Do you ever get lost? I don't mean physically lost, but emotionally and mentally lost. One morning you wake up and find yourself wondering what the hell you did for the last month and a half and realize you have no idea. It's not that you've forgotten, but when you play back the tape of your memory what shows up doesn't look familiar, or seems completely out of character.
"That's not me," you say to yourself. "I don't act like that, do I?" The next thing you know you're questioning everything you do and say and doubting the veracity and of your feelings and wondering at your judgement. You've gone from being a relatively self-confident individual to doubting your competence and capabilities in a flash.
It seems to be something that happens to people who have a very intense focus in their lives and all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, that focus disappears. An artist who all of a sudden is unable to produce, an athlete who goes into a slump, or any person who's work requires them to maintain a certain level of intensity, are all probably subject to these circumstances.
A writer who has been cruising along churning out several thousand words a day for an extended period of time, all of a sudden finds even the task of writing a single paragraph incredibly difficult. The hitter, with a .360 average, falls below the Mendoza line and can't get on base except when hit by a pitch, and the stock broker who all of sudden sees everything go south no matter what he does, have something in common.
What they have been able to do without any real effort, what they have taken for granted as their due, has all of a sudden been withdrawn. That certain something that gave them distinct status, even if only in their own mind, has vanished.
Initially they won't even notice, it will just be one of those days when things don't go exactly as planned. It's amazing how many of those days you can have when you don't want to admit something's wrong. After a while, and you're still having a bad day, you start running away.
The last thing you want to think about is the actual problem; who really wants to contemplate the loss of what makes them special, so on both a conscious and unconscious level you look to ignore it. You may stop sleeping well at night and then find yourself too tired during the day to do the things you're normally capable of, providing a great excuse for not doing anything at all.