The Newness Of It All

I take a lot of time to understand things. The first encounter with a new task is a nightmare. Learning new things is a struggle. I bet you can guess why by now, especially if you have read ‘Anything But This: Dealing with Migraine Sans Medicine’. Okay, I will tell you, if you haven’t. It’s brain fog and everything that comes along as baggage on the conveyor belt.

Attention fellow passenger! Your luggage will be waiting for you on belt number 11. No need to hurry. Your baggage is not going anywhere. No one will take their baggage and yours too. It will be called insanity.

My struggle with brain fog

I will take a recent example and we will explore and understand why this symptom is the single most debilitating of all the wonderful 2 dozen symptoms I have. Whether a task is physical or mental, the smooth processing of the conscious mind is required to be efficient at the task. If I am conscious mind-wise impaired, I will be horrible at a given task at hand and struggle like a toddler learning to walk and talk. Yes, it’s that kind of struggle. That’s why it’s incredible for outsiders to believe how I can struggle even at simple tasks I have done for decades like walking, speaking, thinking, and especially writing at which I am looked upon as a natural, gifted writer and not someone who reached this level of writing by thousands of hours of practice over a duration of more than a decade now. 800,000 words of practice means something, right? A natural-born, gifted writer won’t need so much practice to be able to write a decent page.

Learning languages with brain fog

During the first week of February 2022, I started learning Japanese. Just listening and repeating some words and phrases. My purpose was to watch Japanese movies and listen to Japanese music and converse verbally to some extent. What I observed after a few weeks was that, once in a while, it would be easy to remember and say the phrases and understand them immediately. This happened when the brain fog intensity was low. My mind would race at that moment. I was able to think a lot. I felt clever, really clever. As if I could do anything in life, anything at all. I was able to come up with ideas and thoughts for my collection of poems, novels, and such kinds of essays. So, it wasn’t limited to language learning. In fact, I am writing this with great speed and fluidity thanks to feeling clever (aka lesser brain fog). This means that without this symptom I can do a lot mentally, achieve a lot in life, and get things done in a jiffy which I usually can’t, which usually takes up a lot of time as I keep making mistakes and struggle like a toddler learning to walk and talk for the first time.

Consider the rest of my time, about 95% or more, when brain fog intensity is so high that I am conscious mind-wise impaired. I am handicapped. This was my state most of the time while learning Japanese as well. That’s why I struggled with remembering, speaking and listening. That’s why it was such a struggle to learn this language.

This reminds me of my tryst with learning other languages as well. I started learning French at Alliance Francaise du Bengale for A1 and A2 levels in 2010. It was a weekend classroom program. And boy, did I struggle or what? You bet I did. After the one-year course was over, I continued practising at home. At least 95% of the time, brain fog made it quite a struggle, such that I kept giving up the practice and returning to the lessons repeatedly with a gap of a few months. Such was the urge to learn the French language that I couldn’t give up even though I understood there were chains binding me, limiting my ability to learn the language. It wasn’t something common but something peculiar in me like an affliction that made learning all kinds of things in life so difficult that I was overwhelmed by any kind of learning.

Then, I started learning Spanish in 2013. The same was the case with Spanish — struggled most of the time but felt overjoyed at times when my brain fog intensity went low. Such a painful process it was, still I kept learning on and off every few months with a gap of a few months in between.

Now tell me this — was I stupid for not wanting to stop learning more languages?

Maybe, I was. Maybe, brain fog kept me from making better decisions in life. What was I to do?

But I am glad I did. I am able to use some language learning experiences to strengthen my foothold in the English language. Plus, I can write about this process in the collection of poems and novels and stories. I can make characters go through something I learned from my experiences.

Brain fog makes learning difficult

No matter what, at least, learning languages was a good distraction, a great coping mechanism for my symptoms. Such varied, colourful symptoms need less attention which translates into distraction for me. I don’t know how long they will be there. But till now, I needed distractions from them. And I will keep a lookout for more distractions in life — healthy ones of course.

Learning anything new is a great struggle for me. Still, I never shied away from what I wanted desperately to learn which made me try out a lot of things in life. Maybe, it was the raging quest for another experience that kept me going. Another is something different in life to spice it up a bit, something spicy. I love variety. No wonder my wise friend told me never to get married. Because no spouse in the world is okay with adultery even if they sign an agreement and give their approval to go and enjoy my variety-seeking nature.

Coming out of the brain fog intensity

You see how I am continuing to write this in a single go. I haven’t stopped yet after beginning this essay. This is what I can do when I feel clever, when brain fog is low — write a ton, keep writing. Imagine what I can do without brain fog and other symptoms keeping me grounded. Just imagine how easier it would be to write novels, something at which I struggle too much.

If the brain fog intensity were high, I would have stopped writing this long back. I may have taken note of writing an essay on connecting brain fog with learning languages and explaining how this symptom is a monster affecting my ability to learn anything new in life. Furthermore, it affects what I have already learned. So, the old learnings and their usage in terms of recall or application is also a struggle. That’s the wonderful, one may say incredible, reason for me making a ton of mistakes in everything I do. Oh, sometimes, I wish to go on a long hike and never do anything else in life when I am deeply affected by brain fog. This symptom alone can make an employee lose their job, make incredible losses in an entrepreneur’s business, make someone lose friends, spouse... in a way lose everything considered dear in life. I got to understand these things from a lot of people on social media.

