June 28th, 2000

Brown-eyed Stare

A description of DBF (dense brain-fog).... something I get occasionally

Notes from yesterday, and its brief bout with DBF:

When I become confused and overwhelmed (sensory overload), I enter a land of bewilderment, inability to function adequately, and resultant shame. It is where I am perpetually confused and everything is my fault. It is like slogging through a deep swamp; it's difficult to get anywhere, and it takes a lot of exertion to go a simple distance. At that point, I do not understand most spoken language, and cannot even put simple logical thoughts together in my own head. I can watch someone else, and think, "Wow, your lips are moving. And there's sound coming out. Cool." And that's all I get out of it; I don't get any comprehension out of the words that are being said.

At that point, I feel like I am not in control of my own body, and part of me (which is far away and watching) is mildly frustrated that I can see what is going on, and cannot seem to rouse myself enough to affect the situation. It is in that confused state that I transpose numbers and letters, get lost in patterns, become overwhelmed at grocery stores, and lose time. It's not a good time for me to drive. It also feels like it is related to my difficulty with short-term memory of things. I often find it very difficult to remember even simple things from one day to the next.

This state of mind it is usually accompanied by what feels like a sinus headache, located in my forehead and jaw. It comes faithfully when I forget to eat. I often wonder if someone will mistake this state for the real me (if/when it happens in public) and put me in a rubber room. I have an incredible fear that it won't stop; that's part of why I dislike drinking and taking drugs. If I change my consciousness in that way, I'm afraid I won't come back, and am seized with the inexplicable terror of it. Afraid that I will be lost inside my own head, and won't be able to find the way back out again.

(More later... this was written after the fog had lifted and I could look at the event with a critical eye, from a distance.)