Heavy question, Mary.
I don’t think it stops either, it’s just different. I know exactly what “out of reach of the physical” means. I over-think everything. I analyze and re-analyze which brings up new directions, which I have to think about as well. During these times I think my brain is brilliant. I think of memory loss resulting from aging is like a cassette tape. You know how it would get stuck in the player and the tape would just spring out? Maybe that’s what happens to your mind. There are so many years of thought and situations and memories it just gets overloaded, and tries to play back bits and pieces that are remaining. I can not imagine how it would feel to be unable to control my thoughts, if I were even aware of it, and that is scary to me because what would I have left?
As far as being an introverted, depressed writer, I am an introvert and do feel depressed. The depression usually relates to writing and is for me, the inability to express into words what I want my characters to feel. Older writers seem to do it so effortlessly, but I always have to consult Webster, Roget, and NY Times Style and Usage and grammar books. I can’t help it, I have to do the best I can the first time so I will improve. (I’ll probably edit this six times, at least.) I feel if I leave punctuation or sentence structure up to editors, what have I done but put a bunch of letters and symbols on paper? I need to be as clear as possible so when they critique, it is truly what I have missed. I think it’s the writing, it’s like an obligation to my characters to represent them as emotionally and accurately as possible, maybe because we don’t always represent ourselves that way?
Why not put all that rattles on paper? Make some notes. I also have a tape recorder I carry with me to use when driving to and from work, because the chance I will remember ideas or sentences as brilliantly when I get there to write them down is slim. Write this feeling down too.
Speaking of work, gotta run. Take care.