Ladies and Gentlemen, in the spirit of more honest living and more honest communication (both hallmarks of the best life coaches, after all 😉 ), let me introduce you to my constant companion at present, probably the most frustrating of all the symptoms that come with Post Viral Fatigue/Chronic Fatigue: Brain Fog.
Well, it’s difficult to describe actually – probably the brain fog doesn’t help! It’s like my brain is full of treacle and every thought has to tramp through to be heard. It’s forgetting most of what you read by the time you get to the end of the page, particularly if it’s complex scientific stuff. It’s putting off organisational stuff like calling parents to say your daughter can come to the birthday party because they just seem overwhelming. It’s forgetting the names of people you have known for years. It’s frustration, because you know you should be able to comprehend a certain piece of information, but you just can’t get your head around it. It’s mental fatigue, in that sometimes you can just be too tired to think at all. Sometimes I feel like my brain exists in a constant state of blaaaaa. Please leave a message after the beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. It’s doing things on auto pilot rather than having to put your mind through the trouble of thinking about them. There are good days and bad days and on the bad days it feels like being in a perpetual haze.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture (not that you can see much of it for the fog). Now any exhausted mama will have experienced some if not all of the above – I know I have, even before all this started. When you get some sleep and a good meal, maybe even a break for a day or two if you’re lucky, it goes away and you have your brain back, ready and willing. In Chronic Fatigue/Post Viral it doesn’t seem to matter how well you eat or how much you sleep, your brain just won’t comply. Even writing my blog is much harder than it was. My mind wanders, I forget what I was talking about, I just can’t seem to get in the flow.
I feel compelled to write though, partly because it’s part of my big dream, and partly because I’m just sitting here in bed. Aside from getting my children ready for school, feeding them when they’re hungry and taking their education on cleaning up after themselves to a whole new level, because I simply can’t do it all myself, and it’s about time they learnt anyway, well aside from that, I’m not doing much. I tidy up a bit sometimes when I’ve got the energy. Nothing grand. Even sorting out a drawer seems like a major challenge. Before I conked out I was doing 2 high pressured responsibility -laden wellbeing and psychology-related jobs, as well as tutoring, as well as seeing clients if they sought me out (though thankfully I had no one current when I got sick). Most of those options are closing out on me, some have closed already, and besides I just don’t have to ability right now to pick up the reins and do what I was doing before. Actually to do much of anything, if I’m honest. Part of my brain says ‘This is ridiculous woman! Buck up! Get back on your horse, push through it like you always have. Get back to work, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!’ and the other part of my brain says ‘blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’
So I figure I will change the world through my keyboard instead. One foggy thought at a time.
Ever read ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle? Excellent book, changed my life. I learnt from Eckhart that pushing away uncomfortable feelings and refusing to admit that certain things are happening to you are a sure way to stay stuck. Often the only way out is through. The Power of Now will tell you to sit with your feelings, and validate them. Not to wallow endlessly in them, but to give them recognition – they’re there for a reason. Often once heard, the feelings disappear, and you can move on unfettered to the next thing.
Rather reminds me of something I once heard from Deepak Chopra. If you have a headache, you can sit down and allow yourself to actually feel your headache, rather than running from acceptance of it. You can talk to your headache and say things like ‘I feel you, I hear you, what do you want me to know?’ Often the headache disappears. I know this to be true. In my experience either the headache goes, or I at least get some useful information, such as that I haven’t eaten or drunk in too long of a time and that I need to take care of my body a bit, or perhaps that someone in my life is actually really sapping my energy and stressing me out and that I need to redress the balance in that relationship.
Brain fog I hear you, I see you. Well actually not much of you because it’s really foggy in here, but I know you’re there. What do you want me to know?
I’ll let you know how it works. And I’m slowly reducing, maybe cutting out wheat too. That’s meant to be good for brain fog. Read ‘Wheat Belly’ by Dr William Davis. There, that’s two book recommendations in one blog. Not bad, brain-fog babe!
I think I need to stop fighting myself and just roll with it for a bit. Some sources say you can recover from Chronic Fatigue, some sources say you never recover and some sources say you sort of recover, but you can never do all of what you used to do. Well I create my own destiny. I’m going to recover. Besides, I don’t want to do what I used to do, running from one thing to another, barely a moment to breathe, sapping all my strength and energy and getting no closer to my life goals … that wasn’t a life anyway. I’m making a new life slowly but surely, retuning myself, becoming more of myself. Come along for the ride if you like.
Have a fog-free Sunday, coupled with ever increasing awareness and acceptance in your life 🙂