Thursday, September 13, 2012

Please let me keep this memory, just this one…

I’ve noticed something over the past couple of days as I’ve stopped using my depression medication and my anxiety and obsessiveness have slowly dissipated, so have my memories of my ex girlfriend. That was an unexpected side effect. I had some great memories of our short time together, and I wanted to keep them. But, inevitably, I remember less and less of it. Maybe this is what’s helping me to move on, but it’s not how I wanted to do it.

I wonder if the anxiety was helping me to remember those memories. Perhaps my obsession and constant remembering of everything I wanted to hold on to was what was keeping me from moving on. I frequently wish I were a psychologist, so I could understand these things. I’ve always found the study of how the brain works to be fascinating. And everybody knows that any good psychiatrist/psychologist is quite crazy themselves, so I totally fit the bill.

I’m a little sad about this. I truly felt happier with her than I had in, well, as long as I can remember. I didn’t want to lose that. I feel a little like Jim Carrey’s character in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, as he’s undergoing the procedure to have the memories erased, he sees ones that he doesn’t want to lose, and he tries desperately to hold on to them, but they’re still gone. I know that I’ve lost some of the better memories already, but obviously I don’t know what they were anymore, only that I know that I’ve lost them. Unfortunately, since she won’t see me, I can’t make any more to replace them.

Maybe this is how all relationships work. You gradually lose memories over time, but in the successful relationships you make more to replace them. In the unsuccessful ones, you eventually heal because you gradually lose nearly all of your memories of the relationship. This seems like a terrible tragedy of the human condition. As I think back over other relationships that I’ve had, I notice the same thing. I’ve lost most of my memories of them. Even with my ex wife I know there were some good memories even there, but I can only remember a handful of them. Even the girl who broke my heart when I was a teenager, I can barely remember that relationship at all, only how it felt when she left me.

It’s funny how the negative memories stick with us better than the positive ones. I can still remember clearly the pain and hurt I felt over our confusing and abrupt breakup, but only vaguely remember waking up next to her and holding her. Kissing her neck in the morning… So much is gone already, but with it goes much of the pain. Perhaps the pain of a breakup is really just the pain of loss. As my memory of what I’ve lost fades, so does the pain. The only thing that seems to stick with me is the memory of how much it hurt when the memories were still fresh. 

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