Sunshine Through The Brain Fog

Updated: May 8


Notebooks for Archwilde novel series
Umpteen years of my story scribblings in a bin.

Imagine you created a fictional world and everyone/everything in it, then rewrote parts of it slightly differently in each decade of your life, until your 40s where it all finally came together in (what you hope is) the book it was always supposed to be.

We're talking decades of inventing new characters, cutting old characters, new plot twists, deepening of storylines, building and re-building of the world and its cultures, character evolutions, name changes and so forth. There's so much world, so many people and through-lines and stakes, and it's all in tattered notebooks, various types of computer files and mostly, your head.

And then, just when it's all coming together, your brain decides "You know what? Stress and some health issues have kind of pushed me into a big-ass ball of 'nope.' So I'm gonna force you to slow your ass down with a little tune I like to call Fibromyalgia."

And you're like, "Come on, Brain. I really need you to work right now. I am sooo close to hitting deadlines I've set for myself with this book, and I have a bitchin' idea for a sequel. I have to get through these rewrites."

And your brain's like "Look, I get that. But here's the thing - this pile of stress junk-mail that's been accumulating for the last five years is taking up all of my processing power. I've been trying to warn you for years with friendly reminder migraines that this was becoming an issue for me, but you didn't slow your roll."

And you're like, "Oh - that's what those were? I thought that was hormones."

And your brain's like, "Nope. Those were 'warning, inbox approaching full' messages."

And you're like, "Oh. Shit."

And your brain's like, "Look, I'm all for working on this book, but you gotta clean out your inbox first."

And you're like, "Ok, how long is that going to take?"

And your brain's like, "Hahaha. Well, how fast can you open, read, and either file or shred all of this junk mail?"

And you're like, "Oh. Shit."

And your brain's like, "Yeah. Gotta do the work."

And you're like, *Sigh.* "Okay. But can you at least give me some inspiration and productivity amidst the junk-mail-clearing process?"

And your brain's like, "Absolutely. IF you can balance it and not let more junk mail pile up."

And you're like, "Oh! Totally! I'm an amazing multitasker! Have you not seen my work history? I was a Production Coordinator Extraordinaire! That's ALL I did - multitask like nobody's business!"

And your brain's like, "Uh, Lady, that's how we got in this situation in the first place. We need to completely reconfigure how you tackle things."

And you're like, *waving it off, already on four tasks at once.* "Sure thing, Brain. No worries. I can do that."

And your brain's like, "Nope." *wraps itself in something fluffy and cottony.* "POOF! Brain fog."

And you're like, " ... I .... can't ... words ..."

And your brain's like, "That's better. Now. Let's try this again. Rest, exercise, hydrate, sort through emotional stressors. One task at a time, one foot in front of the other. And no sugar binging."

And you're like, *Sigh.* "Okay." *does the work, starts feeling better.* "Oh hey, you're right! This works!"

And your brain's like, "Great! Let's keep this up! Here's a little inspiration, too. You've earned it."

And you're like, "OMG, thank you!" *proceeds to write until 1 am ahead of a packed few days, gets no sleep because mind won't stop racing with story.* "Uggh, so tired. Gotta go do all the things today, and tomorrow, and the next two days. And I forgot breakfast. NEED CAKE. AND COFFEE. AND FRENCH FRIES. No time to meditate. Why is everything too loud and bright and why do I want to cry? What is wrong with me? Am I dying? I must be dying! WHY AM I TALKING SO MUCH?"

And your brain's like, *sigh.* "Let's try this again." *wraps itself in something fluffy and cottony.* "POOF! Brain fog. And also, here's a crap-ton of pain. Because you need to learn, dumbass."

And you're like, *Sigh.* "You're right, Brain. I was feeling so good for a bit there I forgot about this Fibromyalgia thing."

And your brain's like, "I getcha. But hey, if you don't keep up with this, and really do the work, it's just going to get shittier. Do you understand?"

And you're like, *Firm nod.* "Yes. I completely understand. I know what I have to do. Thank you for the reminder."

(Repeat the above cycle for the better part of two years. Which brings us to the present ...)

And now your brain's like, "Ok. So. This last round I threw in some scarier stuff because I really want to get your attention before things get worse."

And you're like, "I get you this time. I know I suck at sticking to things. I always have. But I get it now. And look, I'm really tired of feeling shitty all the time. I left the crazy work stuff behind me, I've been working on that junk mail pile (Damn! It's huge!) and I have been reading all the books and information I can on how to get through all of this and make a positive lifestyle change. I think I might finally be at the point where I get it."

And your brain's like, "I've known you for forty-something years. We'll be through this again, I'm sure. But I believe you, and I'm here for you. Just try and remember - you have some element of control over this, but you have to make the effort."

And you're like, "Thanks, Brain. I'm sorry I keep beating you up."

And your brain's like, "It's all good. We're in this together. Let's go call up Heart and maybe have a little chat about self-compassion, shall we?"

And you're like, "That sounds nice. And I'd really like to finish my book and write the next one, you know."

And your brain's like, "Let's do this work, and I think that'll help you do the writing work."

And you're like, "Cool." *practices mindful breathing which has now become a habit instead of a forced-reminder thing.* "Hey! Look what I did there!"

And your brain's like, "Good job! See? You can do this."

And you're like, "Yes. I can."


The preceding is a blog post from the archives, written in 2019, but ever relevant to navigating my writing and creative process with a chronic illness.

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