This is something I have a hard time putting in words despite dealing with it so frequently. I think I run into this problem because I am so reliant on my knowledge and words to communicate. I’ve said this before, I’m an English major. The English language is my craft, like a painter using paint to create an image or a musician using an instrument to create a sound. I use language to create stories. I’m not even sure if “brain fog” is a good way to describe what I feel or experience.
It’s not like fog rolls across my field of vision or my brain is foggy or cloudy. The way I would describe it is more akin to an electronic shorting out. My brain shorts out. It might be I’m sitting, chatting with a friend and I just stop taking mid sentence because I’ve lost my train of thought. I back track a bit, sometimes I can recover it and sometimes I can’t. I’ll begin sentences and end them on a different note. My memory suffers in various ways. I tell the same story twice to the same person, I’ll repeat the same things over and over again. I can’t remember saying it before. I won’t remember if I’ve said something, sometimes I won’t say something but the phrase echoes in my mind. I lose words on the tip of my tongue. I can’t express myself effectively because my vocabulary becomes limited and dull. I can’t use flowerly language like I am use to, or be concise in my thoughts. I’m just vague.
I “space out” a lot which I liken to “shorting out” as well, even though it’s different than I described above. It’s more like I’m there one moment and then I’m not. I don’t realize I’ve gone. I don’t realize it until I’m back in my own head. It doesn’t become a problem until I’m driving and I don’t remember driving the last 500 feet. Like coming up short in my thoughts I can’t seem to control this. I can’t stay in my own head. I’m driven out by the pain and everything else.
The one part of brain fog I would draw comparisons to fog is the fatigue especially when I’m studying or reading. I find myself staring at a page and I’m tired. Studying with a headache is exhausting in itself. I can feel the drop in my basic needs from intelligence to the more basic needs of sleep and safety. I curl up in my warm bed and sleep, damning the consequences of not completing school work.