In two weeks time it will be a year since I received the diagnosis and I really find it hard to remember such basic and short term things such as how many chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions I have had. A few days ago I was asked by a friend, and I surprised myself with the ease I have to erase information that probably isn’t good for me, doesn’t interest me or doesn’t have any more significance in my life. The walls of memory are constructed slowly, they begin at childhood, they develop during adolescence, and gain height as you enter maturity. From time to time a brick falls and the light hints at something you had hidden away to save you headaches and that feeling of pending issues to resolve. It makes us all very wary to pull on that invisible thread that leads us back on the path to remember things that are not really necessary, this is what psychoanalysts do, but sometimes it is necessary to do so, even if it is just to understand what is happening to us, how we feel, or what we are suffering, such as an illness.
With this I am not looking for culprits for my case, to do so would be childish and above all unjustified. I am, however, beginning to feel intrigued by this exaggerated easiness to forget things, even short term memory. At home we all laugh at our lack of memory, we say it’s something genetic and so we take the issue light heartedly. Personally, I think there are two types of memory: that of feelings and that of facts. The first is what I call subconscious, because you don’t know how it ended up behind the wall and it can be painful, the second is much simpler, it deals with dates, shared anecdotes, conversations, words and figures, such as how many chemo sessions you’ve had.
Luckily the memory of the facts has many resources to survive: from the mobile phone diary to a personal diary or blog like this and I just discovered that I probably decided to set it up so as not to forget! Now it will be necessary to discover what it is that I do not want to forget and why. I have some ideas about it: first of all I don’t want to forget anything that has made me feel happy, alive and naturally, grateful. Here, with very little effort, I can think of many reasons to thank the ‘shake’ to my health: from the unconditional love of family and close friends, to the reunion with the pleasure of reading and writing. The ability to live every moment using all the senses.
Forget, is a very harsh verb, probably because it gives action to memory in its reverse form. I don’t know if I will ever want to provoke the memory of my subconscious or increase the memory of the facts, but each time I am more convinced that I want to learn to remember, to live with intensity everything that makes me excited, that makes me think, gives me fear, that makes me react, and invites me to live with the strength of courage and of course love! Everything that the intensive memory, that of the present, will take care of storing because I remembered that I could not forget.