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I wanted to make a physical photo album of my memories from the past 10 years and have put it off for many years. My mental health has been steadily improving, I finally like my job, and I’m at a place where I can just sit down and sort through old photos for a couple of hours.


Because after carefully selecting 400+ pictures online through a third party print service, “oops something went wrong” and my work wasn’t saved. Fuck these cloud storage and print services things, dude. Fuck shit balls fuck fuck fuck.

What I thought was going to be a zen trip down memory lane turned out to be the complete opposite. It’ll probably be another 10 years before I attempt this again.

Turns out the part that sucked most was scrolling through the most depressing year of my life and looking at pictures of me smiling with my friends and family, looking happy as a fucking clam, but not remembering the actual event. Is this what it means to disassociate? The best way I can describe it is by comparing it to drinking too much, blacking out, and then waking up the next morning with no memories, but then your friends are telling you the events of the night and you’re in all the pictures. It’s just like that… except an entire year’s worth of memories are not there.

If a person who attended her good friend’s wedding but disassociated that entire year, then did that person even experience celebrating her friend at all? And will that person ever get another chance? Probably not.

It’s scary and depressing to remember a time when people on the outside would look at me and give me a compliment about looking good (for women in this society, it was usually about being thin), and every time someone did that, I wanted to break down and cry. I just wanted to scream at everybody and say that I wasn’t okay, I wasn’t eating for days at a time, I lost my appetite whenever I looked at food, I woke up in tears with chest pain every morning, I wanted to go home, I never wanted to wake up or leave the house to begin with, but I had bills to pay and the world wasn’t stopping for me. But yeah, tell me how great anorexia looks. I always took the easy way out of the conversation by thanking them with a smile and excused myself before breaking down.

Recovering from trauma doesn’t get any easier either. Trying to rebuild relationships with missing memories isn’t the same as regular catching up. Connecting with others as a shell of a person is difficult because there’s only one person present in the conversation. Trying to make someone understand that experience and the feelings that come with it is another uphill battle that, as the young people say these days, IYKYK. It’s lonely without others who get it, but I also wouldn’t wish these experiences on the people I care about.

April 2022

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