I had ECT this morning, and was grateful that I had less memory loss this time. It’s disorienting for someone to expect a response and there’s no information to be retrieved. All my life I’ve had a good memory and easily stay

Symbols I'm Pondering: What Makes Us Who We Are?

oriented to time, place, and person. But then on Monday this week, it took a couple of hours to be oriented to time and place and remember people, appointments and situations. Then during the day slowly the memories came back so that by Tuesday I had my mind back. Today, I didn’t forget nearly as much, but did have a few times when I wasn’t sure who a person was when they called, and why they called. Even though I made the appointment for her to call today. It completely slipped my mind.

Losing memories feels like losing part of my personhood, something that makes me who I am. Not just the ability to remember, but what it is that I used to remember: appointments, relationships, time and space. When I don’t remember them, am I the same person? Or is who I am changing as memories disappear? Not all of them return. So, am I the same person?


5 responses to “Memories

  1. I think you are the same person, although I think I understand how disconcerting it is to forget or not remember, or have a loss of a memory. I worry a lot about memory loss because of a family history of Alzheimer’s. I am helped by writing things down, although the experience of not remembering is still daunting. I pray you recover the memories you need and that you feel secure in moving through time and space.

  2. Thanks, Jennifer! So far I’ve been encouraged that the memories come back, but it’s worrisome in the moment since there’s no guarantee. I guess I’m having an experience of early Alzheimers, but so far short-lived, thank goodness!

  3. Is there one thing you can cling to, that you always remember and never forget? I’m not making a suggestion, I’m just wondering if there is such a thing, or if you just have to wait it out each time. You seem to be doing great at hanging in there.

  4. Thanks, Wendy! I wonder about having a token like those in the movie “Inception” but what if I can’t remember what it means? The memory is a funny thing, and I don’t know how far I can press it before I lose it completely.

  5. Pingback: Hospital and ECT | Suddenly Bipolar

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