Memory is the Key

Note from Charlie:

Since I’m on holiday at the moment, I thought it would be a good idea to have a guest post post this week – it’s always nice to hear from others. This week, we have a post from Tom, someone who I know in person. He’s written a great post about memory, which you can see below. Anyway, that’s all from me, see you next week.

 

If you’re sensitive to certain issues and expect me to dance lightly around the subject, you may as well stop reading right away. My typing is often brutal and I often end up offending people without intention. If this post offends you in any way, apologies.
Memories are integral to who we are and what we make of everything. It structures our fears, wants, needs, loves, hates and how we have developed ourselves as a person. Without them we are as lost as infants. It’s hard to imagine what your life would be like without key memories, your first love, the game that got you into computers, and how you grow up and choose your life.  For some people like me it’s easier than you might think.
Whilst I don’t suffer horribly, a mild case of Amnesia is enough to have a larger impact on everyday life. As I progress through the day I struggle to recall certain things that have happened throughout the day, who has talked to me, who I’ve said hello to and so on and so forth. This doesn’t just happen in the space of a day; it’s difficult to remember where I’ve seen faces. Names of some friends are just lost on me as they recall past events that I have no memory of ever existing.
It’s not all doom and gloom. Whilst not remembering things may be a major issue, it has its upsides. Being able to watch the same anime over and over without remembering the entire plot is really fun for me. You know that feeling you get when you watch a movie or a show for the first time and it’s amazing and you’re having the time of your life? I can achieve that a lot of the time, for many shows and films.
The cons outweigh the pros. I have to constantly ask people to remind me what time they are doing things, there normal retort being ‘were you not listening’ in which I reply with a non-committal shrug and repeat the question. I am listening; I listen to a lot of things. Just my brain chooses to ignore them. The same thing happens when I’m agitated, just on a much larger scale. You’d think amnesia would have little impact on those around you. I once got distraught by some events, and forgot one of my best friends even existed. The rest of the night she attempted to jog my memory and I’m sure that was one of the most distressing nights of her life.
You’d probably look at other people in the street, glance over at myself and think nothing of them. No reason for them to feel ‘out of the ordinary’. This my friend is still judging people, regardless of whether you like it or not. I’d rather not end on a rough note so I’ll give you some food for thought. Play a game with the next person you see in the street. Look at them and try to guess what they are thinking. About what’s for dinner? What to wear to the party tomorrow? To you these might be trivial, everyone’s problems are trivial compared to your own. Those problems are all that person cares about right now, so relax, and give them some space.  I must go now for my steam library beckons and begs to be played. If you want to simulate being a stalker you can visit me on twitter @Xelforce.
Many thanks for reading
-Overlordtom

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Anxiety disorder

NOTE FROM CHARLIE: So, as you may be able to tell, I’m not the author of this post. Unfortunately, I’ve been left in a state today where I’m not able to write a post for the blog, so I asked Heather to write something for me. And so she wrote a little thing on various Anxiety Disorders, as you’ll soon find out. I should be writing next weeks post, but until then, enjoy this post 🙂

 

I’m going to be writing about anxiety disorder. Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including panic disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder. I have had experience of all of the above, which is what makes this a topic that I know a fair amount about.

Generalised anxiety disorder is a long-term anxiety that is non-specific, and is almost constant anxiety, resulting in both mental and physical symptoms.

With social anxiety disorder you become very anxious about what other people may think of you, or how they may judge you. You fear that you will act in an embarrassing way, and that other people will think things about you, or judge you, that you’re stupid, ugly, crazy and so on and if you go to the feared situation you become very anxious and distressed, possibly resulting in panic attacks. (A topic that I’ll certainly write about at a later date)

For me, my anxiety disorder was the constant throughout the last four years of my life, peaking and falling at various times. For now, I’m in recovery, but I’m going to tell you about my experience with anxiety.

Leaving the house is something most people do every day, at least once. But at one of my lower times, it was as if there was an invisible wall there. This is a pretty common analogy used to describe anxiety, but it’s almost as though there’s a wall there, that you can’t see, and you don’t have any idea whatsoever how to get over it. Everyone else can just walk straight through it, and they don’t see why you can’t, you just have to stay there and watch everyone else leave. For me, leaving the house was like climbing a mountain, and when you’d left, it didn’t get better, everything just got worse and a lot more difficult. Everything was new, and scary, and there was always the constant familiar “what if?” scenarios running through my head, accompanied by the threatening “[bad thing] is going to happen”. Hence, leaving the house wasn’t ideal for me, but I had to do it, and conquering that made everything else seem achievable.

Being told “you can do it!” is not only helpful, but frustrating, and it seemed impossible at times, but as I’m often told, anything is possible.