October 2017
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ADD-PI meds / my memory: external or none.


I've been on bupropion for ADD-PI for the last month or so now, and I think I am beginning to see positive change, but maybe with some negative change as well. On the positive side, I do find it easier to realize when I am getting "stuck" in thoughts and I can unstick them, and it's not quite so hard to get started on things (at least, for the past week that has been true), and I feel like I can manage self-care better, taking breaks that actually help me and recognizing when I am ready to get back into whatever project I'm working on (instead of procrastinating and building panic for motivation). On the maybe-negative side, my memory seems even worse, but I am not sure if that is simply a greater awareness of lost memories or actual increased loss of them. It is also impacted by the fact that I was deeply depressed all of 2012 and was recovering but not recovered in 2013; that makes my memory worse.

Memory is all that is real. I came across something that described how memory is formed and how reading fiction stores memory the same way that experiencing something does (can't find the link now). I feel this and it's why I don't watch things I don't want in my mind. I think that when you have high empathy especially, witnessing can be as powerful as directly experiencing. An experience I had and forgot has no impact on my life now, but a movie I've seen twice is there, a book I've read is there, a song I've heard again and again is there. I am composed of the things that stick.

If I lost all of my memory, I would absolutely not be the same person. The pathways in my brain might make it more likely for me to learn things I had previously learned, but I would be so different. This makes it terrifying to think that my memory is so faulty. I cannot remember my own life and so I cannot learn from it. I don't just lose unimportant memories either -- I lose even ones I would treasure, or ones that would have huge emotional impact. People have told me about experiences I had that I cannot even find a "error: memory missing" tag for, they're just 100% gone. Sometimes if the person I was with can describe in careful detail everything that happened, I can resurrect the memory, but mostly not.

That's why it's so fucking important to me to have an external memory through my journal and my photos. I cannot remember the most beautiful kiss unless I write about it (or thoroughly tell the story more than once). I cannot remember an amazing day with someone I love unless I have made memory tags for it with photos or writing. I am not a full person on my own, because my memory is a sieve that my self-pieces flow out of. I either catch them with my camera or my LJ, or they are lost forever.

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Comments
classical_wolf ══╣╠══
I'm glad you're seeing positive changes and that LJ can be so positive for you :)
bunnika ══╣bunny: glasses╠══
It's really hard to make the decision between what you gain and what you lose on meds. I'm finally on stuff that doesn't leave me quite so brainfogged, but sometimes I still get really absent-minded from things, and I hate it. But I know I need the meds more than I suffer from the side effects, so I just take the bad with the good.

I take it this is your first round of meds? Have you considered talking to your doc about another option that may not have as many side effects for you? It can take a really long time to find exactly the right pills for your individual issues. I can't even remember half the meds I've been on, I've gone through so many.
belenen ══╣╠══
This is pretty much my only option because id have to pay hundreds for testing to be allowed stimulant meds since im going through school. But the memory thing is maybe 10% worse, if it is affected -- im pretty sure its just that im becoming more aware of it.
bunnika ══╣bunny: hugs╠══
It sucks that you don't have other options. :-/ But hopefully you're right, and it's just an awareness thing. I know how that is; I had a med that I thought was making me hypomanic, but when I actually stepped back and looked at things, it was just that I was recognizing my mania better, and it's effects, more than it actually being worse. It's sort of scary when you start realizing all the things that are affected by your condition(s) that you just never fully recognized because of them.
justben ══╣╠══
I totally feel you on the memory thing. For me, feeling the connection to something and how it fits into my model of the world is way more important than remembering how it got there, so I haven't spent a ton of energy trying to remember all the things. I've tried it off and on through journaling, but it doesn't seem to stick.

Then again, I do sorta like timelines and how the relative timing of different experiences influences people. Every now and then I try putting together a timeline for myself to sorta review my self-model. That'd probably be easier if I'd taken better notes. Hm. Maybe a project for me.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.