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The Things I Remember

The biggest lie we tell ourselves on a daily basis is "I will remember that".... whether it an appointment to meet a friend, a task we need to accomplish, a detail we neglect to write down, or all the sweet moments we share with our loved ones. Unfortunately, more often than not, we don't remember.

I know this struggle all too well. I remember very little from my childhood, and it wasn't until I talked to friends who have a lot of memories from their youth that I realized it wasn't normal. Finally, a few months back, I stumbled across a study about memory and mental illness and it all started to make sense.

I was about 12 year old when I started experiencing anxiety and depression, but it wasn't until college that I was given an official diagnosis of having Borderline Personality Disorder. This year I started reading about why people with anxiety, depression, and especially BPD in particular, really struggle with memory issues. I have always been an extremely organized person when it comes to writing down important details and appointments, so although it's never really been apparent in my professional life, I struggled when it came to recalling my own sentimental memories.

As it turns out, unintended memory suppression is a very common symptom for those who struggle with these mental health disorders, and although it is an involuntary safeguard against what the brain deems as "traumatic" memories, it created a malfunction of sorts in my brain when it comes to memory encoding. Reading about this dissociation, it hit me why I always took so many pictures: those moments are the only things I do remember. Looking through photo albums from my childhood, and even my college years, it helps jog my memory of things I experienced, and even reminds me who I am. Although I am an artist who loves to create beautiful artwork, I realized my lifelong passion for photography was rooted deeply in my desire to cling to good memories and help others do so as well.

So, this weekend when we went on our first ever family vacation with our two little girls, even though I opted to leave my professional equipment behind in an effort to really be present and not "work" on vacation, I made sure to take (and have my husband capture) a few photos of us with my cell phone. My husband, with good intentions, always gives me a hard time that he doesn't want to be taking photos the entire time, and would rather be present in the moment. It wasn't until we got home and were thinking about all fun we had, that I was discussing with him why the photos are so important to me. I reminded him that although I appreciate his desire to be so present with our family, the only way I personally will remember the little things is by taking the picture.

All in all, if there is one thing that is for sure, it is that someday we will forget the things we promised ourselves that we would remember. Allow yourself the opportunity to be present in those moments and still capture all the memories to look back on by bringing in a professional like myself to document the most important moments in your life. If there is one thing you won't regret investing in, it is ensuring your memories will not be forgotten.



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