Brain Fog

Brain fog, chemo brain, mental clouding. Since I completed my treatment and returned to work, my brain slowly became sharper, faster, and left my brain fog in the dust. My memory improved exponentially, my focus was clear, and I felt so grateful for my mental acuity returning. However, that only lasted for a few fleeting weeks. Now here I am again, spacing appointments, forgetting what I’m talking about in the middle of a damn sentence, losing focus and not getting anything done.

If you pay close attention, one can tell when I’m feeling off just by looking at my blog. I love writing when my brain is sharp but it’s the bane of my existence when my brain is mashed potatoes. If there’s a lull in my posting new content, that’s why. And just when I feel like my lack of inspiration and motivation is indelible, I begin thinking about something which I immediately identify as a good blog post. Some posts write themselves in my stream of consciousness; some posts drag on and on with no clear point. I hate those posts maybe as much as you do. Writing them feels like each word is a slow, painful tooth pull of my own teeth with pliers. However, connecting with more people via social media requires a consistent stream of photos and content. Guilt inevitably follows a poorly or quickly written post because I know I can do better. Blogging sheds light on my ever lurking perfectionism which pollutes creativity and motivation. A part of me doesn’t want to engage in an activity or a project unless I know I can make it perfect. If there’s any doubt, my inclination is to decline and not finish. For example, I have so many drafts of unpublished blog posts because they are, for whatever reason, not what I want them to be. Brain fog is not compatible with perfectionism which I think is what’s really bringing out that perfectionist beast.

Armed with this knowledge, I can move forward by silencing my inner critic (one of my coworkers calls her inner critic Sheryl so my coworker can tell her to shut up). I won’t correct texts unless my error caused confusion. I won’t let myself get impeded in the mire of minutia and lose sight of the bigger picture. My Sheryl can fuck right off.

Here’s to being gentle and patient with ourselves.



2 thoughts on “Brain Fog

    1. Mae Goes West

      It really is, Susan. I’m trying to give myself grace, but it’s hard when it’s often at the expense of my friends with whom I’ve planned something but completely forgot. My friends are wonderfully forgiving, but I feel like I’m not the most reliable friend right now. Ugh! Thanks for reading, Susan!

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