By Mike Jennings
A big concern for people with brain injuries, like me, and all people as they get older is short term memory. Short term memory involves remembering recent things, like things that you need to do. I used to easily remember, but now sometimes I forget. For example remembering that someone called and that you need to call them back involves your short term memory. I accept that I have this limitation (not a problem, but limitation) and have ways to address it.
If I have something(s) to remember for later that day or the next day and I can’t write it down (which is the preferred method), I do the following. Instead of trying to remember all the details, I just remember the number of things, like 1, 2 or 3. Unlike specific details, I’ve found I can remember numbers well. It’s easy for me to remember a number of things even until the next day. This method works for me, as I’ve successfully done it a number of times.
For example, one day on my way to my volunteer job, I knew there were 3 things that I wanted to be sure I did that morning. So I made the conscious effort to remember the number three. Later that morning, I remembered specifics about the first two and probably would have forgotten even that the third existed. However, I remembered the number 3. So after a little while thinking, the 3rd came to me. I really doubt that if I didn’t remember that there were 3 things, I would have been able to think of the last one.
Also if you can’t remember details about one or more things, at least you’ll realize that there is (are) something(s) else. You’ll feel more in control by being certain of how many things in total there are. So instead of thinking that there probably are things that you can’t remember, you’ll realize the exact, number that do, exist.
I’ve done this a number of times, with success as have other people I know. So I guess, bottom line, don’t forget your 1-2-3s.