Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sacrifice and Reward

The one thing I've really noticed since I've been off all medications and out of the hospital, is that I don't really feel in control of my emotions.  Being medicated for so long not only kept my emotions leveled out, it also had a bit of a numbing effect.  When I was on the "proper" doses, I didn't experience extreme lows, nor did I experience extreme highs.  I was stable, I was even keeled, I was aware and comfortable with what I was feeling.  It was familiar.
Now that the meds have been taken away, it's a whole new experience.  I'm feeling things I didn't feel before, emotions that may have been covered up or numbed by the meds.  I'm in the process of creating a whole new stability.  I keep reminding myself that it's worth it- the tremor has slowed to a near "Katherine Hepburn" wobble, and I'm certainly not feeling the lows that put me into the hospital the first time around.  However, I find myself tearing up and crying without any warning.  I can be happy about something, laughing, enjoying myself, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I get a lump in my throat and the tears start to roll. A little bit of panic creeps in at this point, mostly because I can't understand how I can go from being so happy, to bawling, before I even know what's happening.
The thing is, I don't feel depressed.  I don't have a lack of interest in life, I don't feel unmotivated, and I certainly am not having thoughts of harming myself.  And yet, it is somewhat disheartening, feeling as though I am no longer in control of my emotions, the way I was when I was medicated.  I know it's an adjustment period, and I have faith that with all the skills I have learned and practiced in the past few years, I can overcome this, and become familiar with this new, unmedicated me.  There are moments when the "what ifs" creep in, and I wonder if I made the right choice coming off medication.  I find myself trying to weigh the pros and cons of my choice, trading in the side effects of medication, for memory loss from ECT and what feels like an emotional roller coaster at times.
The truth is, I spent two years wanting nothing more than for the tremor to stop, to slow, to be less aggressive.  I worked hard during those two years to accept what I couldn't control, and to make the best out of what had been handed to me.  Now that I have achieved a slower, less aggressive tremor, I need to shift my focus and hard work, to accepting that it is going to take time to become acquainted with the change in my emotions, and make the best them.  I need to remain aware, present, and thankful, for where I am in my life, and the choices I have made.  I know it will take some time, and there will be days when I want to take the easy way out and go back on medication, but I also know that living my life un-numbed, and less shaken, is a reward in itself.

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