Thursday, 12 May 2016

Withdrawal and perspective

My refresh technique for reinforcing the images pinned to my mental calendar as memory tags was collapsing at the end of April.

So I thought it was time for a pause. I know that I can do a memory reboot, so do not fear stopping. A reboot is where over a period of a couple of weeks I run through the images on my mental calendar sequentially from 17 December 2011 when I began this process of remembering every day that passes. I cover several months a day in free mental time and can then return to whatever method I was using to refresh just a selection of images for each week or month.

I've been remembering every day that passes for over four and half years, so thought I would simply stop for a week or two.

What happened took me by surprise.

Normally - in what has become normal - I often use free mental time to revisit my mental calendar.

Without that distraction I found my mind to focus more on current events, particularly those causing me stress.

From the time before I began this process, I used various phrases to help me cope with stress. Such as "give me more strength". These are to supplant negative thoughts like, "I can't stand any more", or the taunting, self-critical thoughts that come unbidden to anyone sometimes when life is overwhelming.

I found over the several days without my refresh technique that both my coping phrases and taunting thoughts became much more prevalent. I was reminded how draining these can be.

In fact, so draining, that I returned to my mental calendars sooner than I had intended.

Here's why.

It is not for the distraction.

It is not to live in the past.

It is for perspective.

All things pass.

Alighting on the threads of the tapestry of the past few years reminded me of both good times and bad times. Reminded me of my strength. And brought home the passage of time.


That is the greatest gift this process gives me. It is beneficial to my stress levels and mental health.

The nature of my refresh techniques means that the images and events I recall are chosen simply due to their position on my mental calendar. Although the days selected are not random, the events and moods are. I do not tug at particular memories, but see the diversity of separate threads and so gain an overview of the rich tapestry of my life.

However, as I will explain in my next post, I have not returned to my past refresh technique. As often happens when a system collapses under the weight of the accumulated days, a new approach emerges.

No comments:

Post a Comment