Today I am in serious deliberation about taking myself off of the medication I'm on. Although the pills have helped me tremendously in stabilizing the extreme ups and downs in my head, they also cause the tremors in my hands that make me beyond uncomfortable. The shaking is not so severe that it affects my driving or lifting heavy items but it does interpose with how steadily I can hold a fork, a glass of water, a sheet of paper. I find myself impatient with the focus it takes me to push a button on my keyboard or do other tasks that would not have caused alarm before. Perhaps my use of impatient was improper. Not impatient. Afraid is more truthful. Afraid that the tremors will worsen. That they will be more noticeable and affect other muscles or nerves in my body, my legs for instance.
That's the thing though, with medication. While it seemingly makes one area better, something else is worse. I have not forgotten my days of uncontrollable ups and downs. I never want that roller coaster again. Ever! Not that I don't have my days now. The difference now is that I can see light beyond the episodes. I know that I will come down from whatever high I am on. I will come up from whatever low is pulling me under. An unmedicated, and by unmedicated I don't strictly mean western medication, person living with bipolar one during an episode does not often know that an episode will end. THE EPISODE FEELS LIKE THE ENDING!! If that makes any sense. To make matters worse it is not a physical illness that can be measured with a thermometer. It is not about being too sad or too happy. Often it is about feeling alone and misunderstood by the people you love the most. The people who really want to help you but are exhausted by you because you will just not "snap out of it" as if you wouldn't if you could. And as much as you want to scream that you are not on this roller coaster because you do not have Jesus in your life any more than they have a headache or a broken leg because they don't have Jesus in theirs, you keep quiet and let them proselytize because they have already made up their closed minds about you. And so you (I) just smile and pray it is over soon.
Still, with everything I know about the ups and downs, I can't take the shaking. I have changed my diet recently. I took out all meat and dairy. Added more water and am working on more exercise. More sun, more park, more walks, more beach. There has to be a different way. A way sans the meds. A way that has me have better control of my memory and hand muscle movement. I don't know what I'm going to do for sure. But I'll let you know. Maybe.