A sip of Lethe …

Lethe is the mythological Greek river of forgetfulness.

I have been having some issues with my memory. To be honest, this latest period has been about 5 months, but to my mind it feels more like one or two. Obviously I can’t know what I don’t know, but there are times that people mention an experience and I can’t remember it at all. A few examples..

I decided to watch the classic movie “Dumbo” the other day. It was interesting, but I felt like it was good to be finally seeing a true classic. And good preparation for watching the remake some time. My daughter came home from wherever she had been, and asked me why I was watching it again. Apparently the other day the two of us had watched it and really enjoyed it. It was a bit of a humorous situation, but really disturbed me because none of the movie was anywhere near recognizable. And there’s some messed up stuff in that movie! You would think I would have remembered that.

Last week at group one of the regular members was missing, but I could not for the life of me remember them. Finally, after more prompting than I’m happy to relay, I made the connection and remembered. But it was like they were describing someone I’d never met.

A wonderful Old Fashioned.

And sadly, the wife and I went out the night before Thanksgiving to a local restaurant, one of our favorites. It wasn’t until a few nights ago that she mentioned it and I had no recollection. I had even checked in and posted to Facebook. I couldn’t remember what I ate or drank, what we talked about, or even where we sat. And we had a lovely evening, from what I hear. In our younger days the night before Thanksgiving was reserved for going out clubbing, dancing and drinking with friends. These days we settle for something a bit more mundane but just as enjoyable. It was good to catch up, and to talk about how things seemed to be getting better. While (many of) my prescriptions warn away from alcohol, it was a special occasion so I had a cocktail. I hate that my depression doesn’t allow me to drink. Both because alcohol is a depressant, but that it can affect how my meds work. So yes, I had a drink that night and maybe that exacerbated the memory issue, but sometimes you have to live your life.

.. and a heartbreak

Last Friday we went out with two couples who are some of our dearest friends. We went to the traditional holiday show, and then came back to the neighborhood and tried out a new restaurant. The show, company, food, and evening were all great! I’ve been feeling a bit more like myself, and this felt like a celebration.

Until we started talking about it and I really got to hear my wife talk about how bad it’s been. And for how long. And the things like the memory. The Thanksgiving eve experience being just one of many important times that are just gone. I know it’s a byproduct of the depression, the ECT, the meds, the whole deal. But it’s been so hard on her and she’s been such a helpful saint. She was not telling the tale to hurt me. But that broke my heart, to know how much I’ve put her through, knowing that there are always possibilities of relapse, and we have no idea what ups and downs are to come. It’s been a few days now, and I’m feeling a bit better, but that sting is going to be with me for some time to come.

2 thoughts on “A sip of Lethe …”

  1. Hey there, Robert,

    I appreciate learning about your experience, and just wanted to say that I lost pretty close to a year when I had cancer. It’s a combination of pain/depression and heavy drugs, and to not remember my kids 2nd grade year stings.

    So, dont feel alone in this, and just know that medical issues can and do put families through it on the regular.

    Keep on keeping on,

    Liked by 1 person

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