General Question

archaeopteryx's avatar

Any tips on how I could just purge all the thoughts and memories I have about someone whom I've once loved very much..?

Asked by archaeopteryx (873points) March 15th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

31 Answers

aviona's avatar

I gave you lurve for this because I am wondering the same thing, so I will be anxiously waiting for advice, too.

cwilbur's avatar

Why would you want to? The things you did with that person are a part of who you are.

archaeopteryx's avatar

@aviona and @cwilbur

Ahh.. what can I tell you about this..?
Nothing except that, although this story should’ve ended a long time ago.. it still hurts me until this very second.. =_=

archaeopteryx's avatar


I just want a good recipe for how to totally 4get I’ve ever known that person at all.
I know this sounds more suitable for a Sci-Fi movie than for a real thing, but this is just
what I need.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Because you loved this person so much at one point in your life, residual feelings and memories that you have about her will most likely never go away completely.

What I would suggest and advice that I received after my first marriage ended (which I wanted to completely forget about also), was to surround myself with family and friends and draw strength and support from them. At the same time, you might want to also concentrate on hobbies or activities that you enjoy or even find new ones that will keep your mind occupied and not dwelling on your former love.

archaeopteryx's avatar


Alright, this one’s amazing, thank you very much sir.!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Good luck with that, I have memories of people that turned out to be very bad for me and that I was fond of, and they haven’t been in my life for a very long time, as in decades. The only way to get rid of old memories (and it is imperfect) is to make new ones.

archaeopteryx's avatar


That’s also true.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@archaeopteryx. You’re welcome. Best wishes to you in getting through this difficult time as painlessly as possible.

@evelyns_pet_zebra. Nice answer/advice from you.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

You’ll also want to get rid of all the things that remind you of them. I’ve had to do this before.. not fun.. but with time it gets easy.

lc's avatar

Learn something new! Like learning to bake a cake. Baking is something very relaxing, mind-clearing and don’t forget delicious ;)

Another thing that I’ve done in the past is taking the things that remind me of someone and creating new memories with them. For example, if a song that I love reminds me of someone and it hurts to listen to it, I’ll listen to it while doing something new and that has nothing to do with that person to give it new meaning.

I wish you all the best!!! xoxo

archaeopteryx's avatar


But, what is ‘xoxo’..? <just being curious.>

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@archaeopteryx that’s hugs and kisses lol

srmorgan's avatar

A lot of it just fades away as time passes and you experience new things.
A few things might stick around longer than you’d like and then there are always the sudden “flashbacks” from a long time ago that occasionally pop up.

Several years ago I was driving home from work and the radio announcer said something about a girl named Peggy and I had a Peggy who was the first real love of my college life and like most relationships it withered and died. But when I heard her name at that particular moment a lot of emotions came rushing back, all of them at least 25 years past, and I had to pull over and just think about it. And I began to ask myself why wasn;t I good enough for her and that question will never be answered.

When the oldies station plays Dancing in the Moonlight, that’s the song I associate with the beginning of a long relationsip with someone and hearing it is like injecting me with every anti-depressant in triple doses and my day immediately become brighter.

YOu learn to live with this stuff,. The really terrible stuff fades away and you wonder why it didn’t work out but that has only happened because you have filtered out the bad stuff.

time heals all woundsl


richardhenry's avatar

We’re going to need a drill and a towel.

nebule's avatar

lol @richardhenry

I’d say:
whenever you’re reminded of her… feel the pain right to centre of your soul
then fill that place will white light and love…
love for yourself in all the things that she couldn’t fulfil
fill that place with the possibilities and hope
of an even more colourful exciting dreamy existence
put happiness in its place even if you don’t feel it yet….

i’m currently trying this tactic…so would love to know if it works for you

bythebay's avatar

With the exception of the drill & the towel, all of the above are very good suggestions. Fill your mind with other things and when the memories creep in – change the channel in your brain. Truly! Have a plan in mind for what you’ll think about when it happens; make it the happiest thought you can come up with. When you feel the darkness start to seep in around the edges, go to your happy place.

It sounds silly, but a therapist gave me the advice years ago and I’ve used it repeatedly. It’s much like the suggestion above to replace the dark with light.

If all else fails, there’s always the drill~ :)

archaeopteryx's avatar

@richardhenry and @bythebay

Drilling all the way in to where the nasty memory is and then using a towel to scrape it out.

Nice idea! But is there any similar way that’s less painful?

archaeopteryx's avatar

@lynneblundell and @bythebay

That’s a great way to replace bad messages with positive ones, I keep reading it about from time to time, it’s one of the most effective and essential techniques in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).

Thanks for mentioning it though! ;)

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

another thing I have tried is to imagine that your mind is a damp cave wall and the memories are barnacle-like projections. You take an imaginary trowel or shovel and SCRAPE those old memories off. yeah, I know barnacles live under water, but hey, that’s what’s great about your imagination, you can do it anyway you like, it doesn’t have to make sense.

aviona's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra you just reminded me of all that good imagery stuff. I totally forgot. My therapist gave me some good ones.

1) Imagine you and this other person are each holding the end of the rope. Then imagine the rope being cut or burned so you are no longer connected by it.
2) You are looking down a long hallway. At the end of the hallway there is a door. This person you are trying to forget opens that door, walks through it, and closes it behind them. That’s it. Make sure that in your imagery they do not look back at you.
It may seem silly. It’s more difficult than it sounds. But it really does help.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@aviona if it was me seeing that person at the other end of the hallway going through that door, my first instinct would be to run down the hall and nail the freaking thing shut behind them.

aviona's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra hahaha! i guess it depends at what stage of letting go you are at. I wish I were at that stage…

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@aviona it’s been several months for me, and I am slowly getting rid of the memories of the expletive deleted people that I want to forget. The scraping barnacle thing is working, but I still need to eliminate the memories of those even more vile expletive deleted people in my mind.

It takes time.

aviona's avatar

Yes, yes it does. Time.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

A piece of advice I give occasionally on fluther is this:

To get over someone, you need to allow yourself to grieve and be upset. Right now, you’re probably thinking about it quite a lot, spending a lot of time on it. Allow yourself however much time you need today to think about it and be upset (let’s say that’s 2 hours). Spend two hours doing whatever you do when you’re upset (facebook stalking, crying, punching a pillow, writing in a journal, whatever), but only allow yourself to be upset for that set amount of time. Occupy yourself with other things the rest of the day. The next day, shave off ten or twenty minutes of that two hours, and do the same thing, but for an hour and forty minutes instead. The next day, take away another ten, twenty, or thirty minutes. Repeat this day after day, taking away a small amount of time until you’re at twenty minutes, ten minutes, five minutes, one minute, down until there is no time left. This way, you’ve given yourself time to focus on it and get over it that way, and you’ve gradually shown yourself that you can occupy yourself with other things, and that you have more important things to think about it. As @srmorgan noted, those flashbacks will still come every once in awhile, but you will be better equipped to deal with them this way.

oratio's avatar

You can’t. I wish the technique from “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind” existed. The only thing you can do is to get back to living. Meet friends, have some fun. Pain is good. It is natural. It is there for a reason. Just like the pain of a flesh wound is there to tell you that you are broken, so is this. Embrace and accept it, it will fade.

aviona's avatar

You and me both, @oratio. I posted a thread about that very topic and most people, despite the pain, opted out of having their memories erased.

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