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 For example, I have so many drafts of unpublished blog posts because they are, for whatever reason, not what I want them to be.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.