Lost Time and “The Fog”

W hat has put me into the deepest of depressions is the realization of how much time has been lost. My perpetual mental “fog” lifts – albeit momentarily – only to reveal that I’ve been mentally asleep for so long it seems I’m starting life anew. There are so many things I should have done which can ONLY be done by using time to your advantage – like saving for my kids college tuition, or heck, ANY DAMNED SAVINGS – that a part of you is desperate to do something…anything…that you think will help to relieve the anguish.

When you are embedded in the fog – that mental radio1 that tunes all stations simultaneously with each competing for your attention – daily psychical survival (turning off the radio? detuning it? smashing it?) is the only thing that you focus on. You are like the deranged who hear voices in their head and desperately wish to make it stop. And somehow you do make it stop but using self-destructive methods: day dreaming, delusions of self-worth, drugs (illegal ones or “legal” ones like alcohol, tobacco or prescription drugs), carb overload (eating till your brain feels at ease…I often eat some sort of carbs in the evening which has a calming effect allowing me to sleep…sorta) . You grip onto anything that will stop you from sinking into the abyss: a significant other that seems to offer stability (often you control that significant other and manipulate them into some sort of submission so that you are in control and you are in control over the only thing you can control which is that other person…after all, you damned well know that you can’t control yourself). Each day slips by with little being accomplished except for the awaited arrival of your imaginary deus ex machina (a lucrative business deal? a magical inheritance?) that will resolve the daily mental struggles that will, so you hope, make the chaos go away. But it does not arrive and so, another day comes and again you are in the fog.

1- See: The Tyranny of Now

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  • http://kickmyadd.wordpress.com/ bloggingawayadhd

    I know EXACTLY what you mean!

  • mark

    wow this add sucks lol i feel ya everything you say in the blog.. I havnt officialy been diagnosed but i took 15 test and all positive for the symtoms just not trying to fix myself ugh

  • Jeff

    Mark,

    You summed it up quite well, “this add sucks.”

    I recommend not waiting too long to fix yourself. The longer you put it off the harder it will be.

    Jeff

  • mark

    typo ” trying to fix myself lol

  • Dev

    Thank you for articulating what I’ve felt for soooooooo long.

  • Jeff

    Dev,

    You are quite welcome. Sometimes all we need in life is a bit of “validation” that we are not the only ones experiencing something. Too often we think our experiences are unique when, in fact, they are experienced by many others.

  • Scott Hutson

    I think we all can agree on this. A heavy load can be lifted, by knowing the reasons. A much heavier load can take its place if we don’t try to use the knowledge
    to help ourselves. Just being here at Jeff’s is a good start for me.

    Reading comments/posts/articles has been a learning expieriance about the way others have seen themselves. I am trying to see myself through the fog…

    Scott.

  • Carmen

    This part of your blog is 100% me.

    “You are like the deranged who hear voices in their head and desperately wish to make it stop. And somehow you do make it stop but using self-destructive methods: day dreaming, delusions of self-worth, drugs (illegal ones or “legal” ones like alcohol, tobacco or prescription drugs), carb overload (eating till your brain feels at ease…I often eat some sort of carbs in the evening which has a calming effect allowing me to sleep…sorta) . You grip onto anything that will stop you from sinking into the abyss”

    Although it may seem sick in a way it is really nice to know that I am not alone AND that I am NOT crazy!

  • Jeff

    Carmen,

    On the contrary, there isn’t any stigma in knowing that others suffer some of the same things you do. In fact, I think it helps reduce the feeling that you’ve been singled out for some sort of “divine” punishment.

  • Jay

    Jeff,

    I followed your link to this thread and see you’ve captured another one of my pet peeves.

    How do you get it together to cut through the fog and keep this blog going?

    I’m on meds which help me get through the work day, but that’s about all the gas I get. My family takes the weekends and the fog is back before I can get it together to work on my own projects to my satisfaction.

  • Jeff

    Jay,

    Do not be fooled by what may appear to be my ability to “get it together.” I struggle with it all the time…every day. What keeps me coming back to the blog and writing is that it has become my therapy, the “public couch” where I tell all and get this stuff out of me so I can more clearly see it and see what I am dealing with.

    Most recently I made the most important change to my meds: I started using Vyvanse. Absolutely wonderful! I feel like a V12 engine with all the pistons firing all day long! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisdexamfetamine) Sure…I still have my ADD moments but, damn, this stuff is WONDERFUL!!

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  • Steve

    Jeff / Other ADDers,
    Ugh. I have been in the fog for a week and a half, now. Can’t seem to find my way out. Unfortunately, I know what caused it. Change of meds to avoid the side-effects of strattera, complete shift of schedule from ridiculously busy to not-at-all, and gray weather have all been causes.
    I have been to this site everyday to read through everything that used to be motivating and therapeutic, but alas, not this time. This is a serious fog. The only thing that provides comfort is knowing (hoping) that I will come out on the other side.
    That’s my rant. Hopefully, people in my situation can read this and hold on to the knowledge (hope) that they, too, will emerge from the fog. Probably sooner than later.
    Steve (not my real name)

    • Jeff

      Steve,

      Boy…I can sympathize. I’ve been in fogs that have lasted for weeks and then…suddenly…they just clear. What I’ve found is that the more I worry about it…the long the fog lasts. So I just try to do things that clear my head, such as long walks, music, building things (e.g., household repairs), gardening and going out with friends. And I also tend to go from crazy busy to nothing to do (the vagaries of my business) and gloomy weather makes it all a bit worse. However, you WILL get through this (as you know) and that’s the most important thing to remember. You know this will pass…and..eventually…you’ll get back into a regimen of meds that work better for you.

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  • Lbkramer63

    I have tried to explain this “fog” to my husband. He’s an electrician, so I told him it’s like being a light switch without a dimmer. You’re either “on” or “off” and hope for more “on” days than “off” ones. Exercise helps me more with the fog than anything, when I don’t talk myself out of doing it.

    Never related my carb binges to ADHD before. Often eat sugar and feel sick after.

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      I also find that the exercise helps (I’m writing this on my crackberry while I’m out walking). For me I think I would go with the dimmer analogy and “the fog” is when the dimmer is low that the light is barely perceptible.

      What was your husband’s reaction to your analogy? Did a light bulb go off? ;)

      Re: sugar – My dentist makes fun of me (my chocolate addiction is taking its toll).

  • E

    This is phenomenal. I tried googling “brain fog” the other day and scared the crap out of myself by coming up with Sluggish Cognitive Tempo… of course I convinced myself thats what I have, since I am also a hypochondriac, even though I was diagnosed as having ADHD since age 6! Anyway, it is so good to know that other people have this too. Problem is, I got through college, and now I am a first grade teacher, and a few times a month (yep, that time of the month) I am just so useless in the classroom because of the fog. And working with 20 six year olds just makes it so much worse. Imagine 10 kids all talking to you at the same time, and you are just sitting there, not actually understanding any of them, because you are constantly trying to focus on another sound in the room. All day. And if I try to get off adderall? Its like this EVERY DAY. I have got to get out of teaching before I start having a family and I CANT take meds because I’m pregnant! UGH!

    • http://jeffsaddmind.com Jeffs ADD Mind

      I wrote this post almost seven years ago. In so many respects my life has improved so, I can tell you, that things *do* get better.

      If you’re aware of the fog, that is, you realize it’s about to hit, because it comes around that time of the month, you might want to figure out what activities you can come up with that will keep the kids engaged.

      Perhaps you can switch to part-time teaching, that is, working as a substitute teacher? I know some people who would tell the school district that they can only work on Tuesdays and Fridays….or something like that.

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