(Sigh) … if you have followed Authenticitee Speaks for any length of time, you already know this woman is my heart.
Featured in this space on more than one occasion she is by far the most supportive person of my every work after my mother.
Here’s a peek of our special moments here on Authenticitee Speaks!
And Then There Was @KittOMalley @Robrt_M_Goldste & @_thenewsexy
MEET MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE KITT O’MALLEY!
And it was only fitting that she was my first guest on the first season of my debut radio show Inspiration With E last year!
Click here to listen! Kitt’s interview begins 20 minutes in! (Language & content advisory).
Kitt’s incredibly profound thoughts on language over 30 years ago as an undergraduate:
“Language frustrates me. Because of it, I think in distinctions; I draw lines where they do not in fact exist; I categorize and differentiate. All this I do to simplify, to impose order. All this so that I need not think or feel or know too much. All this so that I may function in a complex world. Otherwise, I would be overwhelmed. Or so I believe. But, in actuality, my attempts to simplify, to order the world around me, make my world more complex. More complex because I distort. More complex, for language is inherently imprecise. And, I get caught in my errors, in my ignorance, and in my arrogance. I err when I oversimplify. I close my eyes to what is really going on when I ignore subtleties that elude definition. And, I arrogantly play God when I try to control my environment, imposing on it an order that is not necessarily there. Still, I convince myself that making these distinctions somehow empowers me. But the definitions, the distinctions, the categorizations I make become cages, and I find myself, not the objects I define, behind the bars. For in limiting what is limitless, in trying to contain what will not fit into any box or cage, I limit and imprison myself.”
Yep. I love me some Kitt O’Malley😌
See, prior to posting my first blog on January 10, 2015 , I had no idea what a blog was; let alone the blogging community. Kitt however along with Rob, Kelley, Robert, Sean, Gina, Scott, Marquessa & a few others soon played a pivotal role in how I governed myself in cyberspace. I credit them for opening my eyes and heart to the power of interacting with other writers.
Our first of many conversations…
So when I decided to relaunch my #WriterCrushSeries this time around, including Kitt was a given; especially considering her recent milestone of becoming an author!! I just received my copy of Blogging for Bipolar Mental Health: Kitt O’Malley last week and I can not wait to dive in!
During this special edition of the Writer Crush Series, it was important to me to not just share about Kitt; but share what was important to Kitt. Because she is that important to me.
Kitt you are so amazing to me! I love how you are always looking out for others! I want to highlight volunteers on my blog from time to time so please tell me…where do you volunteer? What’s the name of the organization?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI for short. I volunteer for my local chapter NAMI Orange County.
How long have you been volunteering there?
Since September 2014, when I participated in their local NAMIWalks fundraising effort following my completion of NAMI Peer-to-Peer, a mental health recovery course for those living with a mental health challenge. Peer-to-Peer introduced me to the concept of mental health recovery and offered me HOPE! You can learn more information on at NAMI Peer-to-Peer or contact your local chapter.
How often do you volunteer?
A few times a year I participate in NAMI Provider Education. The first time I taught the course was January 2016 following my mother’s stroke in November 2015. Before my mother’s health crisis, I had reactivated my California Marriage and Family Therapist license. Though I haven’t practiced as a psychotherapist since I was 30 and I’m closing in on 55, my education and training shapes how I look at mental health. With my license, I can serve as the Provider Education panel’s mental health practitioner with lived experience.
NAMI Provider Education is a class for line staff at facilities providing mental health treatment services. The NAMI Provider Education class is designed to expand the participants’ compassion for the individuals and their families and to promote a collaborative model of care.
What led you there?
April 2014 I attended The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church at Saddleback Church. I wrote about the experience on my blog. While there I felt a calling to volunteer for NAMI Orange County, so you could say that God led me to NAMI OC.
What’s been the most challenging moment?
My personal life is pretty full and can be challenging. I live with bipolar. My son gets migraines, and connected to his migraines, social anxiety and depression. My father had dementia until he recently passed away. My mother lives with vascular dementia since she had a stroke just before I began volunteering in NAMI Provider Education.
How did you overcome it?
When I’m too overwhelmed by my life, I bow out. I do not overdo it. If I’m not up for volunteering, I don’t. As simple as that. My mental health and the health of my loved ones comes first.
What’s been the most rewarding moment?
Training the staff for the opening of Children’s Hospital of Orange County‘s (CHOC) pediatric psychiatric unit — the first inpatient psychiatric unit for children under age twelve in Orange County. The entire staff attended the inservice, which was incredible. CHOC’s staff blew me away — so much LOVE! They were great.
What would you advise new volunteers?
Take care of yourself and your loved ones first and foremost. Do not deplete yourself. Recharge. Exercise self-care.
Thank so much for being here Kitt! It meant everything to me!! To learn more about Kitt please visit her at http://www.KittOmalley.com.
*I humbly dedicate this piece to Kitt’s beloved Labradoodle Thumper who passed away yesterday. Much love Kitt. I thank God you’re in my life. You mean the world to me and I have learned so much from you. I pray that you are granted the comfort, strength and peace of mind that you extend to so many.💫e
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