After a break-up, you are left with an abandoned attic’s worth of stuff: on your phone, hard drive, and inbox and that is just the digital remains. This is not to mention the physical remnants of the relationship. All of the stuff that you shared. All the stuff that you used to love. All the stuff that hurts to look at. So, what do you do with all of it? For most, the knee jerk reaction is to get rid of it but where do you draw the line?
Well, let’s just say I did not think my actions completely through and just reacted to the situation. Here is what I did and how I wish I did it a little better.
I started first with deleting all evidence of the individual off of my social media account and decided to delete them as well. I do not regret this except I wish that instead of deleting I archived the photos. To be honest I didn’t even know this was a thing at the time as I am not tech- savvy at all. Many of the photos were of beautiful trips we took together and although I do believe memories live in our minds, I wish I still had the photos to look at from time to time.
I deleted all of the texts. The good and the bad. I do not believe re-hashing old arguments is beneficial for anyone. Especially if you suffered any type of emotional trauma. Delete and release is the best thing for everyone here.
I think it’s necessary to take the pictures down in your home. I do not believe you have to throw them away. I would put them in a box and give them to someone to hold for you for a couple of months and then decide what feels the best for you. I do believe all of this is individual. Whatever makes you feel better in the situation is perfect. Not everyone deals with loss the same way so never let anyone make you feel guilty about how you choose to cope.
I got rid of every piece of clothing from my old life. I know this sounds extreme and looking back maybe it was. Especially because I gave up some fucking incredible shoes. So, perhaps I regret that but I also know someone somewhere is loving those beautiful shoes and making new memories in them. I did this because some of our best trips and memories were made in those shoes and dresses and I at the time I didn’t want to remember those moments or I would have never been able to leave the relationship. I would never have been able to move on. To try to find new love. So, I left the shoes and kept walking.
I got rid of all the gifts and jewelry that were given to me. For me, this was about energy and the energy that I felt when I had on these pieces so I decided to let them go. I believe in only keeping items that serve a purpose and I didn’t feel comfortable wearing them any longer I wanted to find them a new home.
I think all of this is so individual. We all heal and process loss very differently. What I do know for sure that getting rid of things isn’t what is going to make you heal. It may make you feel better. For me it made me feel as if I was actively doing something. That somehow, I was moving forward. The reality is that only time heals. That regardless of what you decide to do with the mementos, it will still take time. It will still hurt. It will still take taking care of yourself. Of processing the hurt, anger, and loss. Just do what you think is best. That is all any of us can do. Know that how you deal with that break-up is perfect. That regardless you are human. You are going to mess up. That is also the most beautiful part. Think of all of you will learn in the process. All I ask is that you don’t feel bad or guilty if you do decide to hit delete on your past life. You are just doing what you have to do to get through. That is all any of us can do.