Here’s a personal thing about me: when I was a teenager and younger I would sometimes find relief from my turmoil by daydreaming that my future self was visiting me to tell me everything would be fine. My future self was beautiful and healthy and told me everything would all turn out okay, and that I would be happy after all. All the details weren’t sorted out, but it was a way for me to give myself a sense of well-being.
Memories are powerful. They are the secret things that in many ways define the true essence of who we are. We’re a collection of processed experiences that shape the perception of our current reality both consciously and unconsciously. We are buoyed by the good memories, and plagued by the bad ones. The bad ones seem to linger behind every negative thought, every fear and anxiety. Just when something awful is forgotten, an unexpected trigger can send it all rushing back. Regret can smother you, even the good memories sting like a wound on fire.
We get caught in unproductive flashback loops that can flood us with depression, make us second-guess ourselves, and punish someone for a past hurt again and again. We also punish ourselves again and again.
It might be kind of wonderful to forget. To not just forget, but erase forever, and that just might be possible. would you do it if you could?