Tag Archives: help

will the real Malakoa please stand up? – PG

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.


For hurting women. And men.

I have told quite a few people in real life that I have an online ministry for hurting women.  And men.  I share that I have readers who have experienced infertility and child loss, mental illnesses and deaths of people close to them.

The other day, giving this laundry list to a friend I realized this:  Everyone is hurting.  It is true that we all have our own secret grief.  We often keep it private, hidden in a pocket in our heart, picking at it so it can’t heal.  Or we pour it out inappropriately, speaking to strangers on the street about their sadness.  My parents both grew up pretty poor.  When my dad would come to my room and I was on the phone he said, everytime, without fail, “Quit trying to solve the world’s problems”.

I guess it never occurred to him that me, in my middle class bedroom with a four poster bed, could have my own troubles.  To be honest, his words hurt me to this day.

But back to this universal pain.  It can be difficult to spot the person that is hurting.  Sure, I can tell you stories about being able to tell that someone was sad or in trouble, but that’s not possible with everyone.  That said, is everyone reading this blog hurting?  Maybe not right now, but there is sadness in everyone of us.  If we can’t identify it, or you disagree with me, post to comments what your secret is.

Small and the idiot box.

Small told me that she was sad she missed “Diego” today.

She missed it because were out with friends. We ate Del Taco and then played in the play environment. I asked her, “Would you rather play with friends at Del Taco or watch tv?”

“Watch tv.” I asked her the same question three different ways. Never taking her eye off the tv, she kept saying she preferred the t.v.

What the heck!?!  From the ages of 12 to, say, 24 I watched probably ten hours of tv, not counting movies at school or in the theatre. Why is she so consumed? What can I do to get her to prefer other activities? She likes to read. She begs to play with friends. She likes school so much. But her favorite thing? Not baking cookies. Not wrestling with daddy. Not being read to. Watching t.v.

I guess the real question is, “Why is she not more like me?”

I wanted to be this great example

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.