Thought Wisps (Wispy Clouds in Black and White)
Thought Wisps

F*ck what was I thinking? Cannot recall. Had a thought or perhaps even more than one. Something to write for my blog. Now I’m drawing a blank. My mind cannot hold onto thoughts for very long. They slip away. Slip away. Wisps. The thought had to do with removing my MFT license from my description for I feel out of it. Today in group I felt particularly out of it. Out of practice for so long. Not familiar with mental health consumers movement, concept of mental health recovery, myriad of psychotherapy treatment modalities most of which do not fully describe what anyone actually does for most psychotherapists blend theories and practice modalities and then do whatever seems to work. In any case, I am not a psychotherapist now. Nor will I be any time soon. Not ready, not as long as my brain fails me so completely.


26 responses to “Thought Wisps”

  1. The thought wisps were temporary. Now my thought process is more coherent. Then again, I am almost 51…

  2. Part medication side effects, part illness. Hopefully your body and brain adjust to meds and you stabilize into a clearer mental state. My thought wisps passed. I can think more clearly now. Just as some days the skies are hazy, some days our minds are hazy.

  3. My brain betrays me too. Everything is now referred to as ‘that thing’ because I can’t recall the name. It’s awful at work – I look stupid more often than not

  4. “No doubt age, the nature of my illness, and medication side effects combine to affect my ability to retain and put together coherent thoughts.”


    This sounds like what’s happened to my mother. She’s had thought wisps for quite some time now. It frustrates her, as well, but I don’t think she associates it with being bipolar.


  5. Interesting question. I had depressive thoughts, suicidal thoughts, but not so sure about the thought wisps. It was many years ago. I was in my mid to late twenties, now I’m 50. I had lots of psychotherapy at the time, but no medication. I was not diagnosed as bipolar until I was 39. No doubt age, the nature of my illness, and medication side effects combine to affect my ability to retain and put together coherent thoughts.

  6. Kitt, what was life like when you were practicing?? Did you experience the thought wisps then, as well??

  7. Just temporary. Needed to do a little recovery.

  8. Sometimes meeting our needs is all we are able to do and yes it can be quite overwhelming. Wish it wasn’t so overwhelming for you at the moment.

  9. Gertie, I’m licensed, but I haven’t practiced as a psychotherapist since I was 30 (I’m 50). Self-care is definitely the order of the day, and I’m in no way ready now to reenter the workforce. I’m taking it one step at a time. I find being a mother and a wife quite overwhelming. I find housework overwhelming. And, our house is under renovation — which is overwhelming. Notice the pattern.

  10. I should tell that story sometime, for volunteering at a battered women’s shelter and going to grad school to study psychology were never plans. They were serendipitous. I quit work as a legal assistance, someone came to the door asking for money for the battered women’s shelter. I had no money, so I volunteered on their crisis line (talk about stressful!). Around the same time, I attended a New College of California law school panel/symposium about some topic and actively participated in the discussion. After, the dean of the law school asked me if I was interested in going to law school. I said no. His girlfriend recruited for their psych program and asked me if I’d be interested in that program. Tell me more… Next thing you know, I’m in grad school at night and working as an administrator of a battered women’s shelter during the day.

  11. Thank you, Stockdale. This afternoon has been much better thanks to the support of NAMI Peer-to-Peer.

  12. Hope that your thought process improves soon. It can be frustrating when we our minds misbehave, refuse to organize our thoughts, and fail to string words together into a cogent thought.

  13. After NAMI Peer-to-Peer group feeling better. Got some good feedback.

  14. I am having a busy week /normal by people without mental illnesses standards and it is really affecting my ability to think and concentrate. I identify with your wisps. It describes exactly what I am experiencing at the moment.

  15. Just a flat day Kitt? Pateince and practise required: 2 things not so easy when dealing with mental illness. And I fully empathize with your frustration. Arrrgh!

  16. So you have to take some time off from practicing. If you don’t take care of yourself then how do you expect to help others. I hope what I just said doesn’t sound too harsh because its not suppose to sound harsh. I’ve learned through out the years that if I don’t take care of myself how can I help others. I hope what I am saying makes some sense to you.

  17. You’re welcome! And for what it’s worth, I’ve always had tremendous admiration for anyone who has the guts to pursue an MFT, let alone practice after receiving it!

  18. Oh, dear. You have a lot of reasons to have brain fog. Company always undoes me. So does not having time alone. And overwhelming chores around the house. I sympathize. And, of course, when we are in one cycle it is hard to remember that it will change. I agree with the comment that you should not take therapist out of your description. It IS who you are no matter how foggy your brain is right now. Don’t give up the ghost!

    On Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM, Kitt O’Malley wrote:

    > Kitt O’Malley commented: “Thank you, Ellen. I tend to be reactionary. > But I am on a journey. This summer has been hard, as have all summers since > my son attended school. I NEED the structure that the school day provides > me and my son. Having company, no matter how loving and polit” >

  19. Thank you, Ellen. I tend to be reactionary. But I am on a journey. This summer has been hard, as have all summers since my son attended school. I NEED the structure that the school day provides me and my son. Having company, no matter how loving and polite (as was my nephew) is exhausting. Seeing my mother’s tumor reminds me of the long struggle she’s had with lymphoma and how it is NOW visible. And this weekend my husband’s childhood friend is visiting from Boston. Our house is not only a mess. It is under renovation, partially painted, overwhelming to address.

  20. Frustrating. Definitely frustrating.

  21. You’re not quite ready to practice now. You feel out of it. I do too! Let’s make a new Meetup group: “The Totally Out-of-Its”! We’d attract a lot of highly intelligent folks, I’m sure.

    On a serious note, you earned the MFT and you worked very hard. I gently suggest you consider keeping it in the description – it’s a part of who you are, whether or not you’re actively practicing at the moment. I do the same thing with my lousy A.C.E. (American Council on Exercise) personal training certification. The studying process and exam for that was so hard that I cried with relief when I found out I passed the test!

    At least the thought wisp floated back to you, which is promising unto itself. You’re not where you’d like to be. But you have talent & brilliance – scads of both. This is a cloudy day in terms of brain facility, but I know and trust that your brain will fail you less and less over time.

  22. To be a good therapist you do not have to be up to date on all the different approaches or even use them. To be a good therapist you have to care– which you do in spades. Don’t give up the ghost because you cannot think right now. You will get better. Remember… cycles.

  23. Okay okay. I’ll spellcheck better next time

  24. Hello dear friend!
    What a wonderfully written post. I feel like I’m in this place of purgatory. It’s like I’m walking down the road and suddenly I wake up and I realize that I’m fucking walking down the road.
    I can relate to not being able to use my mind the way I did before. Ice to be able to recite particular case his court and tell the court all the facts and the reason why the court should agree with me. Now I can’t even tell you what the date is a must look at my iPhone. She was a different places in it?

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