I can’t seem to get through a post today. I have started writing on two different topics and don’t have the thoughts to finish either one.
The brain fog is bad today. I have been struggling with remembering to take my vitamins in the morning and I can feel the negative effect it has on my body. No vitamins=more brain fog. More brain fog=more forgetting. My headaches are getting more frequent again as well. I am not ready for my body to change on me again. My thyroid numbers weren’t terrible the last round of labs, but I FEEL worse. Adding in a few new prescriptions has not seemed to do a whole lot to help. Every day I feel a little different. It’s like when you walk into a room and forget why you went in that room, only it happens multiple times a day.
It makes life complicated in ways because it affects me on so many levels. Not just my mental clarity, but my emotional, and physical ones as well. It limits my hand eye coordination, causes difficulty concentrating on a task, screws with my self-esteem, and makes stress very troubling to manage.
My mental clarity is something I have learned not to take for granted. Some days I can do a million and one things with no issues, other days; it’s hard to wash a load of laundry without forgetting to put the detergent in it. I forget to eat, forget to put my seatbelt on, and forget to tie my shoe. It’s not that I don’t know to do these things, or can’t do them, but my brain, in a sense, skips them. I have learned to take the energy and focus that comes with good days and to run with it. It tends to wreak havoc with my bi-polar disorder. When I feel manic for a while, and the mental clarity is there, I can knock out the world, get the house cleaned, catch up on work, exercise, and have dinner ready every day. When I feel manic and have brain fog, it’s scary. I spend too much money because I forget about the budget. I don’t think about the fact that the money pit has an end, and in all actuality, is not a pit. I spend lengthy amounts of time obsessing over small things like the level of organization on my office, or the small stain in my jacket sleeve. When I have mental clarity and depression, the other end of bi-polar disorder, I am creative. Although often sad, this is when I find where my best written work comes from. It’s from the pain and broken parts of me that I find a lot of inspiration. And while I am trying to pull away from that and use positivity as my energy source, I cannot deny that unhappiness, being unsettled, and feeling trapped often spawn some of my most well thought out and emotional pieces. Depression and brain fog are the worst state of mind for me. I can’t think clearly or well and it leaves me feeling broken and beaten. I am often times very irritable and quick to snap or break at these points.
This cycle has taken effect on many of the relationships in my life over the years. Friends don’t always know how to deal with my changing moods or my inability to keep up with their lives, so they bail. I don’t have too many folks that I talk to on a regular basis that have stuck around for any real length of time. And aside from my partner, my “closest” friends are people I have not even met yet. Not saying that those relationships are any less real, because they were birthed from the land of networking. At times is just feels like the people I see every day are tired of my issue and have no desire to understand it. I can’t say that I blame them; it’s frustrating and difficult to deal with.
It hurts more though when it causes issues or tensions with a partner. They are the people you want to always be able to lean on when things get tough, but the brain fog makes communication harder. It’s hard to explain feelings and keep rational emotions. Sometimes the brain fog makes everything seem so monumental that the smallest criticism seems like a huge pounding. And sometimes you just don’t get it at all. Sometimes, you miss out on the words that are trying to be explained to you. I have compared it to listening to adults from Charlie Brown. WAH WAH WAH, that’s it. You can’t connect the words and sentences and form complete thoughts. They may as well be talking to a brick wall because you can’t understand them when you have pea soup for brains.
My clumsiness abounds when I am dealing with brain fog. It messes with the ability to function smoothly physically. I trip easily, stutter, face headaches, don’t feel hunger, and get dizzy at times. All of this makes it difficult to stay on a healthy eating and exercise plan and often leads to yo-yo weight loss and gain. It tires me out and makes me feel a constant wave of exhaustion. At the same time, it causes insomnia and the inability to sleep or get any real rest.
So, how do I cope with it?
First, support is good. Find yourself a group of people who understand and know what you are feeling. I for example, deal with brain fog because of my Hypothyroidism and I have a support group that is ALWAYS willing and able to talk through emotions. They understand it because they have suffered from it to and they can relate. Relatability is a huge factor sometimes! https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThrivingThyroidWarriors/
Second, eat well. I have talked about these things before but in relation to brain fog, diet is HUGE. If I don’t eat regular healthy meals, my body doesn’t have the fuel it needs to process life. Your brain and your body need real clean food to function. I find that the more citrusy foods I eat, the better I am. Balance with lots of green leafy vegetables and Omega-3 Fatty acids. Maybe that’s why I have a slight obsession with orange juice?
Third, Exercise if you can. I know I can’t always do it, for various reasons. But if you can, try it, moving the blood and oxygen around in your body has its benefits. It can also increase serotonin and endorphins that will make you “feel” better. But don’t worry, I won’t fuss at you or look down on you if you can’t, I understand how it feels.
Fourth, take your vitamins. Co-Q-10 is good, as well as B12 and a multi-vitamin.
Fifth, take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar. It helps detox your body.
Finally, WATER. Drink it. Lots of it. Add some fresh lemons too if you have them.
All of these things help some of the time, but none of them help all of the time. It’s usually a combination of them all that helps the most. Just have patience with yourself. You will shake it.