Color My Mood Gray

I realized the other day that I really miss feeling good.  I’m not talking good as in the physical things such as walking or having a good night’s rest, but good as in my spirits were light and I was emotionally charged in a positive way.  Pre-MS I usually felt good every day, or at least for the largest part of each one.  But then along came MS and the not-so-good moments were mixed in with the good ones, but it still didn’t matter because most days I felt good.

Fewer and fewer good days

Then a few years later, I noticed the good days were becoming fewer and when they did come along I felt as if I could be standing atop a mountain, ala Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, and rejoicing.  The difference in my movement and mood was noticeable and one day quite unexpectedly at work I declared to my boss and office mate that I felt good. They looked at me with that ‘huh?’ expression and I had to explain it was a great day because I felt as if the sun had come out and I was soaking in its energy.

Unfortunately it has been a long time since I have had that type of emotional lift and it is really wearing on me.  It is particularly noticeable on these gray winter days when the sun doesn’t shine and I’m at home, not motivated to do anything in particular.  It occurs to me I can’t quite even put a date on when this feeling wasn’t with me, but I might guess it was in the early fall when cool breezes blew in and the sun was still warm but not blazing hot.

You might be thinking I’m spending too much time alone, working on the MS hermit thing I wrote about a while back, but that isn’t exactly the case. I’m not always alone, and I do make the effort to be pleasant, but putting a bright face on a not so sunny disposition is never easy. How often do you say ‘it could be worse’ and even though intellectually you know that it is the truth, it gives you little solace? Definitely there are always people who have it much worse, no matter how bad our MS might be, but that doesn’t help as consolation at the moment.

Hoping to get out of this rut

Since I recognize this problem, maybe I can also search out a solution. I tried a happy light but gave that one to a person who needed it more after it didn’t seem to make a difference. My sense of not feeling good does not come from something as simple as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), where a funk settles in as the season changes and the happy lights can simulate the rays of the sun and increase the brain chemicals that make us feel good.

Strangely I don’t feel bad, I just don’t feel good as in that peppy lift in the spirits that make each day easier. I suspect many of you reading this can identify with this emotional void. I don’t know there is anything I can do to make this feeling change other than continue to wish that light would come on and for a few moments I could feel charged again.

Wishing you well,

Laura

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Comments

View Comments (9)
  • Juleigh
    2 years ago

    Laura, I’m sorry you’re having a rough time! I hope things brighten up soon for you. My last Tysabri treatment seems to have really given me less symptoms and more energy after several bleak months. I’ve actually been able to clean out some areas of my house lately. We’re hoping to list the house in early April so there’s a lot of work to do. Overwhelming! Hope this feeling lasts. I’ve had it for two weeks now! Thankful!!! I’ll send some energy your way

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    2 years ago

    Juleigh, I don’t know if I really get a boost from my infusions, but if cleaning my house could be a benefit that would be great! I don’t envy you the job of at the prep that has to be done before selling a home. I hope your good feelings last, too! -Laura

  • tfs
    2 years ago

    I concur. I think my minor depression increased to major depressive disorder with the progression of multiple sclerosis. I must say that necessity has led me to try to wade through the muck. I have been very assertive in my health care and I am working hard to get to the bottom of this bottomless pit. For me MS is forcing me to make changes that may help me live in a better relationship with myself. Mindful. Compassionate. Curious?

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    2 years ago

    tfs, you throw a lot of great thoughts in your few sentences here…. the positive approach you are trying clearly comes through in your words. Thanks for the uplifting message. – Laura

  • potter
    2 years ago

    I have always had SAD, this winter we have had a lot of sunny days, so if the temperature is half way tolerable I get out in it. If it is to cold I sit in sunny window to get some extra rays. My husband will tell me now and then that I am not as happy as I use to be, I told him I was sorry but I didn’t know how to get that person back. Laura there is a light you can buy to sit under to recharge you. They use them in places like Alaska and Greenland. Potter

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    2 years ago

    Potter, I tried the light and it seemed to make little difference. But as I type this, the sun is out, and I do notice a difference in my attitude. Not as happy? I’m not sure how to even respond to that because so much changes as we age and then toss in a chronic disease like MS and how our happiness is displayed may look entirely different than when we were younger. Thanks for sharing your tips on sunlight. -Laura

  • skcullers
    2 years ago

    A. P.S. Aquatic exercise does help SOMETIMES. It’s a try it and get a lift for a bit or try it and in bed exhausted day. Pretty much roll of the dice…

  • skcullers
    2 years ago

    Are you sure we aren’t twins that got separated at birth? I feel exactly the same way. Know it’s a low grade depression which I think is due to changes in our brain. I too tired the SAD light with nada. See a psychologist but still deal with enduring many days. Do water aerobics and listen to meditation but ….. Amazing too ,as I often say ,if I have a good day feel fine which unfortunately these days are few and far between. Shared many times how when I have a day or hours I feel good , clear headed and centered it is a foreign feeling. Always was a morning person , hit the floor up and running but no more. Used to always love to socialize or cook but now seems like an insurmountable mountain to cross to do. It is demoralizing that after 27 years I still am not able to be zen like and accepting of this. Look at other people my age who are out enjoying their lives and realize what a thief this disease is. Also have realzed that MS and aging are not very compatible. Thanks for making me feel not so crazy or alone. So miss the vibrant connected to the world person I was and yes SO incredibly shocked that feeling good has become a wow this is a foreign feeling moment. Here’s wishing you some of those in the days to come.

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    2 years ago

    skcullers, I’m glad someone else understands that ‘wow’ feeling when it stops by. I’m not sure anyone ever finds zen in having MS, but there are people who have come to coexist with it. It sounds as if we might be twins in thoughts and attitude! -Laura

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