Words previously were used infrequently are now being used more often during my day. The words that I am referring to are the words in the sentence, “I don’t remember.”
In the past I was pretty quick and very on top of the happenings that took place around me. It was something that I prided myself on. The ability to recall past events, passwords, assignments, and the like, they were some of the things that made me pretty good at my job as an Executive Assistant (a job position I have held my entire adult life).
However, most recently, this has not been the case. I utter, “I don’t remember” or “I can’t remember” several times throughout a day and symbolically hang my head in shame that those words just left my mouth. Left my mouth for the second or third time in a day.
The retrograde amnesia, a side effect of the ECT treatments that I have been undergoing for months, is really causing strife in my life. Strife and embarrassment to be precise. I feel like I have to mourn a loss. There is so much that has happened that I have no recollection of and this is a hard pill to swallow. I feel like I am missing out on so much, all while I have this blank space in my head. I try to be patient, as they say the memories will return once I stop treatment, but I am getting impatient.
So many things are new to me each day. While conversating with my family each day, I am informed of trips that we have taken, or places we have visited that generated memories that are currently non-existent for me. My family has been uber supportive and understanding. Their patience and unfailing love helps me each day as I get frustrated that there are such large blocks of my life that I simply cannot remember.
I read a lot these days. I am relieved that my ability to concentrate has returned and I spend at least an hour a day reading. I am pouring through the self-help books as I am yearning for ways that I can further improve my life and overall well-being. I have started to re-read books that I have read over the last five years mainly due to the fact that I have no recollection of ever reading them. If it were not for my Goodreads app and documented reading history, I would have no clue that I had read a book previously. The plus side of the not remembering, is that I am able to read books that I can apply to my life where I am today. I am in a different place than I was when I first read the book and I can therefore apply the teachings in a different way. I try and focus on the positives that are coming out of where I am currently in my life.
I fear that the memories will not all return. I know that they said that they will return, but I am being skeptical. It will be a major loss if I am not able to retrieve all of my memories and restore them to their rightful place in my mind. I will further mourn the loss. I question whether the ECT was worth the memory loss. Was going through all the treatments (and continuing to go through the treatments) worth losing years upon years of memories?
I am in the best place I have been in years, minus the retrograde amnesia. My mood is stable, with low anxiety and no depression. I wake up each day excited for the day and enjoy the day as it unfolds. This is such a gift. However, it came at the cost. The cost of my memories.
For now, I will continue to focus on the positives that are happening in my life and how balanced my life is currently. I will continue to mourn the loss of my memories, but only in a limited capacity as I don’t want to lose sight of the progress that I have made. Everything has a price.