It occurred to me last night around 11:35 as I tried to watch yet another gritty British police procedural that I should find out how to conjure a patronus–and to wonder what it would be if I did. Wouldn’t it be ironic to have one’s Patronus be a black dog? ”Fight Depression with your own black dog!” Heh.
Before you start to close this and say “I’m not reading about yet another middle aged woman who really has nothing to complain about because she is well-fed, clothed, has a home and a husband who loves her and yet whines about being saaaaad” trust me. This isn’t that.
This is about me wondering if anyone else ever experiences this particular phenomenon of the mind. Since I’ve only ever had my own mind to live in, I am truly curious about the brains of others. (For a minute there that said “the brians of others.” Like everyone knows someone named Brian. Hmmm. I wonder about that, too.)
Anyway, here’s the story. I had an eidetic memory until about 4 years ago. As anyone (everyone I’ve ever met, I think) who has heard me whine about being ill–whaaaambulance alert!–knows, that was among the first things that fritzed out. I, who used to be able to recount entire conversations verbatim, suddenly found myself writing down phone numbers and addresses on sticky notes. Then I was forgetting meetings and production details. It made for a hairy experience in my last months of working. My brain went downhill as fast–or faster than–my body.
Then a few months ago something odd started happening.
For seemingly no reason at all, I began having perfect recall of specific moments. And not just the room and the people there and the conversation, the way it was before. I have perfect recall of the mood I was in, the feelings I was feeling at the time. It’s like my wiring goes in search of all the long-buried touchy parts in my brain and says “Hey! I know! Let’s go back there!”
So what that amounts to is that I’ll be sitting there watching tv and knitting and keeping the yarn hidden from Gob and then all of a sudden, there my mind goes…back to 1:30 Saturday morning when the person I carpooled with on the 4:30 to 1:am shift had to go bail out her boyfriend on the way home. Suddenly, while sitting in my cozy house, I’m there in my mind at the bail bondsman’s, terrified and feeling very alone.
Or I’ll be eating lunch at the kitchen table and my mind recalls a decades-old fight with my husband and the utter despair kicks me in the gut.
It’s not that I’m depressed, because 98% of the time I’m just fine. It’s these weird spot recalls that are starting to make me wonder what on earth is happening inside my head.
Now of course I am interested if that happens to anyone else–and I’m not comment trolling. I promise. If I wanted to comment troll I’d say something inflammatory about Mexico or Jesus (the Jewish one, not a Mexican one) or Democrats or Republicans.
I just wonder what it’s like in YOUR Brian.