Puddle and Lake

Puddle and Lake

I want to point to the disorientation that loss of memory can have on our mental landscape. Loss of memory can create mental fog and confusion. Things may not be quite as they seem. For me, it can be as if I have forgotten a vital key in a chain of events.

Loss of memory can be a normal part of the aging process. It may be a symptom of hormonal changes, or be as a result of a variety of health conditions. It can be affected by nutritional deficiencies. Sometimes, the body needs to prioritise other more essential functions. In my case it may be a legacy that remains post having had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

I have a sense that the holes in my ability to remember are growing at an alarming rate. The spectre of dementia hangs just out of sight, but lurks. It’s disconcerting to find that something essential has been lost from my inner view. Giving myself the benefit of the doubt, I imagine my capacity to remember is like the ‘muddle drawer’ in the kitchen. It keeps on having things stuffed into it at random, until there’s no more room, and things are forced to slip down the back out of sight.

I have strategies. I keep lists, type notes, add even small things to the calendar, keep things in logical places and set timers. These adaptations work well for life admin tasks. More strategic intentions are often harder to stay on track with. It’s easy to find that something important has disappeared, submerged without trace. The undertow of persistent low-level stress may be making it more difficult to stay with previous levels of efficiency.

I stand wondering why I am in this room. I forgot the one thing I went to the shop for. I have no recall of the film we saw last night. Today I am glad that I found my keys, and I finally put that letter in the post. Now what was that urgent task I wanted to add to my to-do list? Things may fall out of my head, but I trust that if they are really important, they will return later.

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