I’m Malakoa. I’m bipolar. I’m OCD and ADHD. Oh, and I’m an alcoholic.
A few months ago I felt like I was on top of the world. Not in a scary, bad, write the president with a plan to get us out of Al-Queda and in to the lands of Chewandswallow and Candyland, but I felt, I don’t know, fixed. Ready for whatever life had for me. Sure, I had tremors, sure I had problems, but none beyond what is common to man.
Then, it struck. All at once, it seemed. The doctor talked to my husband, and the husband listed all my war crimes. Unkempt house (he did all the house work) he earned all the money and I was not doing a good job on paying the bills on time. He went further but why should I mention them here. If you’re bipolar, you know the things that come yet, and if you’re not, you could probably guess anyway.
I was telling my dad about the meeting, and jokingly called them all “lies”. He laughed and laughed, but knew everything he was saying was true. My husband was not amused, even after I told him my dad’s reaction. My husband was pretty angry, in fact.
When I was at the psychiatrist, she decided I had “serotonin syntrom” Serotonic, for those of you who are “psychologically uninteresting” (a line I got from Icarus Project) I will explain that serotonin is the feel good drug. If you’re depressed, you need more. If you’re scatterbrained, restless and have twitching muscles. At least I did. Look it up for a better explanation. (I must make it clear that I had no problem with diarrhea.)
The doctor split my Zoloft in half. I was happy that I stopped shaking. We had thought it was the Lithium that was making me do so. However, we found ourselves totally and completely struck with grief. It was as painful as any funeral I’ve ever been to. It came out of no where, lasted about five minutes and then left. Now, I have to decide between the two: Misery-attacks or shaking. I do not know what I’ll do.
My memory is still gone. I missed six appointment in the past two weeks. Two hair appointments, a doctor’s appointment (two), and, of course, two that I don’t remember. I can’t remember the things I’ve told my husband or the things he’s said to me. I am able to be happy and shiny at Small’s school, but it’s mostly because nothing brain-like is required of me. The teacher got pissed because I didn’t remember her instructions. She thought I was pregnant. I am not. I am just, well, scatterbrained. And, an inappropriately medicated bipolar person.
I was in an outpatient problem with other wonderful people with mood disorders. I was relatively well, and could probably pass as “psychologically uninteresting”. I wasn’t in there because of a recent suicidal attempt, like many of my cohorts. I was there because I heard it was the best place to be. I learned a whole lot: My facilitator told me I was “inspirational.” I like inspirational. I do not like grief spells. They weren’t part of my plans.
Ecclesiastes 1 says “12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
15 What is crooked cannot be made straight,
And what is lacking cannot be numbered.”
Am I what is crooked? Should I have no hope to be well?
Ecclesiastes goes on to say, “17 And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”
I am not nearly as wise as Solomon, but I have studied just about every element available to me about bipolar. (I haven’t done so with ADHD and OCD because they are not potentially life threatening.) I have read the books, shared with strangers, and prayed to manage it. It’s funny though: I’ve never prayed for it to go away. I’ve known I was different for a long time and I’m not ready to let go of that.
Anyway, Solomon wanted to know both madness and folly. He found this knowledge to be “grasping at the wind.” I had a psychiatrist, a good psychiatrist, who offered to treat me regardless of me having insurance or not. His deal was knowledge of the illness. He had a patient who “knew as much about bipolar as (he) did.” It seemed that he really believed her knowledge could make her well. In my case, it hasn’t. I truly believe that medication has done about 60% of the work, and counseling about 25%. The rest is helping others get through this and empathy. I suppose knowledge has played some role in it, but two many books told about road trips: beer, cocaine, all kinds of extra-curricular drug use, and it just doesn’t appeal to me.
Anyway. I hope that I can be an inspiration. I have said many times in this blog that you have to fight to be made well. I can’t just lay down and give up. I haven’t spent hours in bed or even hours eating this time. I am not going to cancel all my doctor’s appointments and not going to start using LSD. My psychologist wants me to see either him or the doctor once a week. I will, even if I don’t feel like she is helping right now, because there is a chance that she might. My psychologist might have just the right words to heal. And I might hear from one of you, and no matter what you say, lifts my spirits.
I say this, and all these things, under God’s grace.