On days when I may be feeling physically okay, I experience what I like to call brainfog. It comes from out of nowhere. You don’t notice it until you feel it slowly creeping in and settling. It’s like a dense fog that is full and heavy. So dense that you can only see a foot or two in front of you. Like when you have a lot on your mind and are really stressed out. It’s the opposite of an anxiety attack. Instead of a million thoughts at once, thoughts flow slowly at a pace that is sluggish and slow. The harder you think, the thicker and heavier the fog becomes.
Jumbled thoughts come out in tangle of nonsensical words, phrases, verbs, and adjectives. You forget things that you normally wouldn’t forget any other day. This includes staring off into space pondering the fate of the universe at awkward times. There is a lot of repeating “huh” or “what?” or mumbling incoherently to yourself or others. Or, forgetting to say hello or to respond when someone asks “how are you?” or other simple questions.
It’s like when the little loading circle pops up on your screen when you’re loading a web-page but in your head. Or the old Windows 95 loading screen when you would transfer large files or install something. It happens in the middle of sentences and cause you to get stuck in the middle of a sentence and you have to try to think of another word or skip over until someone else can fill in the blank.
Sometimes you can work through it. Slowly piecing together verbs, nouns, and adjectives to make a coherent sentence. Feeling your way carefully with your arms out in front of you until you are able to find your way out. But its exhausting, time consuming, and extremely frustrating. Sometimes it’s better to disconnect and try not to think at all until the fog is lifted.