A week or so ago a friend of mine recounted a story from 2001. (You’ll recall that 2001 wasn’t so great for me.) In a nutshell, the story went like this:
- I felt a friend of mine had been mistreated by a health professional.
- I lied to said friend, saying I had to run some errands.
- I instead went to the office of said health professional and gave a loud, emphatic, disgusted, and expletive -filled lesson on appropriate patient care.
- I did this in the lobby/waiting room, because I was refused a conference with the actual doctor in question.
- I returned to my friend, saying my errands were successful, and we took a nap in her dorm room.
I don’t remember any of this happening. She knows it happened because at her next doctor’s appointment she was asked about her crazy friend and the story was relayed to her then. Fighting the urge to call myself an awesomely loyal friend, I will admit that my behavior in this story was probably motivated by my mania-induced belief that I was sent to this earth to educate and enlighten those less fortunate in the ways of intellect and ethics. Megalomania and delusions of grandeur weren’t the half of it; This story is really just the tip of the iceberg.
This brings me to the point: The Time I Can’t Remember. With my New Year’s Resolution underway, I have been forced to acknowledge the (many) things of which I have no memory. There were bridges both built and burnt, whose respective establishment and smoldering ashes are part of my everyday life now. In short, there are consequences.
And now I wrestle with a set of questions: How do I take responsibility for the consequences of actions I don’t remember? How do I take responsibility when I do remember, but know I wasn’t quite myself? I neither want nor expect blanket forgiveness. When appropriate, I have offered apologies and explanations. These have been met with varying degrees of acceptance and understanding. Having built bridges to wastelands and destroyed those once meaningful, how does one make peace with what can’t be ignored and can’t be mended?