Today, my mind is the clearest it has been in days. Fighting brain fog doesn’t work, any more than trying to clear a path through its namesake in weather does. The biggest difference between the two is that your eyes see fog with clarity, but you don’t always notice fog slowly filling your brain, in fact, on many occasions, it hasn’t been until it starts to clear, that I have truthfully seen it for what it was. Brain fog is incidence. It creeps into each crevice and slowly it fills them, flowing quietly into every part, while you, well, you slowly get more and more confused. Life gradually becomes misplaced, while you’re fighting madly to make sense of it. Years ago, I would see it almost instantly, but as I have generally become confused, seeing fog creeping in on top of it, has been harder and harder to distinguish. How do you tell the difference between normal madness and the madness that fog brings?
On a normal day, I can have problems just stringing two words together. I stutter and stammer as I desperately grope for the word that seconds before was on the tip of my tongue, but now that I actually want to use it, it’s gone. On a good day, I eventually find it, on a foggy one, I don’t stand a chance. You grope your way around, trying to clear a path but you can’t, as the second you sweep away an inch, ten pile in behind, obscuring everything, often even your voice. Even things that are there right in front of you, can become nameless objects. Objects that you know, but can’t describe or name. They are just that thingymajig, the oojamaflip that you use to you know, do that thingy with. Yet still, you can do that thingy without thought or difficulty, unless you actually think about it. The connections are there, but they’re fuzzy and feel flawed. Slowly you trust nothing, not even yourself, to be where it once was.
Fog has become a resident feature of my life. The clarity that I feel at the moment, is fleeting and glorious when it arrives. It is like a bright light, it lets me make sense of everything, for a short time, before the fog slowly once more shrouds it all. Fog used to be an occasional visitor. The odd day here and there, annoyingly making life tough, before normality returns. Now the balance has changed. I still call that clarity normality, but it isn’t, it’s now the visitor, the friend that drops by from time to time, to remind me what life should be like. If I am lucky, it stays for a few days, but that hasn’t happened for a while. I keep hoping that it will stay, but it’s slowly eclipsed in hours, not days. Tiredness seems to be the trigger, the door that once open allows the fog to return, and I’m slowly swallowed, consumed and eventually, once more gone.
Things changed a few months ago, exactly when, I can’t say any more than I notice its arrival. There must have been a day when the balance changed, but I don’t remember when it was. I now spend more time drenched in the mist than I do out in the light. I know in the last few months I have spoken often of my memory laps, and how they are getting worse. When you’re encased in fog, you don’t only forget what you once knew, you can’t remember what’s new. You might be there in that moment, but you see it as being somewhere else, caught in a half world, like the one between wakefulness and sleep. In that state you can’t make yourself move, well, just like that, you can’t make yourself remember either. Memory can’t be forced, it either is, or it isn’t, no half world, no options, just as it is, wrapped in a fog that swirls and changes outside of your control. Some things get through, others are misplaced, some are just fractured, but all are still there, it’s just accessing them that is hard.
Living inside a cloud means that the outside world is muffled. A bit like wrapping a pillow around your head, but you can see, hear and interact. That cloud pulls you inwards until you live inside yourself, rather than out there. unless something yanks you out to where others are. More and more you live inside your head, talking silently to yourself, cut off from conversation, from the pictures and sounds that the TV makes, isolated but still for now, still part of it all. Your ability to do more than one thing at one time diminishes. You have to use all your abilities to stay in connection with one thing at a time. That conversation, the one that others are trying to have with you, only gets through if you let it. You can’t talk and follow the TV at the same time, nor can you think while someone talks, everything has to be done in turn, not all at once.
At times even awareness slides inside and all you hear is yourself. Unlike other symptoms, there are no crutches, no wheels, no tablet, nothing that can make a form of reality others would understand, or be able to relate with. Fog is isolating, but it’s also strangely comforting. The longer you live inside it, the more you accept that there is you home, the place where you should be. I fear that slowly my need to interact will vanish, that I will find less and less need to be anywhere else, other than inside my head. I often wonder if what I am going through, might be just like the beginning of dementia or Parkinson’s. I don’t think I have either, let me make that one clear, I just wonder if brain fog, hold a similarity to other conditions, that affect the brain. If somehow, we have the eyes into their worlds.
I know that slowly this fog will take over, even more, I’ve seen it and I’ve read about it from others. Just as my body is slowly failing, so is my mind and for now, just like my body, I can see it. What happens when we can’t?
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 10/10/2014 – Pushing the boundaries
Yesterday just sort of happened, right through until I went for my nap absolutely nothing of interest or note happened, it was just a day, as I said until I went for my nap. Lying down seems to trigger so many things, but I already had my diaphragm creating pressure all around my lower ribs, so I wasn’t that surprised that the strange sensation of having a ball shoved inside my ribcage, whilst…..
As usual you write like a dream; brilliant description. I’m sorry to hear about your brain fog, it’s an awful thing. I am often fogged due to awful sleep so I can try to relate, but I do understand that this is on another level. Very thought-provoking as ever.
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Thank you for reading and for the compliment. Brain fog comes on many different levels, some days worse than others, some people worse than others, but we all share something that none of us can escape. Those who don’t live with it, don’t get that, they don’t understand how it takes over and how trapped we are, but that it comes and goes. If it’s not logical to us, how can those that have never been there understand. Whatever our level, we share a lot. 💞
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Though I spend a lot of time in that fog, I have never been able to describe it so eloquently. You have captured the feeling, the frustration, the isolation, and the fear perfectly.
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Thank you, I just wish that none of us could relate to any of it.
Take care 💞
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Reblogged this on Musings On My Life.
Thank you 💞
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Thank you. I think you have described what my husband’s experience w/Alzheimer’s is like. Slowly leaving interactions to live only inside your own head. The body plays many cruel tricks. Despite your “brain fog” you are still able to eloquently describe your experiences.. that is a gift.
As I said in my post, I wondered if it was similar, although I don’t think it is the same, as brain fog comes and goes, slowly clearing a little then filling in again. For many, it is only around for a few hours in a month, others it moves in and stay almost permanently. So far, I have been lucky, I can write, but it can be a struggle, one that is increasing.
Take care 🙂
I am in that fog quite often and have wondered myself if it is the start of dementia especially because of my age. I could never in a million years explain on paper how it feels but you have in such an open, truthfull way. THANK YOU!
I wrote it down over a period of time, as I was sure that many wouldn’t be able to put it into words. I just hope that it is something that can help others to explain it to their partners and loved ones 🙂
Wow, I really can relate to this. You described brain fog with transcendent clarity. It took my breath away! Brain fog and all, you inspire me.
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Thank you 🙂