My experience with mental illness has drastically affected my memory. It’s upsetting because my memory used to be excellent, but now I struggle greatly.
As such, I’ve had to adopt all of the methods I’m about to list in order to make sure I can function on a day-to-day basis. I’m sharing them today in the hope that someone out there will find them useful.
- Pill box
When I pick up my medications from the pharmacy, I immediately sort my pills into a weekly AM/PM pill box. This helps me to track if I have taken the pill and prevent me from accidentally taking my pills too many times. It also helps me to remember to re-order my prescription when I have a few days worth of pills left, because I can see it in front of me, rather than them sitting in the original boxes, which would mean I wouldn’t notice them running low, and I wouldn’t remember to sort out my repeat prescription in time.
I use alarms on my phone not only to tell me when to get up (along with a note on the alarm to tell me why I need to get up and how long I’ve got to get ready) but also to remind me when it’s time to take my medications.
I use calendars to make a note of all of my appointments and responsibilities.
– Paper version
I have two paper calendars; one by my desk, and one in the kitchen – the two places where I spend the most time so I’m more likely to see them.
– Phone version
I use reminders that pop up a certain amount of time before the event. You can send them to your email, or just have them pop up as a notification on your phone – whichever is more likely to get your attention.
- Sticky notes
I keep sticky notes on my desk for when I think of something that I want to remember, for example, a blog idea, a quote I like, or a reminder to text someone about something, etc.
- Key hook
I used to constantly lose my keys (not permanently, just somewhere in the house) and it would take me ages to find them. Now I keep my keys on a hook in a specific place so I always know where they are.
- Friend/family member
If there is something I really need to remember and I’m not confident the methods above will be sufficient, I ask a family member to remind me by text on the day. If it’s something I need to do immediately when they call, I stay on the phone with them whilst I do it, and only hang up when it’s done.
Has mental illness affected your memory? What tools do you use to help you remember things? Let me know in the comments!