The Perils of Forgetting

One of the ways I got out of depression was by trying to forget everything.  Depression is a symptom of being anchored to your past, and I wanted to throw it all away.

So I did.  There was a period in my life in my early twenties when I erased everything.  Pictures, digital or physical, notes, letters, emails, everything.  Everything that was associated with even a tinge of pain.  Letters and emails from and to people who didn’t return my calls anymore.  Pictures of exes and ex-friends who I felt sure, didn’t remember me anymore so why should I remember them.  Memories of awkward conversations, embarrassing moments.

I purged things from my hard drives and actively blocked my memories, when I felt myself reminiscing.  I blocked the day’s events from my mind, and laying in bed, only thought about the future.

I thought that in order to avoid the pain, I needed to become harder, more inured to things.  So I pretended I didn’t remember people, the places, and the conversations I was generating on a daily basis.

“Oh, we met before?”  I would say.

It was therapeutic, at the time.

But by thinking only of the future it replaced depression with anxiety.  And also, in so doing, I effectively made it so I didn’t exist during those years.  I have no way of knowing who I was back then.  Because these days, I really wonder.  I’ve lost a part of my life.

It’s a tradeoff, maybe I went too far.


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