The Impact of Memory

Piecing together memories can be a tricky thing. When you basically hit reset and remember so little of who you were before, which version of yourself steps in to fill the void?

The last few months have been an act of reclaiming my life. Not just the life that moves forward from this point and how to cope with the new challenges I face, but also the life that came before. The life from before I died. The life that swims around at times in a dizzy haze, as though it belongs to someone else.

So much has been forgotten or not yet recalled from the shadows.

On the one hand, it’s a beautiful gift. Memories of all the pain have faded into the background, often completely obscured by the world happening right in front of my face. On the other hand, so many memories filled with happiness and detail and the faces of loved ones have also blurred around the edges.

How much of that is time and how much is this gaping divide that separates the two living portions of my life I’m not quite sure.

Each day I get a few little nuggets of memory back. On the whole my brain is moving faster in general. Some things shine clearer than others. Some things zoom into focus as I start to look in their direction. Like a camera lens that I have some control over.

And some things I’m not even sure if I’ve forgotten them because I don’t know if they exist. Sometimes my brain remains slow, chugging along at a pace I never would’ve tolerated in my racing-mind early 20s.

I wonder, some days, at how many things I’ve lost. Both in terms of memory and physical capacity. It can be so easy, at times, to take inventory of it all. To mark each item off with a hint of bitterness etched into the checkmark.

The trick is not only how to survive, that basic human question that drives us all forward. But also how to make something more of life than mere survival?

How to make clarity out of hazy remembrances? And how to make meaning out of chaos.

Today I’m just trying to focus on making meaning.


3 thoughts on “The Impact of Memory

  1. Beautifully said. You are far more self-aware than I was when I was diagnosed with a kind of chronic arthritis when I was 19. Medical things have shaped my life in ways I have yet to deal with very well, and I spent years and years in denial. I think you’re doing a brave thing to look so fully (well, as you’re able) at what is and what was. Thank you for sharing this, Lauren.


  2. Can you correct my spelling and change “Beautifally” to “Beautifully”? Or do you have to send it back to me? 🙂


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