Hypothyroid brain fog & the need to write


The signs of my own mental decline have been more alarming and more frequent these past months. 

Doctors I’ve talked to seem to think that what I’m going through is normal or that I’m exaggerating. I’m not. 

But if I’m going to reverse the decline, most doctors in most clinics won’t offer much in the way of help. 

Until I reach the point of no return, I’m in the back burner club.

It might seem silly to complain about brain fog when I’m still able to write blog posts, write in my journal every day, read books, and otherwise function adequately – at least on the surface – as a wife, mother, and writer.

But that misses the point.

I  need to write – not only because I’ve always loved writing and have kept journals all my life, but also because it’s one of the few things keeping me from cognitive free fall.

How do I know this?

There are times when I can barely function, when focusing on the one needful thing of the moment is like zooming in on one bee in an angry swarm.

And during those times, I’ve learned that just letting myself write – about anything that was on my mind – helped to calm that angry swarm, helped draw them back to the hive. And that one bee would become easier to focus on.

I’d write lists – often beginning with titles that fit the following template:

“Ten ideas for ___ (including some bad ones)”

And allowing myself to write ideas down – even when my inner editor was saying, “Seriously? You’re really gonna write that one down? …Okay, then” – helped me focus on generating ideas for the list, until I had ten.

And then I’d go write something else. Maybe I’d take one of those ten ideas and turn it into the beginning of a blog post. Or maybe I’d take one of those ten ideas and see if I could come up with a list of at least eight chapters (sub-ideas) for an ebook.

Or maybe I’d take one of those ten ideas and write about it in my journal.

Or I’d do something else. Like laundry or making food. Whatever. I did things.

But by then, my head felt a little clearer, a little less sluggish and depressed, and a little lighter and happier.

Because of writing.

Have you experienced the same?

I’ve also found that writing my lists and my journal entries by hand helps. I keep a small notebook (a cheapie I bought at Walmart and which I’ve already initiated by spilling coffee all over it) in my purse, and I’m filling it with lists and ideas, written by hand with my favorite pen – a Pilot G-2 retractable fine point.

I’ve noticed that my handwriting is at its worst when I haven’t written anything by hand for a while. I transpose or skip letters, and I can barely read what I’ve written days afterward.

But when I’ve been writing by hand every day, my handwriting improves. At this point, it’s sort of a hybrid of printing and cursive. My sister once told me my handwriting style should be made into a font (ego boost). I’m not sure what it should be called, though.

Hey, there’s another candidate for a “ten ideas for __” list. I’ll start with “Fog-lifter” for number one, but that might already be taken.

How about you?

Are you suffering from brain fog – either from hypothyroidism or another cause? And what have you found that helps you not only stop mental decline but actually make  your brain healthier and more creative?

Please share your thoughts below in the comment section. And thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this. Take care, and have a great week! 🙂




2 thoughts on “Hypothyroid brain fog & the need to write

  1. I agree, writing helps me, too. Sometimes I feel restless, and writing on my WIPs helps a lot! It’s fantastic therapy, and I know a few people who use writing to understand themselves better, or the conflicts in their lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has always helped me to articulate and make sense of my own thoughts, and I’ve loved it for that for as long as I can remember. I’ve lived with some degree of brain fog all my life, and the only way I survived college was to turn my required reading into a handwriting exercise – hunting for information I wanted to remember and filling out stacks of index cards. I could do that for hours, but for some reason, I couldn’t just sit and read a textbook without my brain shutting off after trying to read the first sentence over and over again (trying in vain to make sense of it). Turning reading into a writing exercise is how I’ve coped, and I believe it’s a big reason why my brain is still working as well as it is. I’m just afraid that it won’t be enough, so I’ve been digging, and I’ll continue to dig (using my index card & list-generating techniques to make the most of the books I have to read) to find out how to make my brain work better.
      Thank so much for commenting, Sarina! Writing IS therapy, and I don’t think I would have gotten this far without it. 🙂


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