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Dealing with the Past
13 Jan 2022
Dealing with the Past image

Change sometimes is a bitter pill you find hard to swallow. The past year has brought about plenty of changes that have had a drastic effect on everyone. If we were to begin listing down these changes, both good and bad, we would find it filled with a lot of memories that we wish we could erase. It’s never simple to try to filter out all the unnecessary parts, not because we shouldn’t do it, but because we can’t.

But, have you ever thought of overcoming it?

I understand how many would want to try and rewrite a few pages of their past, just because they could. In my perspective, when we try to keep avoiding our past it’s always a lost cause. Keeping painful parts of our past locked in ourselves only harms you, it’s like a poisonous snake that keeps growing within us. It makes us bitter and sabotages our present. It builds into anxiety, depression, PTSD, or even anger management issues. None of it helps you or the ones around you. 

When we try to block out memories, it usually is like creating a wall, the water will only rise, to overflow one day. It would cause more damage than what could have been avoided initially. There are many reasons as to why we avoid such thoughts, majorly because we feel it’ll hold us back from running ahead of everyone. We fail to realize that our pace in the world can only measure success and never happiness.

Firstly, since we are living in a competitive world, it’s easy to get stressed about different matters and usually, such situations trigger bad memories. Secondly, it could also be attributed to overworking yourself. Lastly, it will be distressful to suddenly be put into a similar situation that had caused the issue. All these reasons have contributed to the recent escalation in the number of cases of mental distress. 


I can’t give an exact methodology, but here are a few pointers that never hurts to keep in mind

Understand yourself

Sometimes you become a stranger to yourself, especially under stressful circumstances. It doesn’t mean that those actions aren’t yours, you just have to figure out why you’ve done it. Self-reflection is key.

It will pass

It’s not wrong to be positive, and waiting a few days to see if the memory makes you anxious or upset, is a good choice. But, if it does last for a long time, it is better to speak out about it.

Don’t compare

The scale of our problems is different. We all worry about different things, even if it is insignificant to someone else, which doesn’t make it any less relevant.

Medicines are not always the answer

Don’t insist that medicines will help, especially an unprescribed one. Do consult a psychologist, because suppressing only helps for a short time.

Speak to someone you can/do trust

It’s important that we can open about our weakest parts, and you should be able to trust the person you open up to.

Don’t belittle yourself

It’s not cowardly to try and hide. It’s the basic human instinct. Belittling yourself will only pull you further into the black hole of self-hate.


in your goals, intentions, and yourself. Working on yourself doesn’t make us selfish. We will be no good to others or ourselves if we aren’t in the best mind.

Keep it real

Nothing is gained through careless, thoughtless gestures. You have to be real and have an understanding of yourself and your feelings, and set realistic goals.

Express yourself

Laugh, cry, be disappointed/upset. Show your emotions and make sure that you don’t keep them pent up within.

Keeping emotions locked up within ourselves is as bad for our bodies as smoking is for our lungs. There are times when dealing with such a situation will work for the best. But, it’s always good to get someone else’s perspective. 


To anyone who sees someone suffering, there are many ways you could contribute to easing their worries:

Give them space

Not everyone needs to be consoled. Sometimes all they need is to recuperate by themselves and figure it out on their own.

Don’t get too invasive

It’s sometimes hard for them to talk about their problems. You shouldn’t insist on understanding and make them uncomfortable.

Listen patiently

If the person does open up to you, don’t insist on giving your opinions without clearly understanding their situation. You should try and listen patiently and judge their situation objectively.

Don’t pity

Nobody likes to be pitied. Nobody is looking for anyone’s approval, just an ear to hear them out. 

Don’t needlessly argue

Even if a person does begin to get protective over something, there is no need for two voices to be raised. Calm the person down and try to talk it out.

Don’t pretend

There is no need to pretend to understand a person’s situation. It’s ok if you can’t relate, but you can still try to give them some assurance that it will be fine. 

Losing ourselves in a world that would never look at us twice, is never worthwhile. There is no one to prove yourself to. No one deserves to be treated without respect, no one has the right to decide how your life should be lived. All we have to keep in mind is to never cause or create a situation which wouldn’t benefit anyone.

In the end, it might not always turn out how we had imagined it, but it never hurts to be cautious. It can prove to be hard to follow these pointers given the various circumstances. Nevertheless, I can only wish that these would help you overcome a situation that none of us can ever reign over.

To conclude, dealing with the past can be a very painful experience. It’s never easy to relive an episode that has caused you pain, but dealing with it helps you become free from those invisible bounds that keep you tied down. Seek professional help in need too and let’s keep walking forward by untangling the thread behind us. 

-Natasha M Shafi

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