Brain Fog

Seven months ago I posted here, little knowing that it would be the last one I wrote in over half a year!

I don’t believe I could be the only person out there who has found time just flies away from them. Not only does time seem to get faster the older I get, living with a chronic illness means that anything I do manage to do, I do at a much slower rate than ever before! Ahh! I am making excuses for my lack out output.

I think in terms of writing and illness, apart from random headaches and exhaustion which can stop you dead, it is the brain fog that has killed the manic drive to write. I have this mate who keeps telling me I sound depressed. That is, until I gave him a very detailed description of what brain fog in ME/CFS feels like to me. Then he conceded that it didn’t sound like depression at all!

I’m no expert on clinical depression. Sometimes on this journey of long term illness I have said that I feel depressed about today. Or about my future. I have been told that this is sadness though, not depression. So fair enough.

Brain fog is a completely different kettle of fish to me though, than feeling despairing sadness about my future.

In the past, my brain felt full. It housed memories, experiences, feelings, knowledge, academic interests. In fact, a whole filing system of information just churning around waiting for the chance to pour out. I’m sure everyone has those days, right? You think you can’t possibly hold another piece of information or detail in your head!

Brain fog strips it all away. On bad days, my mind now feels like an empty cavern. Hollow, echoing chamber with empty drawers. A large, loud open space that feels as though it can’t hold a single thought for any length of time. I stand in this large space and try to pin down the ideas and words for a novel. A plot. A fact for conversation even. And only echoing silence comes back to me. Then sometimes it feels like I’m trying to think through mud, or thick banks of cloudy fog. How are words meant to come through all that?

That’s what brain fog feels like to me. Or course, you may feel completely differently. I would love to know how you feel and how you cope with brain fog. The murkiness of trying to find a word (it has taken me over a month to write this little post). The cognitive dysfunction of needing someone else to read your insurance papers because understanding a contract is just beyond you.

If you suffer from the cloggy, mentally drained feeling of not been able to think clearly, please tell me all about it! Not so we can wallow in our collective foggy misery, but to share the laughter about our embarrassing moments. 🙂

The latest one for me was out on a farm with a friend feeding the sheep grain out of a silo. There were mice running around and I said, “You need a goat!” There was silence. Even I could tell that wasn’t the right word. “A sheep!” Not much better.

Eventually, I managed to utter, “You need a cat.” He didn’t laugh at all.  Sometimes we all need friends like that.

 

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