My battle with anterograde amnesia

in #mentalhealth4 months ago

If you got the chance, which day of your life would you like to forget?

Or even better, the notorious question, what would you do if you couldn't remember it ever?


Funnily, almost everyone has an answer to this question. Or at least a fantasy about it. A made-up scenario that tickles the brain and teases reality. It's fun, and who doesn't love a little bit of sparkle to shine up dull reality?

My first experience with short-term amnesia was when I was just a teenager. We were all a bunch of guys in school going through puberty. We were just discovering the strength our bodies were getting. Long story short, I got shoved into a potruding wall which left a massive hole in my head. The scar is still vivid today. And that's how I lost 3 days worth of memory.


I never experienced anterograde amnesia or retrograde amnesia after that. The difference is, with AA you lose memory of events after the amnesia kicks in but remember everything from before, and with RA you lose memory of everything/somethings from before but can make new memories from the onset.

This cannot be confused with simple "poor memory" or memory that has been pushed away to a corner of the brain. With amnesia, in most cases, the connections in the brain that lead to memories simply cease to exist. It's just a blank.

I have no memory of writing this post right here


Nor do I have any memory of writing this one right here


The posts are only 3 days apart and there's so much in common in between them. Firstly, no memory of writing them. Secondly, both are poetic...or maybe cryptic. They give me an insight of how my subconscious felt at the moment. Both these posts feel foreign to me. I feel like I haven't written them. I do not see myself writing that. I can't remember writing them...

This bout of anterograde amnesia is drug induced. Amnesia can be induced in many ways - many are aware of alcohol induced amnesia. Mine is benzo induced. It is very clear from the post I made.

My shrink decided to put me on a benzo after numerous sedatives failed. According to him, there's a "chaos" in my mind. Trauma, loss, life change, added responsibilities and the pressure I put on myself to stay productive created that chaos. Although I do not fully understand how he came to that conclusion, there is a sense of time running out that I feel constantly. Nevertheless, I tried the benzo.

The drug class is notorious to cause short-term anterograde amnesia as a side effect. Little did I know it'd hit me on the 2nd day of usage. 3-4 days, well marked by the dates of the posts linked above have vanished from my brain. I have no memory of those 3-4 all.

What did I do? Where did I go? What happened? It is as if those days simply do not exist to me. I had not only posted in the span of those 3-4 days, but when I went back to check, I came across emails I had and 2 separate in-person meetings I had attended.

insert shocked pikachu face


Even though I have no memory of those couple of days, they were just as productive. I had checked through all of my goals for the days and even had successful appointments. The scary part is I have absolutely no memory except the few traces left behind on the blockchain, email replies, and meeting notes and feedbacks. I had once told Ruben that posting on the chain is like keeping a forever diary where I can go back and relive the days people have posted there. And so it is.

I have since cut down on the benzos. No more for me. There are other ways to deal with the chaos. Evidently, I have also taken up more responsibilities too. But now I am not scared of any boogeyman or noises in the bush...I am mow only scared of that darkness in my mental timeline and if it ever shows up again.