The past is something that follows us no matter how hard we try to run away from it. Often times we’re the reason we can’t get over things from our past. I mean isn’t the thought of the situation enough? For some of us it is not which is why we hold onto so many screenshots. When we scroll through them we feel our blood boiling each second, each day, each month, each year we look back at them. No matter how old they are, those screenshots still have the same affect on us every time we revisit them.
I went from 18,953 screenshots to 7,755 over the course of two days. All of those screenshots weren’t full of things I needed to let go of, but the majority were. I reread so many disturbing text between myself and others that I found myself pissed off as if these incidents were happening at that very moment – like I said. Most of these incidents happened between 2014 and 2015 – see what I’m saying, that was five and six years ago yet they still affect me – but there were a few 2019 and 2020 ones that caught me off guard as well. In the time I spent deleting screenshot after screenshot I kept asking myself, “Why didn’t you ignore them?” I felt myself getting hotter and hotter no matter what I read or the year it took place in and that’s when I knew in order to move on, I had to start deleting. Anger and guilt is what my screenshots made me feel and if anyone else is struggling with letting their screenshots go, I have a few reasons why it’s absolutely necessary for you to delete your screenshots that still affect you too.
1.You’re giving them power over you
9 times out of 10 those people have moved on because they were satisfied with the reaction you gave them. They knew what they were doing which is why they did it. They knew it would eat you up inside whether you did or didn’t react and no matter how much time has or hasn’t passed, you need to work on letting it go.
2.You’re [more than likely] the only one stuck on it
Those people probably don’t know it and you won’t admit it, but it’s the truth. They weren’t sorry then and they’re not sorry now so why keep giving them that space in your mental? The longer you dwell on what you did or didn’t do, the more stressed you become.
3.That anger only hurts you
Did you know that anger affects your health? It can cause increased anxiety, high blood pressure and headaches over a period of time. Each time you revisit those screenshots you’re allowing anger and those people to have all of that control over you and your health. STOP DOING THAT.
4.They take up unnecessary space in your phone
I know you’ve had to upgrade your storage plan by now because you have that many photos. Well, part of the problem is those screenshots you won’t let go of. Delete them and free up some space in your phone and your mind. I know I’m supposed to be convincing you to delete them however if they’re that important to you then email them to yourself or move them to a flash drive.
I held on to so many screenshots as proof for things I know I’ll never forget. I had to have those documents – if you will – to show just in case someone tried me with the, “I didn’t say that”. I had those screenshots to shut all of that down. What changed? Truly, I’m trying to work on my growth and I can’t do that holding on to words on a screen that’ll never change. I have no intentions on ever speaking to any of those people again for any reason. I felt this way then and still feel strongly about it, I just see things different now. I couldn’t see what those screenshots were doing to me then. Overall, it was simply something I had to do in order to work on my peace of mind because like my first tip, I was giving them the power. There are three sides to every story and no matter what proof I do or don’t have, they’re going to tell their version how they want. I also feel like people who don’t matter to me shouldn’t have so much space in my life regardless of how long ago the situation occurred. People do things to you because they know that they can. They know how to get a reaction out of you and when they’ve gone too far. They do this because they don’t care and they can/will move on happy knowing that you’re still bothered. They may not know that you still look back on that moment however it’s not something that they live with, but YOU DO.
My screenshots only affected me so much because that’s not who I am or who I was, but who I felt I had to be in those moments. It says something about a person, in my opinion, when they have deep regret for their reaction(s) to someone’s action(s). A great example is when I couldn’t let go of an incident where someone was upset with me because I stopped responding to their text as much my freshman year of college. They then proceeded to ask me for something back that they had given me before I left and when I made the point that, “Well that’s the thing right there “I gave you something”. You gave it to me like I gave you something but I’m not asking for that back”, they didn’t like it. Yes, I did keep that screenshot to quote my response. I then blocked that person but they decided to use their anger towards my business when they didn’t get what they wanted out of me. My client posted their nails and the person (who was upset with me) commented with, “Don’t go back to that bitch”. It had been almost three whole years since that conversation. I was over it, but they weren’t and it showed when they made that comment. They later deleted it, but it changed absolutely nothing for me. If anything it made everything I felt about that person worse because this was someone I truly thought would always be around. I felt that comment was unnecessary, and they took it too far. I regret that I responded to any of that because I should’ve stopped when I originally told them that I wasn’t giving back what they had given me. Sure, I was called out of my name unnecessarily, but that doesn’t say anything about me.
Those screenshots specifically ate me up for a very long time because I didn’t feel as though any of that was warranted from someone being upset because I wasn’t responding as much and they weren’t able to get something that they gifted me back. I know there’s a few screenshots sitting in your phone that’s got you wondering why you responded in the first place. And now is a good time to ask yourself why you’re still holding onto those screenshots dwelling on a reaction you can’t take back. At the end of the day keep in mind that whether it was your action or reaction, YOU CANNOT CHANGE IT NOW. Time goes on, we meet new people, we can’t change our past no matter how much we wish we could. But we can delete those screenshots, finally start our healing process, and be more cautious with those to come. I know some of us have forgiving hearts so I have to throw this in here. If you choose to let those people back into your life, that is your business. Just know that if you feel like they’re going to leave you with another trail of screenshots, DON’T DO IT.
P.S. – I’m down to 2,199 screenshots now and none of them are old things that affect me accept for one. I’m not even going lie to you. However, I am working on deleting that last one.