memoir · personal · Recent

Memory and Power

It’s slightly confusing, to discover which memories still have power over me, and which ones don’t.

I’ve just been home for Christmas, for the first time in four years. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my mom and brothers. I hadn’t seen them in four years, because the last time I was home for Christmas was the last time I saw anyone. That’s the way I wanted it.

The less contact I have with my family, the healthier and happier I seem to be. People often view this as selfish, but there’s history there that they aren’t aware of.

I was really worried about seeing them… I haven’t exactly been stable of late. My depression and anxiety have been sending me through all sorts of ups and downs, swerves of mania and extreme lows that I’m somehow managing to navigate.

So I was worried. But I was okay. It wasn’t bad seeing my family. I don’t really need to repeat it frequently, but it was okay. It was even nice, at times–a fact I’m not going to look at too closely because I just don’t want to go down that path right now.

Those memories don’t have much power over me anymore, it seems.

Others still do. Before I left for Seattle, I went to my usual open-mic night and that was something else.

A woman was there to read her poetry. She was blackout drunk when she showed up at 6, and just kept drinking until the show started at 8, and kept drinking all throughout. For some reason, she decided I was her friend, and I found myself trying to help her out.

And when I couldn’t, I found myself crying over pizza and beer.

And all I could think about was Allyson, another person I couldn’t help.

I’m not responsible for either one… but oh, it hurt.

It seems that the memories that have the most power over me, now, are those where I failed someone, rather than those where someone failed me.

That’s a pretty good place to be.

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