A Year of Growth – Week 22 – Memories

Isn’t it funny how our minds like to collect completely awful things and remind us of them at every chance. When you cast your mind back and try to bring up certain memories the first things that pop up (especially when trying to make these memories specifically about chronic illness) are scary or tragic. They’re painful and big and not at all the kind of memory intended. And it’s not that there aren’t good memories too, it’s just simply that the scary ones get deemed ‘more impressive’, ‘more appropriate for the category’, ‘more worth telling’.

Keep searching. I promise those good memories are there, buried under the pile of awful ones. Waiting to be dug up like some beautiful long lost artefact. Perhaps this is an exercise one should undertake more often? Searching out the good and bringing them to the top of the pile. Almost like tossing a salad until you find the bits you like.

I can tell you it took a long while of soul searching before I even realised that this memory counts as a ‘chronic illness memory’. As if because I wasn’t totally bed bound and unable to walk on this particular day it means that I wasn’t sick. I sound like a non believer! But my mind has chosen to eliminate illness from this particular memory. Perhaps to make it better, to put it under some kind of golden glow when I look back on it. Ridiculous isn’t it?

It’s night time in the memory, I’ve no idea what the day consisted of. Maybe it was a study day, maybe I’d been running errands – doing the groceries and such like. Maybe I’d been bed bound and doing not much at all. The details elude me. I’m in bed, PJ’s and all, ready to call it a day. Could’ve been reading, or maybe I was just scrolling aimlessly through my phone. Insomnia is another totally viable option… My phone goes off, a friend, inviting me for a walk. Now.

My mind tells me stay, it’s bed time, you’re already half asleep. It’s dark. You have an illness. What are you thinking. But my legs just get up. They walk me to the closet and my hands find suitable clothing. I’m dressed in minutes and heading to the corner where we meet.

I don’t remember the walk, I don’t know what we discussed, I don’t know how long we were gone. The waterfront was beautiful, all sparkly in the artificial city lights. The wind was strong, blowing my hair everywhere (as it always does). All I remember is that we felt alive, and in that moment that was exactly what I needed.

It’s funny isn’t it how our minds collect completely beautiful things and hide them away where we have to search. Categorise them in ways we won’t find when we need them, but will find when we don’t. I think my next challenge might be to learn my minds system, lets start putting the memories where we WANT to find them.


This post is Part 22 of 52 in the series – A Year of Growth.

The series is a celebration of the first anniversary of The Truth About M.E and is designed to help me grow through my illness throughout my second year of blogging. I look forward to having you along for the journey!

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2 thoughts on “A Year of Growth – Week 22 – Memories

  1. This read almost like a dream sequence (as if you’ve been longing to be able to dress within a few minutes and meet a friend take that walk for however long etc.) and although your personal narrative opens with focus on awful things, the text that follows has a serene quality. I think serene is the word i mean. Not surreal. Tho maybe could be. I’m about sleep ready. Blurry eyed. Sorry if typos/muddling my meanings. I’m at odds with the burying good memories and the awful memories of chronic illness being at the surface as a norm that we all experience. But you probably aren’t making a generalisation in tbe way i think i read – it’s maybe italicised seeming as if an echo of another’s voice telling you this – as if that is why you are ill etc and i should be sleeping so i’ll re-read another time maybe. I don’t need to know whose voice and maybe it’s a popular theory of some sort, a bizarre standard text or something. Oh my, I hope that reflecting my thought there doesn’t cause you offense! Fab post though. All best wishes to you and yours. PS Your writing is excellent! wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No offence taken at all! This is awesome, I love hearing how others have interpreted my writing. All my own words this one, although I think it speaks more about how depression has affected my mind than it does about how chronic illness has. I guess what I was alluding to with the italicised text was my own tendency to remove illness from good memories. To the point that I forget I was even ill when they occurred. It’s not until I compare dates that I remember actually, this was one of the sickest periods of my life. For me, I want to work on keeping illness in the good memories and remembering them for exactly what they are (without the sugarcoating). I shouldn’t have to delete the “sick” part to remember something fondly! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

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