Time to think is one of the luxuries or possible, one of the nightmares, of not working. I guess it depends on your viewpoint. I for one, see it as a pure luxury, as good or bad, my thoughts are the one things, that even with a diminished memory, that my health can’t take from me. I actually, find it rather amazing the places that in just a few minutes, I can find myself in or reliving. Even now, my brain makes lightening connections between things that on the surface, don’t connect in any way. I have lost count of the times I have found myself suddenly sat trying to backtrack through my mind, to see just how on earth I have got there. One minute I can be here thinking about making my lunch, then suddenly, I can be years back in time, thinking about people I thought I had forgotten.
It can be as little as one word that makes the connection, for example, last week I was about to prepare some baked Camembert cheese, then suddenly, I was back in the late 80’s, standing in the kitchen of the hotel I worked in, talking to the chef about the latest edition on the bar menu. Deep fried Camembert, as that was the fashion then, almost everything had somehow found it’s way into the deep fryer. He was trying to convince me to try it, as even then I had an aversion to anything fried. I loved that job for so many reasons, but mainly, because it proved to me that I could escape my husband and survive. Then I had jumped back even further, to 1974, I was in the house my father moved us to when he left my Mum, just him and me at first. Then one day, he came home and introduced me to his new wife, Jean. I had the job each day of making dinner when I came back from school. That night it included chips, being a kid, I came up with what I thought was a great method of doing this chore, without missing my favourite TV program. Put the potatoes in the wash basin, and while the fat heated, I could then peel the potatoes in front of the TV in the living room, while the fat heated, a perfect plan. I was just 13, of course, I didn’t see the danger. It felt like seconds later, I was calling the fire engine, minutes after that, I was been shouted at and told that I had to clean up the smoke damage. It took days to wash every wall, cupboard and ceiling, without any help. I had, at least, tried to do all the right things, throwing a wet towel over it, which went up in flames too, I shut the kitchen door and picked up the phone. I hate to think what my punishment would have been if I hadn’t. Suddenly, I was thinking about Cleo, the most wonderful cat that I ever had the pleasure of caring for. I was lost. Where had she come from? There were at least 8 years between, her entering my life and the fire, they didn’t belong together at all. I had forgotten, we had this stupid white Persian cat, it belonged to Jean. Mr Bogangles thought that the chip pan fire was fun, and wouldn’t leave the kitchen, as he wanted to watch the flames. Somehow my brain had muddled the two together.
My memories seem more muddled than in the recent past, I jump from one thing to another with more speed than I ever remember. Most journeys make me smile, but some are just pain from beginning to end, there are so many things that we don’t want to remember, things that we wish we could let go of, but they stay. Mostly, they are mixed in, tempered by the good, like the trail I wrote above. Good and bad, plus confusion. Almost every journey through time, that I take, is triggered by tiny unimportant things, something someone says on TV, or read in another blog. I travel around without moving an inch or even intentionally going anywhere. My health has allowed me the freedom to day, or night dream, but there is now another sort of dream, the frustrating ones. I now understand why I have seen so many films of elderly people with dementia, becoming agitated and emotional. Running through our past and getting stuck with a memory we don’t want, is something I think most of us have experienced. Those things we don’t want to remember, but for some reason, is at the front of our minds. Well take that feeling and turn it up to eleven.
I am already finding that there are times when I can’t escape with ease, I can’t bring myself back and I can’t always switch it off totally. Add in that I know part of what I am remembering just isn’t right, that without a doubt it just doesn’t fit in any way, and the frustration start to grow. Unlike mixing up two cats, or the fact I can’t remember the word Pecan without the trigger word Maple, these can be so difficult to work out how or why they have joined together, especially when I can’t even break them down into their component parts. At times, you find yourself feeling as though your going mad. It’s a little like knowing you should know the name of someone who was once, part of you life, you having their name on the tip of your tongue, but are totally unable to say it in your mind, far less out loud. This though is bigger, more complex and far more difficult to rake out of the back of your mind. I still have enough control, to be able to eventually escape it, but, if I couldn’t, well I too would become agitated and emotional.
You would think that logically, we would lose our memories all at the same pace, good or bad, they would just slowly fade. Some might come and go, others return more often, but overall, it would be even. Well, think again. Through all our lives, from the beginning to the end, the parts we relive the most, are those that hurt us. How many times have you found yourself going through all of the horrid things that ever happened to you? Not because you want to, but because we want to fix them, piece togeather, to work out what happened and why, we can’t help but keep going through them. Look at that logic again. If we have spent our lives working on them over and over, which memories are always going to be the freshest? Which memories are going to be the clearest, the hardest to get rid of? Is it any surprise, that the good ones are vanishing, and the bad lives on.
Thinking, though, isn’t just about memories, although you might be considering your future, somehow, you normally land up in the past. But thinking for me, as you might have noticed, is often about trying to figure out those things that play on my mind. I hate things that don’t make sense, and to be caught in this illness, supplies me with a huge amount, that doesn’t make sense, and not just my mind. This is where the real luxury of free times comes in. In many ways, it can be the escape from the past or the bridge into it, but it is always an adventure. If I can create one new theory each day, then, at least, my day hasn’t been wasted. The downside, well I don’t always remember them. Our minds are both the most wonderful things we ever had given to us, and the most annoying. Either way, they are the source of many hours, of free entertainment, that I intend to enjoy until I can’t find the last speck of good.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 17/01/2014 – True quality
I can’t believe that the few tweaks I have made in the past couple of days are already freeing up time, half an hour sooner than usual here I am already writing. I actually though that Adam might have been back at home……