I was reading today about a study done by the University of Toronto regarding erasing memories from your mind. From what I understand, they have successfully targeted the area of your brain that holds bad memories and can now delete such memories in mice while still leaving other memories completely intact. Obviously this is still in the early stages, and is not an available option right now – but it got me thinking.
We all have bad memories, a lot of which we can learn from, and grow because of. Some bad memories, though, can hold us back and prevent us from doing or pursuing certain things. If given the option to erase our recollection to relive these experiences and feel these emotions, would I do it?
Now, I’ve been open in the past about my battle with mental illness, and I feel safe in doing so – as it is my story to tell. I have been diagnosed with PTSD in the past as well as other disorders stemming from previous trauma. So naturally, when I first read about this study I was excited. I could potentially in my future completely forget about the terrible things I experienced and no longer suffer the emotions attached to them? What a great deal.
Then I thought a little bit more about it – I have never and I never will think of myself as a victim. I’m a survivor, and from surviving my past I have become a fighter. I fight for what I believe in, I fight for what I want, and I fight for those who I love. If I consciously believed that nothing had ever happened to me, would I still be a survivor? Would I still be a fighter? Would I still be me?
My past does not define me, but it did shape me – and I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished. So if you told me today that I could erase the memories of every terrible thing I experienced? Personally, I’d pass – and I feel like I’d be better for it.