I Wish I Were an Elephant…

…as elephants never forget.

It was Mental Health Awareness Week last week. Quite fittingly I had intended to write this then but forgot. I do that a lot, increasingly so. Having spoken a lot about my mental health diagnosis I won’t bang on about it too much, however I did want to share this. I don’t think forgetfulness is something that people necessarily associate with disorders such as BPD, bipolar, depression or anxiety disorders but it’s one of my most frequent and most distressing symptoms.

I buy birthday cards and forget to send them. I prepare food and forget to eat it. I make appointments and forget to attend them. And it’s not just a case of ‘Oh, I’m a little bit forgetful, silly me.’ It’s having to stop halfway through a sentence because I’ve clean forgotten what I was about to say, it’s gaps appearing in my vocabulary with this kind of locked in sensation of knowing what I want to say but being absolutely incapable of saying so. It’s going to a shop and feeling suddenly tearful and stupid because I can’t remember what I went there for. 

Once more I don’t share this for sympathy, I share it to raise awareness. That friend with a mental health diagnosis you know who says they’ll do something but always seems to flake, the greetings cards you don’t receive, the telephone calls that don’t happen; maybe don’t judge them too harshly, maybe don’t label people with a certain disorder as self consumed or unreliable, maybe just remember that we are not elephants, we are people and people who often forget.

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