Memory Falters When Dealing With Pain or Grief

. at .

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there was
A time when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

By Emily Dickinson

Grief disrupts your mind and thinking abilities. Confusion moves in and memory takes a vacation. . . Just as your leg can experience a cramp and not move, it’s as though your mind has a memory cramp. Your mind is paralyzed and shuts down…” (Wright, 12-13)1

Constant pain can also interfere with memory retention or recall. Fatigue, lack of sleep, depression, stress, and some medications also contribute to memory issues. This article about memory loss cites studies that show how disturbed sleep patterns and chronic pain affect memory.

Remember to cut yourself some slack if you are dealing with grief and/or pain. Your mind is working very hard right now trying to cope.You are not going crazy.  

You don’t have to wait for your memory to right itself. There are a few things you can do now.

  1. Get adequate sleep. Figure out how to overcome your sleep issues. Getting the proper amount of sleep is necessary for your brain and body to function well.
  2. Get adequate exercise. Do more than exercise your body though, exercise your brain too.
  3. Manage your stress level. Prayer, exercise, practice gratitude, and journaling can help. Click here for 20 Ways to DeStress Your Life. Talk with a professional, if you are concerned about your memory, talk to your MD and/or a therapist.
  4. Practice your faith. We have a God who loves and cares about us. Even if you don’t understand your “why’s,” you can still find great help from God.

Works Cited

1. Wright, H. Norman.  Experiencing Grief. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2004. 

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1. Raspberry Freeze Pie
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3. Apple Pie
4. Dark Chocolate Cream Pie
5. Strawberry Yogurt Pie
6. Toll House Pie
7. Tamale Pie
8. Turtle Pecan Pie
9. GF, DF Apple Crumble
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2. Played Scrabble in Spanish.
3. Created Salt Clay Crosses.
4. Making Mother's Day gifts for the ladies in our church.
5. Copied 2 cards at a card party.
6. Wrote rough draft.
7. Cut a hardback book into a Kindle cover
8. Boiled cans of sweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche twice.
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11. Hemmed pants - Hey, it involved a thread & needle.
12. Sewed a lime green felt piggy bank. Filling it with quarters. This is for Women' s Retreat 2015.
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14. Researched & prepped initial dragonfly project for CM at work. (Thanks Trudy for doing the rest!)
15. Built a table (with my daughter).
16. Decoupaged the table.
17. Assembled candy bar with specialized wrappers.
18. Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
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20. Decorated a wreath
21. Made thumbprint snowman ornaments
22. Decorated my Christmas tree
23. Cooked up bottles of fudge and butterscotch sauce
24. Created a melted crayon picture
25. Baked Earl Grey Cookies
26. Created Sharpie art on my white mug
27. Made a candle in a tea cup
28. Whipped up some cream cheese mints
29. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Russian Morning #24.
30. Hand sewed 6 heart shaped tea bags to hold Masala Chai.
31. Baked Lemon Marshmallow cookies
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34. Decoupaged eyeballs to bottom of glass
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4. The Mysterious Voyage of Captain Kidd by A.B.C. Whipple
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6. Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
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20. Whole Prayer: Speaking and Listening to God by Walter Wangerin Jr.
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