Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting to Know Me

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.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Kate! First I just want to say how brave you are! What an incredibly strong woman you are to go through this process.

    While reading your post I felt that I could relate on a smaller level to what you are feeling. Going through almost 2 years of having NO IDEA what my problem was and feeling pretty much like you did yesterday EVERYDAY! It was total HELL. For me too, I'm not an angry person...never have been...so for me to be this upset at everything every day drove me and my family crazy!

    Once it was suggested to me to take anxiety/depression meds I thought please God let this help! But that started an 8 month process of finding the right meds and the right dose...which was awful!!

    Each time I felt the frustration and anger dissipate for a short week then come back guns a blazing was awful. I finally got the right dose and have been doing well since. BUT, once a month I STILL feel a day or two like you described and I too panic... feeling like I'm not on the right dose and I can't feel this way again nor do I EVER want to feel that again...but then I wake up and it's over.

    It's hard, I agree to "get to know yourself" for me it was to get back to being myself. It's not easy and there are good and bad days for us all.

    Big Hugs,