E S S A Y Are you having difficulty being able to recall a name or a word when you’re having a conversation with someone or just ruminating on your own? Experts say not to worry. It’s most likely not dementia. There are many other causes….everything from insomnia to anxiety or stress can cause these lapses in memory. None of which make me any less relaxed about the situation.
It’s frustrating when you can’t find the right word to convey your thoughts. And why can’t I think of the name of that band that had a big hit with that song. What’s the name of that author that I like….I’ve read all his books. It’s actually embarrassing to be conversing with someone and be unable to recall a name or a title. You end up repeating over and over that you know the word/name but it’s just out of reach. Sometimes you even go so far as to say something like, “it starts with an “m.”
The fact that I’m able to recall the word or name and hour later (when I don’t need it) is little consolation. I want total recall. Wait. Wasn’t that a movie with what’s his name. You know, he became the Governator. Arnold I-Can’t-Spell-Your-Last-Name. At least I knew there was a movie by that name.
I like to think that the real problem is an overtaxed brain. I’ve collected too much information, taken too many classes, read too many books, watched too many movies, met too many people, stored up too many facts, and spent way too much time surfing the internet. And the result is my brain is overtaxed because it’s overloaded with information. Our brains are impressive organs but they are not anything like IBM’s Watson when it comes to retention and recall. The brain certainly works like a computer but lacking a 12 terabyte hard drive puts us at a clear disadvantage.
You might be saying “get over it” to which I say, “no, you get over it.” The brain wants what the brain wants. Is it too much to ask for total recall for the information stored in there? When I want it?
It’s bad enough that I have to ask Siri for information. Please don’t make me start saying “OK Google.”
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He’s written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.