Wednesday 8 May 2013

Memory, and the lack thereof.

Something that's been bothering me for .. well, two years or so now is memory loss. As in, my loss of recall.

I used to be able to recall events that happened with incredible clarity, as if they were happening right now.

Today? I can't remember what year I graduated my engineering degree, or what year my uncle died. I can work it out - but I don't remember the events. I can barely remember the first time I met my husband, our first kiss, or our wedding. What I do remember are like photographs - single frames - instead of being able to remember the sounds, the touch, the tastes, the smells, the feelings and what I saw as a seamless whole.

And it's more than just not being able to remember long-term memories, things that happened years ago. It's being unable to remember what happened last week, last month, needing to visit a place a few times before remembering where it is and what it looks like.

What I do remember is having near-perfect recall of places, and how to get there; or being able to remember what I did last week; or being able to remember people's names and faces; or being able to remember what year important things happened, and in what sequence.

I remember being able to do this things as recently as ... well, after visiting linkedin, I know it was in 2009. I couldn't remember the year, but I could remember where I lived and worked.  Kind of. So I could work out when it was. That's fairly typical for me, these days.

I have improved a little over the past year; I no longer have quite so many issues with recent events. According to some friends, early in 2011 it was truly frightening to see how quickly I forgot things; how much I just didn't remember day-to-day. Now, if I've met someone, I'll at least remember I *have* met them, even if I don't have a clue of their name or anything else about them, although I do sometimes recall names. I usually remember if I've made appointments, and often I'll get the day and time right, although I still occasionally double-book myself. This is nowhere near my previous levels, but ... it's better than it was, when I had to set myself alarms three times a day to remember to take my pills, and write notes to myself so I'd know I'd eaten.

Even at my current level of improvement, it is still incredibly distressing to have lost so much of my life. So much of the things I know I used to know, I no longer do. So many skills. It reduces me to tears if I think about it too much.

I have no idea why this has happened to me, or how to fix it. I have had more pressing and immediate problems to deal with. Those are, however, mostly either under control or uncontrollable, so I can start dealing with this particular issue.

I'm going to start by sending this entry to my GP, and beginning a document that chronicles my major life events, so I can at least put things in the right order in my mind. I can only hope that some of my memories are recoverable, and not gone forever.

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