Mental Fog and Lost Desires
The great thing about real fog—the misty, creeping stuff—is that you tend to know it’s there.
You look out the window in the morning or descend a road into some rolling country valley and you know that you must treat the world, the outside, with care.
Safety becomes a concern—It’s automatic.
Turns out mental fog doesn’t work that way. Instead, it’s in you as much as you’re in it. It’s snaking through your ears, resting upon the crevices of your brain, wafting out your mouth as you smile and chat with a friend…
Without realizing it, you’ve simply become enveloped.
It Strikes in Secret
It’s only when the haze clears that you realize it had been happening at all.
There are hints. Yes…Sometimes there are hints. You notice, perhaps, that a project has fallen to the wayside. Or you haven’t been eating with your spouse at night. Maybe the exercise regime has disappeared.
Always, always, we have excuses for these waning events.
One cannot ignore objective evidence of a shirked behavior, but how one chooses to interpret the evidence may be fully subject to the brain fog’s fancy. You tell yourself it’s boredom, it’s business, it’s simply a little break.
Sometimes it really is that simple; nothing’s the matter and you are just cycling out of a phase before cycling back in.
And sometimes it’s the fog.
I don’t know when it began creeping in on me, but if I compare my work ethic over the past month (or so…?) to that of, say, last October, the difference is startling. Monstrous even, if I’m feeling dramatic.
Back then, I worked on my book every. day. Lately it’s shrunk to one or two days per week, and now is when it needs the most attention.
Let me point out that the book was much, much more fresh back in autumn. I was in the phase of initial edits versus the five-ish I’ve processed by now.
Now it’s that banana that somehow made its way to the top of the fridge and was forgotten there, ever-ripening, for weeks.
I am going to finish this book sooner rather than later.
Sometimes coming out of the brain fog just takes hitting rock bottom…
Something jarring to cast you to the ground, snap you to your feet, and permit you from that base vantage to look up and see the overhang of haze in which you’ve been residing.
Whence Comes the Fog?
I’ve allowed people to seep into my goals so much that they somehow morphed into the goals themselves (I talk about this more in my last post). This isn’t such a bad thing, on its own. Relationships are important.
But me? It seems like I can’t balance my social/love life and work life very well. In a given day I can do one, but probably not both. It’s not that my mind gets overwhelmed, per se; it just seems that it gets filled by one or the other…something like that.
Add to this that I am a people-pleasing perfectionist and it turns out that the idea of disappointing a friend or lover by not spending time with them versus working is practically painful.
Relationships with people get me caught up in a net; tangled there, floating, I can’t seem to reach my other priorities.
This is embarrassing to write about.
It’s probably different things for different people, at least if you’re one of us—we who are easily distracted—who find ourselves, at times, coming out of the haze.
My distraction drug of choice seems to be people (particularly non-female people), but maybe yours is alcohol, partying, exercise, video games, your job, volunteer work, etc.
All of those things, when done in reasonable amounts, are fine.
But I’m referring to them as drugs because for some of us, that’s exactly how they behave: We use them (sometimes subconsciously) as an escape from the thing we actually believe we should be doing.
Coming Back From Where You Weren’t
Unfortunately, this isn’t a post where I have some sort of solution. What I can say is that it seems I’ve recently come out of one of these brain fogs.
It’s always strange, this process. I find myself saying:
“But wait…where did I go?”
Yet here I am, with the fire slowly rekindling and the realization that much work awaits, and this time I’m ready to take it on.
And rather than completely sequester myself off from humans like I did over the winter, I’m going to try to bring a bit more social balance into my life with hopes that I won’t be so easily thrown off next time.
One idea I’ve toyed with for months now is that of no dating. It’s not an idea I love…I mean, I’m in my prime over here.
Still, I’m going to attempt it. I’m going to do it because every time dating happens it’s a huuuge distraction and it ends up being…not so much?
And I have to finish this book.
Your prayers…I need them.
So what is your distraction drug of choice? Or are you one of those people who can just get stuff done when it needs to get done? I mean, I get it…if you have a family or other dependents, accomplishing goals (I think?) becomes a whole lot easier. You have to get that paycheck.
Oh boohoo, I’m a victim of my own leisure.
But really—maybe there’s something else you’d like to do on a creative-level or just personal passion-project type deal. How do you do it? How do you not?
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