Daily Archives: September 25, 2015

on the death of an enemy

There were once some highwaymen  in the neighbourhood of R. Meir who caused him a great deal of trouble. R. Meir accordingly prayed that they should die. His wife Beruria said to him: How do you make out [that such a prayer should be permitted]? Because it is written Let hatta’im cease? Is it written…

Video post 2: Antidepressants. 

About antidepressants.  



Kitt O’Malley – STIGMA SMASHER – NAMIWalks 2015

October 10th my husband and I are walking the 5K NAMIWalks Orange County 2015 with team STIGMA SMASHERS. NAMI Orange County has been instrumental in my mental health recovery. Please visit NAMIWalks.NAMI.org/KittOMalley to sponsor me. Thank you!


Stigma Smashers on green t-shirt with Hulk fist - smashing stigma

Will you be in Orange County on October 10th?
Join our NAMIWalks team:


William R. Mason Park
18712 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612

Registration begins 8:00 am
Walk begins 10:00 am




NAMIWalks provides NAMI Orange County with 1/3 of their operating budget, enabling them to offer free mental health educational programs, meetings and support groups.

NAMI’s Peer-to-Peer course introduced me to the concept of mental health recovery and gave me HOPE. Though I don’t currently practice as a psychotherapist, I reclaimed my training and identity as a former mental health professional when I took their Provider Education course.


NAMIWalks Orange County 2015 follows on the heels of The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church, which runs October 7-9 at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. I attended the conference last year and plan to volunteer for NAMI at the conference this year. Speakers this year include Thomas Insel, Director of National Institute of Mental Health, and Patrick Kennedy, Founder of the Kennedy Forum and Co-Founder of One Mind. Great conference!

Filed under: Mental Health Advocacy, Mental Illness, NAMI, Psychosocial Education, Recovery, Volunteering Tagged: #namiocwalker, fundraising for mental health, hope4mh, mental health recovery, namioc.org, Orange County, Stigma Smashers

Ten Years After Diagnosis

Picturephoto credit – pixabay

It’s here! September 25, 2015. That’s ten years from the day I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, and yet in some ways it seems like a life-time ago. And it really was. It was a different life before I got sick.

Trouble is, bipolar disorder has stolen so many of my memories. It’s hard to visualize my life before my illness. It has taken over that much. I remember big picture things rather than details. For example, I know we were a happy family—my husband and two children. We did a lot of typical family stuff. We did them together. That means I actually participated in activities and outings. Once I was sick that didn’t happen often.

When I was diagnosed my children were only 11 and 6. My illness made a huge impact on my family, my marriage, my career and my life. When I was manic I wasn’t around much. I was out being busy—shopping, partying, working on projects or anything else that was an energy release. Unfortunately, little of that energy was spent at home.

When I was home, it was usually because I was depressed. And if I was depressed I was in bed. And I stayed there. Not moving for days, weeks, even months on end. My children became used to seeing me in that state. To them I was just sad. And it was sad. I missed out on so much—so did they.

But throughout it all, somehow I managed to instill in them my values and I was able to be there for them emotionally. Though I wasn’t able to do all the typical mothering type things like volunteering at school, going on field trips, driving them to friends’ houses, helping with homework, etc., etc., I did what I believe to be even more important. I nurtured them. I groomed them for life. I taught them unconditional love.

Before bipolar I actually had a life. I had friends. I had a career. I was a fun person to be around. I think I was happy. I was a companion to my husband in every way. We went out often. We talked a lot.  We laughed a lot. We were very much a couple and had an active social life. That all changed. In addition to bipolar disorder, I struggle with general anxiety and social anxiety. That keeps me away from most things and most people.

In the time that has passed I’ve learned a lot about bipolar disorder. I have researched the subject beyond what you could imagine. I have applied much of what I have learned. And as the time has passed I have discovered better ways of coping and better ways of predicting and even preventing future episodes. I’ve had to adjust my lifestyle considerably. My life is now a fragment of what it used to be. But I’m okay with that. Most days.

In the ten years that have passed I’ve tried countless medications and even more combinations and doses. I’m probably in the best place I’ve been since this all started. But this illness does not rest and it does not stay the same. It changes with brain chemistry. It changes with situations. Even though my days are mostly good right now, I remain on guard knowing that my mood can fluctuate at a moment’s notice.

I’m not bitter. I don’t hate that I have bipolar disorder. It has taught me a lot. I has given me strength. There are many ways I can still find happiness. But any way you slice it, I’m not the same person I was ten years ago. My husband misses me. I miss me.

New Wrinkle

So now I can add a backache to my list of hurting places .  DOn’t know where it came from but it came on last night like gangbusters.  I’m sure that some of it is how I have to lie on my back to sleep–very stiffly and not moving.  I have about twenty minutes until I can take my next pain pill, so I will do that then go back to bed.  I’m developing a lot of bruising around my incisions, so that is starting to look interesting,.  I go back in two weeks to get checked up  on so I will see how that goes.  I feel like today’s going to be another long day with not being able to do very much.  But sleeping should help move it along.

Going to cut this sort so I can go ahead and take my meds soon,  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Work Mistakes

A couple of days ago at work I was having an ice cream snack in the cafeteria with some coworkers when the crew lead came rushing in to round us up for emergency re-tagging of items.  Some idiot, namely me, had spent the two previous days tagging 10 boxes of IV tubing…with the wrong stickers. […]

My First Video Blog Post: There is Hope. 

This, my first video blog post, is for people who have been newly diagnosed  with bipolar disorder. Just know that there is hope. And if I can do it so can you. And yes, meditation, yoga, relaxation, all that is great for you but it can not take the place of medication, specifically a mood stabilizer.i mean if you had kidney disease, would you think yoga, meditation, and relaxation would make you all better? No, you would not, you would take medication for it. Well bipolar disorder is a disease and you need to take medication for that as well. So remember, mood stabilizers and Hope are what you need.