The question was posted, “Do you blog anonymously or as “yourself”? why?”
My name is Malakoa. I write anonymously. Malakoa is “milk” in Russian. I love the sound of that word and I love breast-feeding. I nursed Small just shy of two years and I would have done longer but I was told my milk was riddled with psychotropic medication.
My family is identified only by their first initials and, although I frequently identify friends with initials, often they are pulled from the sky. I have a few friends who read the blog, and sometimes I want to talk about them and I don’t want them to know it’s them I’m talking about.
I feel like it is necessary to write anonymously, even secretly, because of the stigma behind my illnesses. When you hear of a bipolar person it’s the jerk who molested and drowned the little boy and stuffed him in a clothes dryer. There are a myriad of bipolar folks that do extraordinary things (Winston Churchill, anyone?) but there are even more that just go to work, come home, take their meds and drop by Ross to buy 12 pairs of shoes every now and then.
ADD is one of those things people don’t really believe exist. Adults can’t have it, that’s for sure. Kids get it because of bad parenting and too much soda. Such generalizations keep me from opening up about having ADD, although it is the illness I’m the most “out” about. I tell people I’m ADD in order to explain my sometimes erratic behavior. I have yet to do so with bipolar.
OCD is last because in some ways it’s the worst. It is the most commonly joked about and probably the least understood of the three. I don’t wash my hands a million times a day. I don’t have an immaculate house that I am tortured to keep that way. I obsess upon things – boys, men, shoes, hair color, certain foods, paper crafting, friends, slights, decades old fights. My mind grips a hold of them and will not let go. I want certain things in order, but this one is not so hard for me. If there are three brushes tossed on the bathroom counter, I will line them up parallel to each other. I usually don’t step on cracks in the sidewalk. There are other things, too, but this is a PG post so I won’t talk about the graphic images, etc that attach themselves to me and will not let go.
I know by keeping all this hidden I only add to the stigma. I’m not ashamed of being bipolar or of having the other two illnesses. Some day I do hope to go public. I write speeches in my head as to what I will say and the reactions I hope I get. I think there will be a time when I am ready for that. I’m not prepared to be judged with the guise of bipolar. (Oh, she’s bipolar, we can’t trust her to do anything important.) I am willing to help people, even in real life, with anything having to do with the brain and it’s intricacies. What I am not prepared for is for people who have secretly struggled with depression their whole lives to criticize me and tell me that bipolar isn’t real – that I’m lazy and self-indulgent. Well, I can be both lazy and self-indulgent, I’m often fun and perceptive. I also have a major psychiatric illness.