📝 When the brain fuse goes kaput – or how it can be hard to express yourself

I was watching Shiza's Twitch stream around an hour ago, and at some point, burnout came up in the conversation. This made me think about what I've been experiencing, and it's eerily similar to burnout, although it's not the same thing, and there's more to it.

You may know this as brain fog. Covid brought this issue to the spotlight. The difficulties concentrating and lack of mental energy are severe issues in chronic pain (and we now know that it also occurs with COVID-19), and they're hard to deal with. But, at least to me, the worst part of brain fog is the cognitive impairment.

Cognitive impairment is a broad term. Wikipedia has a great page on it if you want to check it out. One of the areas that has impacted me is how I express myself. I've lost count of the times I wanted to say one thing, my brain couldn't figure out the best way to do it, either because I couldn't recall some of the words I wanted or I couldn't do the proper association of ideas and concepts to express myself. I always went the kind of similar to what I want to say route because it felt identical then.

Of course, if your brain is borking itself, this feeling of similarity can be misleading. And, oh boy, it is! More times than I would like to admit.

Just before watching Shiza's stream, I had a quick online chat with someone. I wanted to reply with something, but I couldn't get my ideas sorted to express myself as I intended, so I chose the kind of similar route. At the time, I thought I had replied in a way comparable to what I intended.

During her stream, I recalled this quick convo and checked what I had written. Lo and behold, I didn't pass the message as intended and even sounded a bit like an idiot. I know I'm an idiot (we all are in someone's eyes, one way or another), but I'm not that kind of idiot.

IRL, this is even worse. Online, sometimes I wait a while before replying so I can garner the mental energy to do so. I don't have this luxury in person, and it can backfire. As you can imagine, this creates a lot of stress for me. Even if I say that I didn't express myself adequately and try to explain what I intended to speak to the best of my ability, I always end up mad at myself.

No wonder I'm always stressed, and some medical exams picked up an abnormal heart rate... My brain is like a single-core, single-threaded, 400MHz CPU with 128Mb of RAM, trying to compile the latest stable Firefox.

PS: You should take a look at Shizamura's work (she's on Mastodon) and even commission a drawing. Just check out the drawing she made of my baby boy, Chico. Gorgeous!

Monochromatic drawing of Chico, my cat

#Ramblings #ChronicPain #BrainFog