Memory is an interesting concept. What do we truly remember? What scenario has our mind not warped?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently for quite a good reason. When my mental health deteriorates, so does my memory. A fairly natural phenomenon; I’ll forget jobs, to eat, to tidy, general things. When I get to the point I’m at now though, it’s… it’s scary.
I’m forgetting names. Not just anyone’s names, my family, my closest friends. I’ll be talking to them and my mind will forget who they are. I’ll forget things I thought it wasn’t possible to forget; the other day I forgot how to read music. It’s very disorientating and really quite scary when you realise.
The worst times though are when I’m dangerous, either psychotic or just… dangerous. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it. Anyway, that’s when I forget hours, or even days, of my life. I’ll do things, say things, and I will have absolutely no inkling of it. I don’t even know I’ve forgotten them. Those are the worst points. I can be on a Tuesday morning at work, next I’m aware of it’s Tuesday evening and I’m home. I don’t even realise it though. It’s other people who realise. Other people who tell me what I’ve said, what I’ve done, what I’ve planned.
That’s just wrong. No human should have to depend on someone else to tell them what they have done that day, for any reason. Until a few months ago, I didn’t know what it was, I wasn’t even fully aware if it. I had a psychotic episode around friends and didn’t know anything about it the next day. Mentioned it to my psychologist, and I’m diagnosed with dissociative amnesia within half an hour. It’s a dissociative disorder involving the breakdown of memory and cognitive function; basically a safety net of your brain. If it can’t remember, it’s fine. My mind creates evenings, days, hours, scenarios that are safe to remember. I don’t have a clue.
A lot of what I put on this blog is not spoken outside of it. In fact, none of it is really. Very few people know I have this outlet, and one person knows how to find it (more for my own safety I feel now more than anything – surprisingly I’m ok with that). Despite me not talking about it, people know I struggle. This is where the distinction happens: the only people who know about this amnesia are the ones who have experienced it. They don’t talk to me about it, for which I eternally grateful because I honestly don’t know what I’d say if they started asking questions. I don’t know when it happens. I don’t recognise it. I don’t know how I act when my mind is quite literally ignoring everything.
You get the picture; my amnesia thing protects my mind from things it doesn’t want to remember for the sake of my wellbeing. But forgetting names, forgetting something I’ve been able to do since I was a toddler, that’s different and I don’t like it. I don’t like it and I’m aware of it which makes it worse. I need to bring it up with someone but I have no idea how. I honestly don’t know where I would start. With everything that’s going wrong at the minute it seems like such a small thing… but if I deal with the small things, the big things will seem smaller because they won’t have anything to compare them with.
I’m really lost with this. I’m scared; I’m confused, and I don’t know how much of myself I know at the minute. Which memories are true and which are false.
I needed to get that out. Before I forget.