When I decided to become an unmedicated member of the mental health society, I didn't take into account the startling effect it would have on my personality. My goal was simple: I wanted to see if coming off all medications would slow down the tremor. I knew, having been on medication for so long, my mood would be affected, and there would be a period of adjustment, but I didn't realize it would be like getting to know a whole new person. I find myself looking in the mirror, seeing the same person I have seen for the past 32 years, but being completely unfamiliar with these new moods that I possess. I am confused with myself, and I am frustrated that I feel less in control of the emotions I am feeling. It's entirely new territory, and it's scary.
When I woke up yesterday feeling more agitated than ever, the agitation quickly grew into annoyance, and then irritability, and anger. It's unlike me to be angry, and it's uncomfortable. I spent the day pissed off at everything, like a stranger asking me why I'm shaking my head, or having no creamer for my coffee. These are things, pre-medication washout, that normally I would have taken in stride, but post-washout made me feel like some sort of monster.
I don't know how bitchy people do it. It's exhausting to be angry all day. I certainly didn't like myself much by the time the end of the day rolled around. In fact, I was so exhausted and baffled by this new mood fluctuation, that I had an all out sob fest at the end of the night. That is when I realized that all these ups and downs, and new-to-me feelings are making me feel unstable. There was a small moment of panic, that maybe I didn't make the right choice coming off meds, and maybe ECT isn't working enough, maybe this is the start of me going really crazy, and maybe I would just be better off having my head shake uncontrollably and aggressively, if it means I can just go back to the calm, cool, collected, medicated version of me. It certainly seems a lot easier than confronting all this unknown stuff. I woke up today feeling better, more like myself, and less like an angry, bitter, bitch that wants to kick the teeth in of every person who crosses my path. I reminded myself that I am going to have "off" days, and that doesn't necessarily mean I need to be medicated again. It does mean, however, that I do need to be vigilant.
I am in the process of finding a new homeostasis, as my friend says. While on medication, I became accustomed to what made me tick, and had found a groove of how to deal with everyday life. Now, without medication, I have to learn the ins and outs of these new, unknown emotions. What may not have bothered me in the past, might bother me now, so even on days when I think I'm at the end of my rope, I have to dig down deep to find that small sliver of patience, and use it to get to know the new me.