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Lifting the Fog from My Mind

  • Posted on March 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM

If I had to choose, I’d rather be in pain than be in fog. I’m not talking about the literal atmospheric condition which essentially creates cloud-like conditions for several feet off the ground, though fog can be rather annoying to drive or walk through. I’m talking about something called “fibro fog.” At least, I think that’s what’s going on.

My livelihood (and my family’s) relies on my ability to think, to focus, to concentrate, and to string those focused thoughts into words on the page, i.e. to write something worth reading. Generally speaking, I’m fairly good at this. But lately my abilities to focus and to concentrate have been slipping. It feels like, for the last few months, I’ve fallen off a foggy cliff and disappeared for a while. This is on top of another illness, which has been difficult to shake.

When I’m well enough, I meet, via Skype, with a co-writer on a weekly basis. Awhile back, I explained, “My week is gone and I have no idea where it went.” I had nothing to show for it, including the assignment I was supposed to turn into him the day before we met. That has persisted for much longer than just the one week now.

This is frustrating, because if I can’t focus and concentrate, I can’t work. The work piles up and there’s always more of it to do. It’s also how I earn my family’s living. What’s more, much of what I do for the boys (advocacy, program development, ect.) to ease their way in the world also relies on these abilities. I can’t advocate for my children properly if it’s a struggle to simply concentrate and focus my thoughts.

The thoughts are there, they just don’t reach my mouth or my fingers. They slip away into the fog. In some ways, it’s similar to descriptions I’ve heard of attention-deficit disorders. Except, instead of thoughts moving quickly, they move terribly slow and the fog (a blank nothingness) rolls in quickly over them. In some ways, it’s similar to depression, except instead of my mood being depressed (mood is actor), my whole brain is being depressed (brain is the subjected to the action). Altogether, I dislike it and want it to stop.

Anyone know anything that might help?

A New Writing Zone?

  • Posted on April 30, 2012 at 8:00 AM

So, my mom is buying a house.  The house has a basement.  The basement has a room.  And my mom has offered this room as an alternative to my current working quarters.  Right now my office is in my own basement, and my basement has this whole leak-when-rain thing that’s not so good for me and my allergies.  Our attempts to fix the problem revealed the need for a whole new wall—remember, this is a basement, so it’s an expensive sort of wall.

Another concern is that the basement office means that when the kids are home it sounds like elephants running over my head.  Any time there’s a meltdown I hear it, unless I have headphones or earplugs on, and it breaks my concentration.  Which would be fine, except concentration is rather important in my line of work.

This alternative office would be a good solution to my problems.  But there are reasons I’m a work-at-home mom.  Mainly, it’s because my family’s needs require me to have a very flexible schedule.  This alternative office wouldn’t interfere with that.

But, it’s also, because I can usually help in ways that others can’t when my kids have a meltdown.  Moving my office would most definitely interfere with that.

On the other hand, I have a lot of difficulty “turning off” work.  This interferes with other aspects of family life.  If I actually left my house to go to work, then that might be better.

I’m undecided.  I suspect, if I do this on any lengthy basis, I’ll have to build up to it.  This will require finding alternate strategies for a variety of different roles I fill as a work-at-home mom.  I’m not sure my family’s ready for that.  I’m not sure I’m ready for that.  But I’m starting to wonder if it’s time we found out.


  • Posted on March 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Constant churning purr soothes,
Drowning out the household sounds.
Concentration comes.

Chairs shake and rattle,
Elephant stomp their flurry, hurry.
Concentration wanes.

Sweet quiet, smooth as glass,
As slumber takes hold of the house.
Concentration comes.

Amongst the jubilant hands,
Grabbing for Mom’s careful tending.
Concentration wanes.

Nature’s song of birds,
Blowing winds among the trees.
Concentration comes.

Busy feet, buzzing phones, and
Random talk intrude, as I wait…
Concentration fails.