Missing image

Should We Remember?

The fact that yesterday was the memorial day for the September 11 attacks and only eight flags were hanging outside in my neighborhood begs the general question, “Should we remember?” That question can be applied to many, many things besides historical events and I think we need to reflect on it.

We would all prefer to forget unpleasant and painful things. We expect people to ‘get over it’ when they have grieved a week. We wear crosses instead of crucifixes. We tell each other to look on the bright side. Some go so far as to hope beyond hope that yesterday’s abuse will be the last time because the perpetrator is “a really good guy/gal.”

This same thought process is how many of us deal with mental health problems. After recovering from an episode of mania, depression, or say, scruples we simply “get on with our lives” and try to forget it ever happened.

Yet remembering the unpleasant is vital to prevention. It provides motivation to do what is necessary to reduce risk. You can’t prevent what you forget. Speaking of risk. Here are some ways to reduce yours for relapse into a mental health crisis.

  • If you have a good friends (off-line) and/or close family members be sure to hang out with them often, and be honest about what’s going on in your life! Secrets breed relapse.
  • Take up activities where you have a good chance of meeting people. Being a loner will eventually increase symptoms.
  • Stay on your medication even if you think you don’t need to. If you insist on stopping do so with your physician’s permission and guidance, not alone.
  • Schedule an occasional tune-up therapy session. It’s always good to discuss anything that could potentially trigger an episode.
  • Say a prayer of Thanksgiving for each day of health. Appreciating and being grateful for health will make you more aware should you begin to lose that health. Health can never be taken for granted.
  • If you do get caught off guard (mental illness can sometimes have a life of its own) or you sense that all is not right, make an appointment with your doctor or therapist. Don’t tell yourself you’re imagining the worse or it’s not possible because….   Just make the appointment.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana (1863 to 1952)

Leave a Reply