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Memory is a funny thing

Sunday, August 26, 2018

I have a vague memory of having been sick like this once before about 12 years ago, when I was still over 300 pounds heavy... the memories were jostled free when I called the GI specialist and the receptionist was going to refuse my new insurance, only to check my file and go “oh, you’re an existing patient, so we can accept your insurance after all...”. I had forgotten about that time and those experiences. I don’t know if it’s because I was so heavily medicated, it was such a dark time in my life in general, or the experience was so awful that I blocked it out! None of those are happy possibilities. Memory is a strange thing anyways. I can remember something one way, and someone else can remember it completely differently, as the focus of our recollections differs. (And then there are the people who rewrite history because reality is too uncomfortable...). My memory of an event or feeling is valid, but so is yours... even if they seem opposed, because our baggage that we bring with us colors what we find important to remember of an event or outcome. I know this intellectually, but I know I cling to my interpretation of memories at times, especially ones with emotional heft. I think we almost all do. I know for me a lot of my memories of my mom revolve around food. As a result I have to be careful about emotional eating when random moments of grief attached to specific memories pop up. I think of specific comfort foods when I think of mom, and all of them are super rich, and extra filling... ( lots of heavy cream and butter!). I haven’t had to worry about that particular problem since I have been sick, but prior to getting sick... Memory is really a subjective thing. It is colored by our past and present emotional states, our life experiences, and our expectations. Yet so many people I know expect to share memories of exactly the sameness... “do you remember when...?” Not likely! I then have to decide whether to nod and smile ( my go-to)... or say okay, but I also remember xyz... What does this have to do with live a healthier lifestyle? I have been at maintenance weight (or close to it) for hmmm, 5(?) years now.., and my memories of being morbidly obese are being reshaped in my mind I think. I have not forgotten what it felt like to be that heavy, but the specific memories are being forgotten or misplaced in the miasma of time. I can go back and read my first blogs here on SparkPeople to get an overview, but the real day to Day effort of living at that weight is fading. And that makes me a little afraid... that if I truly forget, that I could go back there. And what I DO remember is not that it was a good place, or a healthy place, or a happy place... but maybe that faint memory, and touch of fear is all the motivation that I need.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon emoticon When I was at my heaviest (300), I didn’t really see it in mirrors. I was bushwhacked by photos. After losing 100+ pounds (just broke into 100-derland again, & Imstill have trouble seeing it.
    179 days ago
    Yes, I am glad you are doing such good work on examining your cognition.

    I had two lovely visits this week with friends from far away who I haven't seen in about a decade. I cherish these friends, and yet I have hit a wall of blues today. Not because of them, but because of all the connections I used to have a decade ago that have shifted and changed. Nostalgic grief is a funny thing. Sometimes I feel like I gave up too much when I made all the changes that helped me drop a hundred pounds. Or some connections just naturally end as habits shift, and it is easy to simplify or glorify from here. Ah, memory. So weird.

    Now if I could just sleep at night, I feel like I could pull myself back up. Whew! May we find relief.
    179 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    In my opinion, I have read of your good health choices. You've lost the weight, know the struggle, and that now is ingrained into your memory. If it wasn't you'd wouldn't be blogging about it. Trust yourself to keep on making those healthy choices, and have the confidence that you can and will.
    180 days ago
    Well said...memory & fear.....glad to see you are using those for motivation. Awesome! You inspire me. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    180 days ago
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    180 days ago
    remembering things can sometimes help us get through whatever we are facing right now. Hope you are feeling better and on the mend. emoticon
    180 days ago
  • MBPP50
    I think the memory of how it was to live at that weight AND the five years you have have had at maintenance is enough to keep you going in this healthy lifestyle. I am sorry that you are still feeling bad. I hope you feel better soon. Still praying for you. emoticon emoticon
    180 days ago
    I get the fear and I'm not going to tell you to not worry about it. Perhaps worrying isn't the best course of action, but just blowing off those lingering fears could be worse. I have confidence that you will find the healthy response and balance to maintaining your weight and keeping a healthy dose of "never again." I know for me, having a goal that was not weight specific was key. For me it is being able to be fully active and healthy when I'm 80. (God willing, I'll make it to 80 and beyond.)
    180 days ago
  • EISSA7
    You have done a great job of living in the day-to-day present of today.... the past does dim for all of us and the way we remember things does differ...remember the pleasant and focus on how happy you are to have worked hard for a healthy weight today!!
    180 days ago
    I would say you are past that time and if memory happens it will be to remind you to stay strong and focused on what you have achieved since then! emoticon
    180 days ago
    I find that I really do try to move on from those unpleasant things in life. sometimes things do trigger those unhappy memories, though!

    Hope you're feeling better day-by-day and that the GI Dr. can help you.
    180 days ago
    Everyone's memory is different and malleable. That's why detectives try to get to witnesses immediately following an event, before those memories change. It isn't intentional, we really are subject to influence from others.
    180 days ago
    I think you have really made enough lifestyle changes that you won't go back there.It is always difficult to have to remember less than pleasant places in our lives but I think we do retain a fear of going back to something that was hard for us.Though I seem to keep forgetting the struggles ,I tend to rember the way things used to be and think I can go back to that but because of my injuries I can never go back to that easy way.
    180 days ago
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