Confession: I Was a Toxic Person

Stephanie Towler avatar

by Stephanie Towler |

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DMTs and MS

I confess. I was a toxic person.

A “toxic” person can possess many different characteristics — some can be more harmful than others. What do you do when you realize you have a toxic attitude? 

The beginning 

I never imagined myself becoming a toxic person. It started in about 2017. I had gone through a tough time with my mental health and I believed I had gotten past it. In my mind I was fine, but looking back I was still not OK. My mood swings had become more frequent and other people were noticing. At work, I was told my attitude was affecting the office. I felt like my multiple sclerosis (MS), which causes mood swings, was not being acknowledged.

Working became something I hated. I had to force myself to go and I would arrive angry and moody. Although I thought I was hiding this emotion, it was on full display. I would have a comment about anything and everything, or my body language would show that I was over it. I was always taking on too many tasks and would become overwhelmed. This would send me into a rage. 

I never wanted to go anywhere or do anything socially. I would just sit and be angry at the world. My conversations consisted of complaining or badmouthing someone else. I began to notice people tuning me out when I would start to vent.

When I lost a friendship, I realized my bad attitude and mood swings were outrageous. This friend and I talked every day. At times, my replies were snarky and hurtful. It didn’t occur to me how much I was hurting this person’s feelings. One day, I made the wrong comment. It was the last day my friend and I spoke.

Making a change 

Losing my friend took a toll on me. Sitting and reflecting on my actions and attitude really made me upset. I had to stop using my MS as an excuse for my attitude and I had to make a change. My first step was quitting my job. I decided that this was a toxic place and it fueled the fire inside me when I was there. I was not a good employee nor was I a good co-worker to be around. 

 My daily home routine and habits changed. I had been averaging three to five hours of sleep a night. This was another reason why I was always mean and miserable. I started taking antidepressant medications that helped with my sleep, and I started doing hot yoga and reading. These improved my attitude tremendously. 

Moving forward

I started a new job and vowed to stay positive. I don’t sweat the small stuff or take on more then I can handle. Pacing myself to make sure things get done in a timely manner and asking for help when needed also assisted in my change. I now look forward to interacting with my co-workers. 

This experience was definitely an eye-opener for me. I know that my MS changed my mood and emotions, but I don’t want that to be an excuse for my actions. I have learned a lot about myself and decided to move forward in a positive way.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Annette avatar


This is my life wow so sounds like me!!!
Hated work in the End quit !
Negative about everything and everybody !
Bad mouthing anybody and everything !
Confrontational !
Argumentative !
Taking over and being over whelmed !
Hating everybody everything
Blamed every little thing in my life on My MS
Started antidepressants
I left work and did some soul searching
Had to learn to control my negativity and Heal my mind body and soul
Loving my life Now !Quiet and still working on my negative

Mer avatar


I started pt last month and that regular trips to the gym has given me a focus to distract me from all the negatives that MS comes with.

Mary avatar


I really needed to hear this today! My life exactly! Thank you so much. ?

Jennifer avatar


Totally not me. I've had MS most of my life. I try to make others laugh, be helpful, and positive. I do have a problem with depression but I fight it. I hope others can find their way out of the negativity. I'm amazed at the "hot yoga". I can't even do "it's hot, take the garbage out" lol


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