“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
― Haruki Murakami,
Memories have been at the forefront of my mind this week. We all remember things in different ways and those memories are evoked through different means. Places, smells, sounds, colours or even words can send your mind into action.
Earlier in the week, I was looking back at some photos of a holiday from a few years ago. I thought “Mmmm what a lovely restful time” but my wife, Tammy, felt uneasy looking at the photos. They reminded her that this was a particularly stressful time for us as a couple and she let me know this for the first time.
This was a great shock to me. I was truly upset with myself for my responsibility for that hard period as a couple. As a man with a negative default all I could think about was that I’d tarnished this place and these photos, possibly for life.
The revelation shook me to my very core. I was a prisoner of this guilt and shame again for at least 2 days. My body became heavy and it ached. I was so angry with myself.
Thankfully Tammy was not revealing that information to make me suffer. She just needed to express her feelings to me. She worked hard to remind me that for every sad memory there are many more happy ones in her mind. That helped me so much and gave me ammunition to fight off the negative thoughts.
The battle I overcame draws parallels with a song I wrote last year so here is an acoustic version of it which I hope to play at an open mic sometime when I pluck up the courage.
When the fear descends upon me
All my hopes and fears
Feel oh so far away
All my fun becomes a pressure
And all that pressure
Makes me want to run away
This burden on my shoulders
It builds and builds til
I get that sinking feeling
I don’t believe that I can do this
My genetics say
I’m just not made that way
I start to think a little different
I slow things down
And take it one step at a time
Step by step I claim the victories
My momentum builds until I find
I beat that sinking feeling
My torment no longer steering