. Thank you, Edel. Wishing you and your family the best over the holidays, as well.

  7. Hi Kitt, so beautifully written and thought provoking. I always try to treat others as I would like to be treated and not judge people too harshly. You never know what’s going on in anyones lives… Just look at us… a heaving mess of emotions – and we are still wonderful people underneath!!! I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season Kitt. Edel.

  8. We are all more alike than we think…. the innate desire to be accepted for who we truly are….Diane

  9. Thank you Kitt! I hope you have a Merry Christmas as well! I’d like to think we are both blessed :0

  10. Becca, you truly are blessed to have the love of your husband and your kids. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and the best in 2015.

  11. Beautifully and so truthfully written! It’s hard to remember that we are who we are without our illness. I’ve often blogged myself about whether my illness defined me or not. Your post has put things in perspective for me. You are right, we do all deserve love and compassion. I’m fortunate enough to have a Hubs who does love me unconditionally. Without him, I’d be totally lost. I’ve made a lot of oops this past year and I’m praying that 2015 is a better year, mentally for me.


  12. Yes, compassion, understanding and acceptance. If only everyone valued these qualities. What a better world this be if we all practiced this!

  13. Thank you, Bradley.

  14. A post worthy of being reposted. I like you just the way you are.

  15. You get my vote.

  16. Hello mindreader – I needed to read this today. I’m grappling with these concepts. (Isn’t grapple a good word?) I’m nowhere near as compassionate as I’d like to be. A lack of enough compassion is something to be aware of, and my challenge is to not freak out about or judge myself for this lack too much – I simply need to breathe and reframe my way of thinking. Simple? No. Possible? Yes.

  17. Reblogged this on Kitt O'Malley and commented:

    Throwback Thursday, originally posted November 6, 2013:

  18. kathleen m petroff Avatar
    kathleen m petroff

    Here, here!

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