As I progress in time trudging through the unique journey that is my life I realize how easy it is to forget things that happened in your past both recent and distant. This distance from my past
and self is especially pronounced during times of depression, whereas during a manic ascent
my mind is flooded with memories, (some seemingly repressed for years) that are triggered by
almost everything and every interaction I encounter. When I am listlessly depressed I don’t
focus on my past beyond moments where I desperately try to recall what it feels like to feel
anything, as the numbness of the episode often overwhelms any recollection of better times.
Although I am far outside of mania at present I am just dancing around the circle of depression, questioning everything, satisfied by nothing, hoping for direction, and working to redefine a sense of self that is separate from the self that emerges during depressions and the unbridled self, which ignites during times of mania.
One particular component of the age in which we live that I do appreciate is the continuous and
pervasive ability of technology to preserve our memories, interactions, and responses. As I
struggle to maintain a significant sense of who I am, who I was, and who I may become I have
oftentimes found,that the writings I have archived in computers, clouds, storage boxes, and
filing cabinets serve as references I wrote to myself many times in, many ways. As if I always
thought there might be an, instance where I would have trouble remembering the person that
exists beyond the illness.
As for the online storage of less favorable memories I need only look to a variety of social media
accounts which I excessively used during the days and hours leading up to each of my
hospitalizations. These online footprints serve as a different type of reminder and reference to
the nature of my illness.
Usually at the height of my mania I would often find myself in a state of self imposed physical isolation with only the internet and social media to voice my racing thoughts, emotions, and feelings.
In the beginning I was not necessarily proud of the archived activity I encountered every time I logged onto Facebook where I would find a suggestion of a memory from a year, four years, or five years ago but I have learned to appreciate its existence as a reminder of the very major life events that have shaped my journey. These Facebook footprints or Twitter trails exist in an intimate relationship alongside my mental illness often as a piece of myself I’d rather forget. Social media not only forces me to remember my past states, it also allows me to analyze the logic of my manic self and the progression towards needing real medical attention. It is in a way heart wrenching to look back on the statuses, which read like small essays–that I produced just moments before admitting myself to the hospital. At the same time it is a piece of truth in the hazy memory of what my reality was devolving into just a year ago.
The technological evidence of my manic episode solidified in time is a precious piece of my
history, my trends, and my patterns. Although some may argue it better to free yourself entirely
of your past and regrets I find more freedom in paying homage to the smoldering remains of a
recent episode as I continue to live alongside my bipolar disorder.
Having proof of it’s existence has become somewhat integral in maintaining my understanding and acceptance of the gravity of my illness, however, distant or near it’s last appearance may be.
Facebook memories,especially, are frequent reminders of the experiences that dominated most of my young adulthood and now serve as maps and archived data to reflect upon as I work towards understanding who I may be under the stipulations of stability.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community