My emotions seem to have a mind of their own

There are a lot of things about multiple sclerosis that I just don’t like. I’m not a fan of brain fog moments, weak and numb body parts, or trembling hands, but one of the worst symptoms I have to deal with is not being able to properly manage my emotions. It’s really, really weird too.

That area of my brain is damaged with numerous lesions. It sure makes conversations with me interesting. I have been known to laugh for no apparent reason, cry without being provoked and even get angry when I’m truly happy and peaceful. How do you explain that to someone you’ve just met?

I have been on anti-depressants before to help with the crying part. It took a few tries to find the right one that would work for me but it was worth the time it took. It didn’t stop all the waterworks but did help me manage them better when they came.

The one symptom though that I still have no clue what to do with is the outbursts of frustrations. It’s hard to even describe exactly what happens.

One moment I may be enjoying my day and the next I may instantly become frustrated and irritable. It takes everything I’ve got to keep things in check and to balance those emotions out. Thankfully the people around me understand what’s going on and help me to get through those times. Instead of judging me, they love me.

I was sitting on my couch the other day cutting a cantaloupe. I was using my special cutting board that has uniquely placed nails positioned on the board to hold onto the item I’m cutting and was using my rocker knife that gives me a bit more control as I cut, when a few seeds fell on the floor. No big deal, right!

Immediately, I broke down into tears. Sobbing tears too, not just a little bit of water down the cheek. What? It was just a few seeds. When things like that happen I have to keep reminding myself that everything is okay and use every bit of strength I have to take back control.

Later in the day I was talking with a friend. We were discussing an idea I had to make a walkway along the side of my house to give me a clear path to the back yard so I don’t end up leaving wheelchair tracks in the grass. As I was talking, my words got a bit mixed up and the conversation turned into more of an argument than a casual conversation. What?

There was no reason for that. It was an amazing idea and we were both getting excited about making it happen. My weird outburst made no sense at all. I’m so glad she knew exactly what was happening and helped me to get through that emotional imbalance.

I’ve always told people that MS will weed people out of your life. Emotional chaos like that is one of the reasons why. Some people just can’t make sense of the mixed up emotions some of us have to live through. Even those of us with the imbalance don’t get it.

Oh, how I wish my emotions weren’t so chaotic. I wish a lot of things were different, but I’m so thankful to know that I’m not alone. Many MSers face the very same things I do.

Don’t beat yourself up when your emotions shift unexpectedly and seem to run amuck in their own world of confusion. You may not have control over everything that happens to you but you do have a say in being able to push through those moments and come out on the other side.

It takes a lot of strength, patience, pauses and deep breathing, but it is manageable. Hang in there and find something to smile at today. Smiling is always welcome here.

14 replies
  1. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    😊thank you! I am not alone or the only one that will get angry; frustrated; cry at the drop of anything! 😂🙂😘😍

  2. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    Thank You Penelope 🙂 You have helped me in ways I cannot explain….. You are so open when others (myself included) are not or donot fully understand this disease!!! You Rock Penelope 🙂

  3. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    Thank you Penelope you have a good way of describing things that take up our time sometimes. With the high level of emotional IQ this has not reared it’s ugly head but I can understand what you must be going through. Keep up the kind words that help us.

  4. KT
    KT says:

    As usual, thank you for reminding me I am not the only one. Literally just went through a bad episode this weekend made worse by extreme heat. Definitely can relate. Stay strong:)

  5. Roland R Clarke
    Roland R Clarke says:

    Useful to read as my emotions and frustrations are weird – I was feeling like I was the weirdo but not now. Thanks.

  6. Carla L Broadbent Rogers
    Carla L Broadbent Rogers says:

    My saving grace are my dogs and cats. When I have a melt down and a blow up, they look at me, follow me to the bedroom and it is time for a nap. I am then covered with little fur blankets. The soft purrs and the paws and tails draped and stuck all over are the best depressant. The dogs make sure my ankles are clean. Less explaining. Be well.

  7. Jazzy
    Jazzy says:

    Thanks, I have same but also different, i wnder what it’s called when this M.onSter takes your emotions & supresses them, like i really don’t feel or know what to feel anymore, I think i feel empty. Wonder what this is?! Just another weirdo symptom?!

  8. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    How relieved I am to read all your replies. Self hatred. Who else should take the blame for my inconsistencies of thought or emotions? But take out blame and what are we left with? Self compassion.

  9. Marietta
    Marietta says:

    My emotions have never been so steady as when I began taking Nuedexta! My wonder drug. I hope it can help you too.

    • Rita
      Rita says:

      Hi Marietta, please could you tell me about this drug? Is an antidepressant? Does it make you gain weigh as a side effect? I had taken antidepressant but I stopped, after gained 22 pounds and became pre-diabetic, not to mention other terrible side effects from those drugs.
      My mother has diabetes. I can’t afford become diabetic too.

      Thank you, Rita

  10. Carole K.
    Carole K. says:


    Thank you for putting into words this stuff that I have been experiencing for quite some time. You have put a sigh of relief and a smile on my face once again.

  11. shari
    shari says:

    Penelope, you will never know how much or how many people you have literally saved with your self compassion when faced with these emotions, it is so difficult not to hate ourselves however you always come through with a different prospective that helps the rest of your reader’s find more self-compassion. Don’t ever underestimate the impact you have on other’s.
    Thank you.


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