Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Bad Days Will Happen: Don

Bad Days Will Happen: Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Life with Multiple Sclerosis is often described as a roller coaster. With a wide variety of symptoms that can pop up at any moment, we never know when we’ll have the next high or low. No matter how much we plan for the next day, we have to be prepared to toss those plans in the trash. I know I’ve woken up many days with a grand plan of doing super important things (you know, like laundry, showering, walking the dog, etc.), only to have my body suddenly fail me. These types of last minute struggles and changes of plans can be extremely hard to cope with and tend to make me down on myself. It’s important to remember that these moments will happen though, and we can’t beat ourselves up about them.

Canceling plans

Canceling plans is a big part of having MS. The unpredictable nature of our disease can wreak havoc on even the best laid plans. Triggers like stress and temperature are often big culprits, however, there are times when our symptoms get ramped up and we can’t pinpoint any particular reason for it. Sometimes, it just happens. I don’t know about you, but when something just happens and I can’t figure out a reason, I get incredibly frustrated. Not that having a reason makes it that much easier, especially when some triggers are simply unavoidable.

Getting angry with myself

The frustration of my body forcing me to cancel my plans, whether they were big or small, has often led to me getting angry with myself. Yes, I know it isn’t my fault (no matter what friends and family might think). That doesn’t stop me from get down on myself though. “Come on Devin, you can’t even take a shower today!”, “Guess I’ll just stay in again because of this stupid body of mine”, “What did I do wrong this time?” (those quotes, of course, would have more, um, colorful language in them in real life). Does it make sense to blame myself for something an unpredictable and incurable disease causes? Of course not! Knowing that has never made me do it any less though.

Easing up on myself

As I’ve been battling this disease and this particular issue for close to two decades, I am now starting to ease up on myself a bit and I hope that everyone else can do the same. While it’s hard to accept, bad days are going to happen. Beating ourselves up about them won’t make them any better. There are a lot of things in life that we can’t change; if you have MS, this is probably one of them. It’s not fair (wow, how often do we think that?), but understanding that it will happen is important. Trust me, plenty of others won’t understand while you cancel at the last minute, you don’t need to pile on yourself too.

Tomorrow is another day

So these days, when I wake up, and it becomes clear that my body just won’t cooperate, I try my hardest to accept it and remember that tomorrow is another day. I know I can’t prevent it, but I can do my best to react to it in a way that doesn’t make me feel even worse. When it comes to MS, being upset is a sure way to make one bad turn into multiple bad days. I lay down and remember that none of this is my fault and that there isn’t much I can do. I remember that it’s OK to have a day that is just a wash and ruined. It’s OK to have a rest day. It’s OK to cancel. We are, after all, battling a disease every moment of our lives. I accept those days now, but with the promise to myself that I will make the most out of the days when I feel decent.

Thanks for reading!


My Other Articles On MultipleSclerosis.netFollow Me On Facebook

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • tfstf
    2 years ago

    Like many of your faithful followers, I really appreciate your honest and truthful approach. I admire that you don’t sugar coat the issue(s), and continue to be candid even if some people are critical and mean in response. Today is one of those days that I blame myself and name call: lazy, unambitious, unresourceful. It is just one day and I will get through it. We cannot live in isolation and family members don’t really get it. Today I have done myself a huge favour by reading your blog and responding. Hurrah for us. We are thoughtful, warm, and wonderful heroes doing our best to live our lives and meet the challenges of the day. Thanks, Devon. I know you’re a dog person, but I think you are just the cat’s pyjamas. Big fan.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thanks so much tfs! Always a pleasure to hear from you, and everyone really, even those that may be critical, anything that brings discussion, is a positive in my book. I’m happy you stopped by, and I hope the rest of your day goes well!

  • CatDancer
    2 years ago

    Thanks Devin. I always appreciate your posts. I have asked my providers many times, “Is there something I did wrong?” Of course, they always say no. But I do have some guilt about it. This started beating me up for the past couple years and has drastically changed my life very fast. I’m learning those rest days… I still fight it and question if I caused it. I feel lazy and horrible about it. Our bodies have a mind of their own.

  • Devin Garlit moderator author
    2 years ago

    Thank you CatDancer! I think that’s something we all deal with. I often wonder what did I do? ( It’s easy to get down ourselves, but we always have to remember, it’s not our fault. These things just happen, getting a disease like MS is very much a freak accident. It’s ok to have down days, and I think it’s important to remember that on those rough days, those rest days, that’s still us fighting the disease, doing what we need to in our battle with it.

  • Poll