Ever forget where you left your keys? Ever forget an appointment with your accountant? Doctor? Manicurist? Ever forget to send permission forms up to school? Ever forget to turn the iron off? How about forgetting your passwords or forgetting about the Tooth Fairy? Shit happens, right?
What about these then… ever forget that you have ordered a book and went and ordered a second copy? Ever forget that you bought someone’s birthday present and then spent a week trying to come up with an idea for it? Ever forget a conversation you had in the morning about the Goat Pie Guy and then wonder why you’re unexpectedly presented with goat pies for lunch three hours later? Ever forget that you’re out shopping for a toaster and come home with a new kettle instead? Ever tell the same person the same thing three or four times and watch their face glaze over as you realize you’ve already imparted that information? Ever forget what the family said they wanted for dinner even though you asked them every half hour from 3-6pm? Ever forget to turn off the TV or lock the door or set the alarm or close the garage and just leave the house and come home to find the place wide open? Ever forget about a ‘to do’ list in your own handwriting and have no recollection of writing it? Ever forget driving your child to school and spend the day believing someone else took him? Ever completely forget something you only just learned the day before? Ever scarily forget you’ve taken your nightly medication and promptly turned around five minutes later and taken it again?
We have been laughing about my goldfish memory for about five years now. So what if you accidentally order the same book twice? It was on medieval gold smithing and the extra copy made a great present for Surly’s next birthday anyway. So what if pink Tupperware turns up in the mail and you have no recollection of ever having ordered it? So what if you arrive a day early for your doctor’s appointment? So what if you boil the kettle three or four times before remembering to actually make the cup of tea? So what if you get frustrated trying to logon to your PC using a password you changed two years ago? So what if you forget the Small Child’s basketball training…again? So what if you have to keep the world’s most complex calendar because you can’t trust your memory to remind you of ANYTHING.
Well, this is where I’ve been at for the last five years. Too many drugs with too many side effects. Not the least of which it turns out over long term use include diminished cognitive abilities, loss of concentration and drumroll please … memory loss. Woulnd’t be so bad, in fact I doubt I would have come to call it a serious problem at all, if I weren’t trying to learn Classical Latin at the moment. You see, I’ve managed to get through two semesters of Latin (I still have no idea how I did that) and am in the middle of my third (and fucking final) semester of Latin Language and Literature… and I CAN”T REMEMBER ANY OF IT.
Now, this isn’t the usual, ‘I hate Latin and brain is resisting learning Latin’ thing that often comes if someone is forced to deal with something they think is unpleasant (like me and income tax returns). I like Latin and was finding it challenging and enjoyable, even though it comes with more than it’s fair share of monumental mind fucks. No, the problem here is I am being taught grammatical concepts one day and the next day being unable to recall what the concepts were, what they were called, how they are applied or how they are translated, which is seriously hindering my ability to complete the course. Homework assignments that should take only a matter of hours are taking me two days to complete as I look up words and then look them up again three lines later having already forgotten the English translation over the duration of about ten minutes and facepalming the minute I see the English again. Seriously frustrating. At the moment, with some changes in medication, I can’t seem to recall anything we learned last year – not even simple noun declensions, verb conjugations and tenses or principle parts. Asking me to explain the mood or case of something, when parsing, is like asking me to teleport to Ancient Rome to run Cicero to ask him why he’s inflicted all this shit on us in the first place! Impossible!
So struggling with Latin has gone from being challenging and enjoyable to being frustrating and riddled with anxiety, as I just can’t seem to remember what I need to know. And it has bought home hard, like a slap upside the head with a wet haddock, just how bad my memory has become. I can’t remember the Latin I learned yesterday, but to test a theory, I started working through an online self taught French tutorial program and have been sailing through it on high school French that I learned over 20 years ago! I’m paying more attention to the memory problems now and I’m noticing more and more that I can’t remember shit. I can’t remember important stuff, I’m losing track of menial stuff and I’m now officially getting worried about it because after a tiny bit of research and a meeting with my dealer… err I mean doctor, it turns out I have developed some serious prescription medication dependencies. Or flat out drug addictions if we want to do away with the niceties.
Problem is, I can’t give them up. I don’t want to give them up. Go ahead, make my day… just try and take them off me and see what happens! For without the drugs, there is no sleep. Without the sleep, there is no coping with being in pain ALL day. Without the coping there is a bottle of the most ludicrously expensive champagne and ALL the pills at once in my foreseeable future.
So… my name is Borys and I have a prescription drug addiction. But somehow I doubt there are meetings for people with no desire or motivation whatsoever to kick their habits. 🙁