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Old 02-23-2018, 06:18 PM
Location: Boca Raton, FL
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LAF - Thanks, very powerful - and he's a neurologist.
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:43 AM
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When these memories come, particularly about things that happened to me because of other people's action, and they are still in your life, I think one does need help coping. Maybe not therapy, but something, like mindfulness. Those who said they focus on living in the present have a good strategy.
Sometime these memories clarify certain relationships, good or bad.
They make me sad for my younger self, even though I am a different person today and have many things to be thankful for. This can easily turn into depression.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:29 AM
Location: NC Piedmont
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I have night time dreams that are actual events from earlier in my life only I make a different decision.

I also have some daydreams about some of those decisions.

Microsoft wanted me to interview in the early 80s; because of some work I was doing with their 8 bit compiler, they wanted me to consider working on DOS, but they couldn't tell me what it was because of the NDA with IBM. I revisit that one a lot.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:47 AM
Location: NC Piedmont
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Originally Posted by LookingatFL View Post

I think you fill find this of interest:

It is one of Oliver Sacks' essays on Memory and it begins: "In 1993, approaching my sixtieth birthday, I started to experience a curious phenomenon—the spontaneous, unsolicited rising of early memories into my mind, memories which had lain dormant for upwards of fifty years."

The bit about false memory is interesting. I think I have some of those. My paternal grandmother was a really good 8mm videographer. They were converted to DVD some time ago and my kids enjoyed seeing them so I played them a number of times. It seemed like it brought back some of those memories but in some cases I think I created them from watching because of how young I was at the time. Now I can clearly remember my grandfather walking with just a cane and not a walker, but I was probably 2 or 3 when he had to switch. I remember more details about places that I do remember than I used to and I think that is from watching, not actually remembering more. But I can't tell the difference between the memories that are new and old.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:50 AM
Location: Location: Happy Place
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I often wonder how my life/retirement would be had I made different decisions.

Nothing I can do now, so I go forward and live the best I can.

I am blessed, even with hardships.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:12 AM
Location: Tennessee
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I have all sorts of things I'd do differently if I could re-do it. I also have things I feel I got right. We can all armchair quarterback and "woulda, shoulda, coulda," but it ultimately doesn't make a lot of difference. All we can do is learn and move on.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:28 AM
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Throughout life, I have been presented with choices where either option would carry much pain and regret with it, along with some likely gains.

I tried to take the road that would cause the least pain to me and others. I made the best decision I could at that era (since even our country can change a lot in a decade or more), that age, that stage in life, that physical condition, those people who were alive and expected to remain so...and on and on.

Twenty, thirty, forty years later, I sometimes feel an almost unbearable upwelling of the pain that I experienced at the time of the choice, along with the thought, "But what if I'd taken the other road?"

The flaw in this line of thinking, is that it's *experienced, 60-year-old me* doing the thinking. That person didn't exist, and couldn't anticipate existing, back when the decisions needed to be made. So the decision I now think I *should* have made, would have required now-me's current knowledge of what actually *did* happen over the years.

And to do that, I would need a Time Machine.

So when I get those painful upwellings of "what might have been," I go do something active, and then take a nap.

Best wishes to you.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:46 AM
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I subscribe to the theory that our brains are a file cabinet. Occasionally, jogged by something, a drawer opens slightly and we get a glimpse of a long forgotten memory. Sometimes, giving it some thought, we can get a better look into the folder but it's just as likely that the drawer will close without being able to access further detail.

This is minor, but just this morning, I was cleaning the cats' litterbox and got a momentary vision of crossing a small road bridge in a town my family used to pass through on our way to a beach location. Why? It just came. There was no connection at all to what I was doing or thinking at the time.

Lucky for me, I think there are far more pleasant memories in my file cabinet than unpleasant ones. Some are sad; we all have those. Sometimes it comes in a daydream and sometimes it's in sleep.

A drawer opens and I often give some thought to how a particular situation might have played itself out differently, but it's just an exercise as it will change nothing – with the possible exception that I glean a lesson to apply going forward. Most often, I just try to enjoy the momentary glimpse.
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:27 PM
Location: RVA
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Interesting thread. Same issues here, now 60; spontaneously generated memories unrelated to what is happening at the moment. I particularly relate to own2feet in that I sometimes agonize over major decisions that seriously affected my life. What was I thinking? How did that happen? Dreams of alternative variations. I never dream or ponder the good/right/great decisions, only the regrets or possible failures that occurred. I concoct almost real fantasies of how I could correct those decisions today, or what I should have done back then. The pain and anguish is very real. I can actually feel my heart pounding at times, with almost uncontrollable anxiety due to my poor decision. It is intense mostly between 2 and 4 am, if I wake from a dream. I hope it fades soon. It has been happening for a few years now.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:24 PM
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I also wrote journals all through my life and those journals contain all those painful experiences, recorded with time and date, which now I live through again, rehashing them in memories, and experiencing the very same emotions I did when I lived through them. Finally I tore up the journal, shredded the pages. If all it did was cause me pain why hold on to them? Certainly my kids don't need to see them. That was a relief. I just have more journals to destroy. But memories are harder to destroy. But I also realized much of this drama is from self-pity and feeling for a younger me who was so much more vulnerable.
I have often thought about getting help from a therapist. And then I took out some books from the library on mindfulness. I practice that now and it helps.
But I think the best antidote is to live your life now withe peace and harmony, and create them if it is lacking, and be gentle and kind to yourself so you can be to others, and be thankful for what you do have. Let all the baggage go, and memories are baggage.
I find even happy memories sad because they are gone. Nostalgia is a big killer.
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