I wonder if I can get down to writing as soon as I feel a brain fog coming down. But then, it takes some time to realize this and also I am not always in a state to write without any distraction. It is difficult to practice this but can be done if I practice a lot in trying to do so which is a great struggle in itself. I believe by now you got my point of how brain fog helps me to struggle in everything I do. No wonder I make heavy use of Google Calendar’s reminder option for many tasks without which I don’t know how I will ever get important things done in life, like shaving my beard for example, every three days. No kidding. I get so disoriented most of the time that…let me not even waste your time by writing something you understand by now.

See! How far I have come in writing this chapter in a single sitting and I can keep going on and on but I have already written what I needed in this chapter. So, I better stop now and write something else. Let me try writing a poem on learning new things in life, my kind of life.

Brain is God

The brain gets cloudy, please don’t ask why.
If I try to explain, it will take a lot of time.
Time is a little boy, also a little girl.
They grow up quickly, eating all the dirt.

The brain gets muddy and needs a deep cleanse.
No detergent, it needs something else.
It needs a tonic, it needs a shake.
It will go boom and do what it takes

To do what it was meant to do —
Process everything that’s new.
It’s its ability, it doesn’t mind.
It can take all, give it some time.

If only brain fog were not there,
I could put my massive brain to use everywhere.
I would be clever like Tom Dick Harry.
I would reach places whether or not I marry.

See... I just forced myself to write this poem and it didn’t take time and effort. It flowed unlike anything. I had to think consciously about each line and I was able to do it. Wow! This usually doesn’t happen. More than 90% of the poems I have written in my life are a result of eureka moments where my subconscious mind shoots the poem and I feel it like an ocean wave and write down the poem in a jiffy as if I am possessed at that moment. But here, in this poem, I used my conscious mind to write it. I was able to analyze and come up with things to write.

I joked about how migraines helped me to write in the ‘Anything But This: Dealing with Migraine Sans Medicine’ book. But it’s the opposite as I have illustrated in this essay. In a way, migraines help because I would have taken up some other career option otherwise.

Managing interruptions

I was interrupted for about an hour. So, now I have another thought I wish to discuss. It’s about the interruption I just experienced when I was having close to zero brain fog. Imagine how irritating this can get — I am able to write with such a flow that comes to me once in a blue moon, not on a daily basis and when that moment arrives, I get interrupted to help someone out with something. Right now, I made a payment online and created some invoices for the sugar bags sold by my father and a couple of other tasks. Incredible as it is, the brain fog symptom has been low for over two hours now. Really incredible! Usually, it lasts for less than an hour. Even now I am able to write easily. How would I not get irritated if I am interrupted from this writing which is priority number one for me, especially in this once-in-a-blue-moon moment?

Okay, the irritation was short-lived. Now, I am back to being ecstatic, only to be interrupted again by my mother, oh no.

Finally, back to writing again. I asked her to wait with whatever it was as I was busy writing.

Coming to terms with brain fog

Earlier, I used to get upset and really irritated by this symptom referred to as brain fog. Quite a fancy term for a disgusting symptom! Now, I have made peace with it. It is what it is. I need to live with it whether I like it or not. It’s such an integral part of life.

Oh, I just realized what happened two hours ago and how it affected me...

I applied Shivambu from hair to toe after taking a nap for about 80 minutes. I had a flare-up since morning. After the application of Shivambu, I felt better, more alert and boom! I was practising Japanese and was able to remember and learn quite well. I also felt so energetic that after doing foam roller and tennis ball massage, I did some bodyweight exercises (push-ups, squats, and lunges). Then, I got this chapter idea in my head and I had to sit down and write as my mind was about to explode with a stream of thoughts.

And you have already gone through the outcome. This is real-time. You are witnessing something I had in real time. Nothing could get more real and happening than this. This is raw experience. I am experiencing it and writing about it at the same time. I wouldn’t ask for anything more than this. This essay alone makes me want to write a book on my tryst with Shivambu and try my best to get it published as soon as possible.

So, the application of Shivambu helped me become alert and energetic and resulted in the brain fog symptom decreasing to an incredibly low level. This is the magic of Shivambu that I have experienced countless times and I would love you to experience the same with whatever physical and mental issues you are facing.

How Shivambu helped my brain fog symptoms

Let me make it clear to you that I am talking about my tryst with Shivambu. Nothing else. This is no promotion for a product. It’s a personal thing and no one can sell you something that belongs to only you. No one will know what you do with it. What you practise behind closed doors is your personal thing. No one ever has to know. Do this for yourself. Not because I am telling you to, urging you to take the leap. But because you need it for any issue you are facing in life. At least, give it a try in secret. Let me know if it helps you in any way. I will be glad.

Here I am being audacious, as one would say (even stupid) to blatantly declare such things. I wouldn’t do so if I didn’t receive great help from this. The wonderful feeling I get from this is the reason I am promoting this experience and in the process becoming shameless enough to talk about such things which people usually hide. But my suffering tells me to do otherwise. There are other people out there who suffer a lot like I did and still do to a certain extent. If my words could make them help themselves in this tiny-winy way, then nothing would make me happier. I would be glad to have helped a desperate soul out there. If I didn’t care about the souls who suffer, I wouldn’t bother shamelessly admitting to the use of Shivambu. I would have gladly reaped the benefits alone. Why come out in the open and embarrass people related to me more than embarrassing myself?

I see that I am unable to stop writing. If I don’t, this essay will run in thousands of words and you will give up reading this. This is a very important essay. This one alone is good enough to let you know how a symptom which sounds funny can affect the quality of life of an individual to such an extent that he is impaired (we may even say handicapped) most of the time. Life becomes a never-ending struggle owing to this silly, silly symptom. Should we end with a poem?

Nah, let’s end this essay here. I won’t bore you with another silly poem.

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