Ghosts in the cellphone: Deleting Memories the Best Way to Move On

What’s the Story, Dorie?
by Lindsey Dorie

While purging old text message conversations on my phone, I stumbled across a photo from my past with a person I no longer know. I thought I had deleted everything, and it reminded me why I had: we looked so happy.

It’s been long enough now that I forget what that happiness felt like, and thank god for that. For shortly after our breakup I was so consumed with memories of the good times, I desperately tried to re-live them through our text messages and photographs. It’s more torturous than anything but when you’re miserable it’s the only thing that helps convince you that there was something great there, and it’s comforting to believe there was. But we all have our breaking points, and mine was the realization that I didn’t have the self-control to stay out of my past, so I made the decision to delete it all.

The only way to move forward is let go, and perhaps that’s why many of us don’t. We hold onto things that used to be in hopes that they will be again. But, like a band-aid, I advise you to remove the memory of what is hurting you most and move on with your life. What you don’t see can’t hurt you, and the less you see of your ex and all memories of them the better. You might be thinking that over-exposure of your once lover is going to make you numb to them and help you move on—I know this because I once thought that—wrong. The more you look at their face, the more you’ll begin to hate it, and you’ll just spend your days angry about a person in a photo who no longer exists in your life. So delete everything, and while you’re at it, un-friend them on social media, and for goodness sake if their one of those people with an open profile, resist the urge; they’re just trying to taunt you.

After months without looking at their memory and if you’re lucky having not bumped into them, you’ll eventually start to forget. That intense emotion you once experienced while seeing them will fade until one day, you’re over it.

Seeing the photo a year ago would have caused me great pain, but now, as I stared at two people I didn’t recognize, I felt nothing. The world has a funny way of presenting you with things in perfect timing. In a state of utter confusion and sadness following a breakup, it’s hard to let go of what was and why it is no longer, but deleting the evidence of someone really cleanses the soul at a time you need it most. There will always be memories of that person who at one point meant a lot to you, but let those take place in your head—your brain has a lot more storage than a phone anyway.

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