When I first became aware that Grief Brain was a real thing, it was a blessed relief!
I had long known that physical, mental or emotional stress could alter thinking and make it hard to remember things but I had never experienced such inability to hold even the most basic information in my head or found it nearly impossible to complete simple daily tasks.
It was truly frightening.
And it made life extremely hard.
I think the really, truly awful period of confusion, memory loss and difficulty lasted a good couple of years-not every day as bad as the next or the one before-but it was fairly consistent. I had to use lists, alarms and strict habits (like where I put my keys, the route I took somewhere, etc.) to make it through.
Now, six years later, it’s not nearly as bad.
That’s partly because I’ve become so good at relying on aids and helps like alarms and calendars and partly because I’ve gotten better at keeping the constant hum of loss compartmentalized in my brain so I can actually think of something else.
But if there is any added stress in the system I regress.
I forget words, names, places, why I’ve walked into a room, where I’m going, what I’m doing and (much to my horror) food in the oven or on the stove.
So if you are in the early days of loss and wonder, wonder, wonder if you are losing your mind, odds are-you aren’t.
It’s just Grief Brain.
It WILL get better.
In the meantime, use whatever helps you do what you have to do.
And be kind to yourself.