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Dealing With The "Pink Fog"

Have you ever had a day when you just seemed like you could not focus? Maybe you were not thinking clearly, found it hard to concentrate or simply felt like you were moving slow?

“Brain Fog” is a commonly used phrase that sums up feelings of confusion, forgetfulness, and lack of focus and mental clarity and everyone gets it from time to time. But in my case – and in the cases of many trans-people – we get what our community refers to as the “Pink Fog.”

What is Pink Fog?

The Fog can hit people differently depending on where they fall in the gender spectrum and their progress with reconciling their transgender feelings in their own mind. I have known some people who have described the Pink Fog as:

  • A sense of euphoria where all you can do is think about the excitement and fun you have when expressing your feminine side while you count down the hours to the next time you can do so.

  • Having a devil-may-care attitude where you might engage in risk-taking behavior where you simply don’t care about who knows, or where the consequences of that knowledge may lead.

  • Binging behavior where you spend money and time buying clothes, make-up and shoes to take your feminine expression “up a notch.”

Gender Dysphoria May Trigger Pink Fog

As you can see, for many people the Fog is described in generally positive (albeit potentially unproductive) terms. For me however, the Fog expresses itself as extreme distraction and lack of focus – usually as a result of some sort of Dysphoric trigger. As I described it to a friend the other day, when I get hit with the Fog it is like I have temporarily been hit with a case of ADD. The symptoms of my Pink Fog include:

  • Distraction – where any shiny object (as long as it has to do with my transgender friends or feelings) will pull me away from my work or family obligations.

  • Forgetfulness – where I lose track of deadlines and (potentially) lose track of other people’s needs and requirements.

  • A Roiling Mind – where I focus on trying to figure out strategies and tactics that will help me to overcome the obstacles that are in the way of living as my true self.

  • Inadequate Sleep and Eating Habits – where I “feed the beast” because I am not taking care of my body.

Simple and Easy Actions To Get Back On Track

Of course, the Fog is a problem. It interferes with my ability to earn a living, to interact with my friends and family, and to make good decisions. So how do I deal with it? Here are some tips that work for me and may work for you as well:

  1. Recognize the condition – if I catch myself in the Fog I can do something about it.

  2. Set small achievable targets/mini goals – for example, as I write for a living, I might set a goal of writing one page…then once I hit the target I can move on to the next one.

  3. Use a timer – Believe it or not, I keep an old fashioned kitchen timer at my desk and set it for an hour to give myself artificial deadlines throughout the day. Then I reward myself with 5 minutes of break time.

  4. I take care of my body – I refrain from alcohol and excessive sweets and instead focus on eating veggies and protein to give me the energy I need. I also make sure I go to bed and wake at the same time each day while increasing my exercise.

  5. I turn-off social media – Facebook, Flickr and email…They all get turned off during the day so I cannot get distracted.

Do you ever suffer from the Pink Fog? If so, I hope these tips will help you to get back on track the next time it hits and if you have any great ideas as to how you cope with the Fog, please share them below!

Would you like to write for our transgender blog or learn more about our support group for transgender people in the Lehigh Valley and eastern Pennsylvania? If so, please contact Lehigh Valley Renaissance or better yet join us at one of our monthly meetings!

Note: The views expressed in this post are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by Lehigh Valley Renaissance.

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