Imagine being able to recite your favorite books from heart, recall the exact events of your third birthday, and tell someone what the weather was exactly 27 days ago without looking at any photos or consulting Google. That's a reality for Rebecca Sharrock, an Australian woman whose Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) allows her to remember all of these things - including the exact text of the books in the Harry Potter series. Umm, wow.
According to the Mirror, Rebecca is just one of 80 people to be diagnosed with HSAM, but it wasn't until her mom saw a news program several years ago that she realized that her daughter may have this superior memory. Rebecca can recall many events that the ordinary person would have forgotten about within days, like what day of the week it was on a random day of the month years ago, or a seemingly insignificant small injury from childhood. That memory goes back a long time - her mom putting her in a car at 12 days old is her earliest memory. She has remembered every single day since that day, which is pretty incredible considering I tend to forget what I had for breakfast once dinnertime hits. (Song lyrics on the other hand? Those are in the noggin forever.) While Rebecca's memory sounds awesome - I mean, who wouldn't want to be able to recite Harry Potter from heart?!? - it can also be a bit of a hindrance to her life. Since Rebecca remembers so much and remembers it all so vividly, she can more easily recall painful events, both physical and emotional - returning to the scene of a bullying event years early caused her to burst into tears. Watching the news is also too emotionally draining, as she can't forget the images she sees as quickly as other people. Fortunately, Rebecca is taking the good with the bad and now participates in an HSAM study, which could potentially help unlock secrets to brain function. According to her mother, doing so has helped her "blossom," and understand herself better.
While HSAM may pose some challenges, one thing's for sure: Rebecca is definitely the person you want to talk all things Hogwarts with. Girl definitely knows her potions and incantations.
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