Do you remember what you had for dinner two years ago today? What about two weeks ago? Most of you might not have a clue.. But a small number of people, including me, can remember such events in great detail. It is said we have a condition called hyperthymesia syndrome or highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM).That said, people like me with HSAM remember just about everything that has occurred in their life. It is called Eidetic memory or photographic memory [though I doubt this really exists, am guessing our brain does remove/erase/not store certain parts of our life]
A couple of days back, a lady I follow on Instagram had shared a post with the song “Katrinile varum geetham” and the minute the song began playing, I could feel my eyes fill up and emotions just overflow. I quickly shut the app and composed myself. I was remembering and missing thatha. He used to sing that song when I was a baby~ Sheesh, what an instant trigger that was. I ended up listening to the entire song, humming along and took me a few miutes to regain composure.. Damn.. memories are powerful..
Similarly, a couple of weeks back while at a friend’s house, we were all sharing stories from our past meets, the 1st time we met, and other such from before when he got married…
So, when we were talking about the very first time we mad I told him I had watched Despicable Me 2 with friend’s kids and I landed at Costa Coffee and was waiting for him funny an hour before he showed up he was dumped shocked and amazed that I remembered so much. anyways he kind of covered it up by saying how we spent a couple of hours chatting away there and that coffee shop was kind of our place to catch up for a while.
During a third or fourth me to the coffee shop he asked if I drank and when I said yes he said that is this place that he goes to regularly on Sundays it’s mostly men and so he asked if I would be open to coming there with him but went on to add that if in case I felt uncomfortable or didn’t really like the place we can always go elsewhere..
So basically I have a memory that just doesn’t let me forget anything sorry 5 if I was in a car with a friend or family member driving down a particular building where we were talking about something that next time we going past that very signal or that space I will remember the earlier conversation we had right down to the last detail… weird? But that’s true and that’s me.
There have been times I wish I could delete some of the memories stored in my head… I wish I can make more space for the fun stuff… I wish I did not remember all the bad things are the not-so-happy moments that happened in life but then I guess this is one of those things that we don’t really have control over.
Over the years I’ve had friends ask me if I do certain activities or have a certain pattern that helps me remember as much as I do honestly know I’ve always realized I had an amazing memory. I have joked around family saying ‘you had a child Prodigy and you did nothing about it’
Even today when I visit a place beat for travel or for work or to just hang out with friends or people I know I tend to notice details I observe a lot and I tend to remember everything. So if someone who is part of that group is trying to recollect particular information they actually reach out to me then we cannot playback the entire conversation or whatever happened in the flow of events and we will be able to crack the mystery.
The flip side of having this kind of memory is like I mentioned earlier I also remember the not so good moments and so when there is a conversation happening about something related to that moment or even if it’s on a similar topic I get triggered and when the opinion from somebody was involved during that moment say something completely different or on the tangent it just like hit me like a Bolt of lightning and the only thing I do is get up and leave that room for fear that I might say something that I will regret later.
It does affect relationships it does affect the way I behave with/around certain people because of the things that they did in the past. The memories are constantly floating in my head and lingers about. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing but I guess that’s how I am made.
You’d think somebody with great memory would ace it in education and score high marks, but that was not the case with me. I had to really study and put in efforts.. so now when I look back I wonder if remembering things is the same as remembering everything or is there a different compartment when it came to Academics?
People with hyperthymesia can recall details relating to past experiences with extreme accuracy. People with HSAM are unable to forget their life experiences. Further research is necessary to assess the long-term effects of this.
People with HSAM can often remember things that happened when they were small children. But memories of events that occurred after the ages of about 10 or 12 are more vivid and detailed
So good is your memory? what kind of things do you typically remember?
Interesting read – https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/72434/9-facts-about-people-who-remember-everything-about-their-lives