Writing 101, Day Four – On Losing my Mind


Have you seen the latest Canadian Tire commercial? A couple is standing on their front porch, waving at a neighbour, and looking puzzled because they can’t remember the neighbour’s name.

That Canadian Tire commercial, is the story of my life, every day. It’s a side-effect of the depression I no longer battle. Apparently, your memory is the first to go, and the last to return. At this point, I wonder if my memory will ever recover.

To be honest, my mind has always had trouble remembering names. And I know I’m not alone. You know who you are and you’re nodding, aren’t you?
I ran into a woman at Starbuck’s, and we chatted for twenty minutes. I couldn’t think of her name, I barely recognized her, and I couldn’t figure out how she knew me. Our conversation was so general I wasn’t picking up on any clues. It took me awhile to figure it out. I really thought I was losing my mind.

Our mind is fascinating, containing a vast amount of information, important and totally useless. Unfortunately, it doesn’t discriminate when it decides what information to lose. Like the time I worked for a bank, and forgot the combination to the compartment that held my cash. It was busy, and like many days before, I walked into the vault and bent down to spin the combination. Nothing. My mind was blank. I had spun that combination every day for months without thinking. And then it was gone.

The most recent incident was remembering a neighbour’s name. Typically, it will come to me in a short while, but not this time. For the last five days, I pass her house as I walk the dogs, and I can’t think of her name. I try triggering the memory by thinking of other names. Is it Clare? No. Hannah? Debbie? Carol? As I walk past her house, the name niggles at my brain and I can’t reach it. Yesterday she was outside raking. We chatted, and still no name came to mind. But this morning the name was coming into focus, and voilà! Her name is Trish.

One neighbour down, and another to go before my life is no longer a Canadian Tire commercial. Now if only I could remember where I put my car keys.


4 thoughts on “Writing 101, Day Four – On Losing my Mind

  1. I used to be good with names – But not anymore. Since being diagnosed with Fibro on 20th of January 2012, my memory for names has not only got worse, but my mind creates names for people, and I end up calling them their newly created name, very convincingly. So Fraser at work is Spencer, Hannah and Vicki at work are Emily and Cress at work yesterday, my mind wanted to call Fleur – I managed to stop myself from saying this one!! I can’t punish myself, I have to accept it. I tell people if I didn’t laugh about it, I would cry – Life’s too short to cry. Hey, one day I may be able to help people with baby names – But seen as I am not a baby person at all, ever, I cannot see that happening. It’s some sort of gift no doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Jane e thank you so much. I see the blessings that Fibro has brought me – That I don’t expect anyone else thinks of. Or not many at any rate. I love my life and living – Having Fibro makes me pursue my dreams harder, faster and live life to the max – Worse case scenario I end up on crutches or in a wheelchair, that will hopefully never happen – But I am going to live life so fully now, that if it does happen, I will not have regrets. I still go out clubbing occasionally, despite the pain. I try to block the pain out with mind and by not talking about it – When I talk about it, like this, the pain is very bad – So, out of speech, out of mind.


  2. I’ve not lost many names yet, but there are days when, mid conversation, I’ll just stop. A word I need, was literally about to use, has just disappeared from my brain. Days later, when I get them back (always completely out of nowhere) I’ve started writing them down in a notebook. Like a small dictionary of words I am reclaiming and then they belong to me and can never leave again! Lol

    Liked by 1 person

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