Encouragement, Mental Health

Missing Memories

Many times, I feel my illness does not allow me to be present in my life.  I am too distracted or depressed or manic to be fully in the moment.  Things go on around me, life happens, and memories are made, but I miss out.  Somehow, I just cannot get into my right mind to be a participant in all the fun.  I try to pay more attention. I try to make mental notes of things I want to remember, but, somehow, I usually forget.  My husband or my kids will speak of an event that took place in the here and now and I will not be aware of many of the things they are speaking of.  I know I was there and I did participate but my memory just isn’t working.  Why is this?  Why can I not recall?  It is so frustrating.  When your kids say, “no mom, that was my sister” or one of the boys say, “mom, I wasn’t even there”, it sends up some red flags.  It has now become kind of a joke with my family.  But, to me, it is very serious.

Then we get into events that have happened in my past.  Now I do remember many things, but I may not remember them the exact way they happened.  What I remember usually differs greatly from what my family or friends remember.  This goes back for many years. I don’t remember my wedding correctly, the births of my children are a bit foggy and their childhoods are a little sketchy.  Not every memory is skewed, but enough to make me take notice.  I must ask my husband if I remember something correctly or if the event I remember even happened. I used to have a very sharp memory, often remembering things others did not. What changed?  What causes this?  I am not old (I am only 50), nor am I senile, so what’s up?  I began to do some digging. I suspected that a lot of my memory problems could be attributed to something external. Could it be my medication?  Well, guess what?  I looked into the medications I take, and most antipsychotics cause memory loss.  I take many antipsychotics, so I looked up how they do this.  The result of my search led me to this explanation.

The potency of antipsychotic medications can have a detrimental impact on cognition and memory functioning. Over time, you may notice that your memory has gotten worse, you become more confused, and can’t remember as much information. This is because your neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine have been largely influenced by the drug.” (Mental Health Daily). 

I have been taking these medication’s for at least 10 years.  Does this explanation mean that I can expect my memory to continue to worsen?  Will I get to a point where I can’t remember at all?  Panic is beginning to set in.  Will I lose my memory?  And then God pulls me back from the edge.  No matter what happens to me and my memory, God is always there.  He is right there.  I cannot worry about this because I learned long ago that worry and worship cannot live in the same heart.  Worry sends me into anxiety which then leads to a crash and depression.  I cannot allow that to happen.  The Lord says, “Do not be anxious about anything”.  If I believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God, which I do, I must take this as a command.  Not as a suggestion or even as a thing to ponder. No, it is a definite command and I must obey if I am to live in God’s will.  Difficult, yes but highly doable.  I know you suffer from, most likely, the same side effects and troubles with your memory just as I do, and I know you depend on God to help you through each day. But we must allow God to bring restoration to our memories.  He can restore what has been taken from us, give us back what is lost, and I believe He can and will do this for us.  We need only bend our knee and ask.  He is faithful and just and we love Him because of who He is.  I may not always be scattered in my memory but for now I am waiting on God to restore me and make me whole. But while He is working I will remain scattered to the enjoyment of my family. There is nothing funnier to them then to poke fun at memory impaired, slightly fractured, but always lovable Mom.

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