Throughout the course of my recovery from a brain injury, I have been unable to rely on my memory, which makes me quite sad, as I can't help but wonder what I have missed out on; which is natural. I have talked a lot on this blog about my failing memory and it's many different and varied effects on my life. But I wanted to talk about my memory as it stands today.
My memory loss is hard to explain and not easy to understand - even for me! There does not seem to be any pattern we can hold onto. One week, my memory is fairly reliable and I can remember the day-to-day responsibilities and what we did in the week. The next week, I lose all sense of time and frequently ask the same questions. I occasionally, according to Amy, ask a question, then within minutes, ask the same question again. This is quite scary, for us both. Thankfully this is rare, but it does happen.
I also find it incredibly sad so many moments are lost and forgotten in my jumbled up memory. All of those special moments in life; birthdays, or amazing news from friends and family. I have talked before about strategies, making sure we photograph everything, I use my phone calendar for everything! Even the small things.
Today I wanted to talk about this idea of "borrowed" memories. I have some memories of my own but often my memories are borrowed from other people's accounts, having probably told me a fair few times. As I have said before, brain injuries, and their consequences, do not affect one person. They take hold of families, loved ones, even communities.
So that, firstly, shows you how lucky I have been to have such amazing people around me, surrounding me with love and support; some people have not been so lucky. As so many other people have been involved with my brain injury, or as my brain injury has affected so many people, such as work colleagues, in a way, it feels like it is no longer just "my" brain injury, as it has touched so many other people.
I struggle to remember anything on a week-to-week basis, and therefore, I barely have any memories, or pictures, of my brain injury experience, which is why this blog is helpful for me, because I cannot rely on my own 'organic' memory. I try and write these blogs when an event is fresh in my mind and mostly from my own memory, in a way this blog is my organic memory and sometimes I can go back and borrow from myself.
This is one of the hardest parts of my brain injury, mostly becomes it is the one I come across most often. But also because it is so sad, I don't like having to borrow other people's memories, I would, of course, love my own. I am, however, so thankful for the patience my family, friends, and work colleagues have with me and allowing me to borrow their memories.
It is quite sad to think about all of the things I have missed out on, so I must not get carried away thinking about it too much.
Will I ever have my own private and reliable memory? Who knows, but I don't ever want to stop trying.