Multiple Sclerosis & Emotions: Caught Off Guard By My Reaction

I didn’t get the job.  

And that’s ok.  It wasn’t meant to be.  The mature, rational side of me knows this.  This same side of me can even admit to being slightly relieved because working somewhere that isn’t a good fit isn’t my goal.  I want to find a place, a job, where I can continue to learn more about cannabis and it’s healing properties, but also where I can help others learn about this amazing plant and hopefully help them find relief like I have.  I also want to find a place that respects and values my story, what I have gone through to get where I am now.

Sure it’s a blow to my ego.  Rejection is never easy.  But I have learned that everything happens for a reason, and I know that the right thing will come along and when it does, I will be all that more prepared to grab it by the reins and run with it.

BUT thanks to the email that arrived yesterday morning, I learned something new about my MS and emotions and feelings.  I know that stress is bad, that it can trigger my symptoms into overdrive in just a few short minutes. I know to try and avoid stress, because if something stressful happens in my life I can go from having a good day, with the pain at manageable levels and my wonky legs keeping up with me to the pain reaching maximum levels and my legs giving out in no time flat.  I know this.

But what I didn’t know is that experiencing other emotions can trigger the exact same response.  

Which makes sense.  When I experience an emotion, my body goes through physical changes – like tensing up when I am stressed or scared.  It’s not something I intentionally do, it is a visceral response to something taking place externally.  I have come to understand that just about anything “external” can have big effects on me internally.  My body and my MS can go haywire.  

I have always known that heat can exacerbate things, but more recently I have discovered that cold temperatures can lead to their own little collection of symptoms and issues, and that bright lights and noise can also bring on symptoms.  I have always known that stress is a nasty enemy but now it seems that I have discovered that it isn’t just stress, but any emotion, that is strong enough to trigger a visceral response in my body , can set off all the “bells and whistles” of this damn disease.

When I opened up the email and read “This letter is to let you know that you have not been selected for the position.those words did not make me feel stressed.  If they don’t want me then it is not the right place for me.  Yet, as I sat and read that email, I could feel the pain start to increase, irrelevant of the few puffs I had taken just a short time before, irrelevant of the fact that the pain has been really good for the past few weeks.  It arrived, right after reading this message, and along with it, the foggy brain, vision crap and wonky legs all decided to join in.

But why?  As I said, not getting this particular job does not introduce any stress into my life and my immediate reaction was to think, “wasn’t the right thing.”  So why is the pain parading all over my body?  Why did it show up now if I’m not stressed?  Why is this email having such a dramatic effect on my body and how I feel physically?  

As the morning went on, and I tried to buckle down and work on my book I realized that I couldn’t focus.  My mind kept going back to the email and when it did, the pain would seem to give a lunge to the forefront.  Obviously I am not over it, obviously, I am not okay with the email – but if not stress then what is it that is making me feel like crap?  What is it that is having this effect on me?

And then it dawned on me.  Embarrassment.  I am embarrassed that I didn’t get the job.  Not embarrassed to tell people after announcing that I had applied for a job.  Not embarrassed to tell Shawn or my kids, because I know that they will say the same thing, “not the right fit.”  None of that phases me.  I am embarrassed to face the people that I have connected with at the dispensary.  I am embarrassed to have them know that I tried to be one of them – but failed.  

I  realize that they didn’t have anything to do with the decision and I know that at least some of them encouraged and supported me when I initially decided to apply.  But I am still mortified to think about walking back in there.  I feel as if I will have a huge bubble over my head that reads “hi, remember me, the one not good enough to work here?”  

On a professional level, I know that it is crazy to be feeling this way, but on a personal level, it is the simple and raw emotion that I experienced the moment I read the email.  No different than if I had felt anger or stress and my body and the MS just automatically responded to this emotion.  As an emotion settles in, it’s followed by feelings and I was flooded with them.  I immediately began to think that if these people know me, and my story and they still don’t think that I would be a good asset to their business, then maybe my story and what I am trying to do to help others isn’t really worth all that much.  

The feeling of self-deprecation continued throughout most of my day.  As it spiraled I thought about my blog and began questioning my talents as a writer, my book, me wanting to be an advocate for medical cannabis…just about anything I have had thoughts about trying to accomplish – I began to doubt.  

I am not sure if it was helpful or harmful that I was aware of all of these thoughts and feelings as they were pinging around inside my head.  I knew that I was thinking them.  I knew that they were quite literally “stupid thoughts” and I knew that the fact that they all stemmed from one short email was just sheer insanity – but here’s the thing – when I get on a journey of self-doubt, I can’t really stop it.  I can only try and guide it to a safe exit.  Find something positive to help me believe in myself again, or find something to distract me and my thoughts until the negative talk subsides.

By the end of the day, I had conquered 12 loads of laundry (great for distraction, plus MUCH needed after back to back trips)  and finally stopped obsessing.  In the grand scheme of things, this is but one small blip on my screen, but it was really interesting to experience and be aware of just how that one little blip could mess with my body and my MS symptoms so suddenly and completely.  

The personal side of me wants to implore upon them “why didn’t you like me?  Why wasn’t I good enough?”  The professional side of me says, move on and find the right thing.  But my life, what I share here on my blog, my experience with cannabis, it’s all personal – because this is all about me and trying to get better, so I have a hard time keeping the personal side quiet. But whether I know the reason or not, the simple fact is that there was a reason and I didn’t get the job.

Shawn assures me that I will find the right “thing.”  That I will find people that appreciate me, my story and even my inappropriateness.


So I will keep fishing for opportunities….


**This is my personal blog and all opinions are my own.  I am not a doctor, nor do I play one here on my blog. The content here is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of medical professionals.  Be sure to contact your doctor before trying any new medications/vitamins/supplements, physical activities or therapies **


3 Replies to “Multiple Sclerosis & Emotions: Caught Off Guard By My Reaction”

  1. How about this perspective? From what I can tell from your blog, you applied for a job in a place where you would have the opportunity to educate customers on how marijuana has helped you with your brand of MS. I am a person that has to see the opportunity in things that didn’t work out, and maybe this is a subtle message to you to do things that allows you to “forget” for a short period of time during the day of having MS . For me, the work I do, enables me to get away from having MS. I don’t tell people what I have because unless the opportunity presents itself, people don’t really want to know, or at least that is what I tell myself. When someone asks about my limp, I judge my audience carefully, because MS is not a short answer. My quick answer is an “old football injury”, which surprises them so much, they don’t know what to say, and then I don’t have to go into “my story”. I work from home doing accounting for builders. I am known for balancing bank accounts, costing out jobs, and the MS doesn’t matter to them, and one guy doesn’t have a clue because I work virtual anyway. I have the luxury of “forgetting” about MS when I can’t find the missing penny in a bank account. MS is always following me wherever I go, but working on the computer is the one place it can’t go. Does that make sense?

would LOVE to know what you think...