By Mariam Ahmed
One of the greatest challenges I have met with my divorce is letting go of my old life with my ex-husband. My issues with attachment are not something new. When I really like something or someone, I tend to hold onto them, even when this thing or person no longer serves a purpose in my life. My divorce made me realize how serious this problem was. When I was forced to pack my things into boxes and leave the home I shared with my husband, I found all the letters he ever gave me, the cards he wrote and even the sticky notes he used to leave me to thank me for packing him lunch. Naturally, this brought back the memories of happier days, and I wondered how we had ever reached the point we were in. But even more importantly, it made me realize how much I depended on these things; I refused to let go, probably in the hope that holding on would somehow change the course of events, that letting go of these things would make this divorce more real.
So it was at that moment that I decided I had to take the very uncomfortable step of letting go, of shedding that layer of pain, regret and worry. I had to leave all the memories, all the notes, pictures, cards and sticky notes behind. It took time, but slowly, I was able to take the steps I needed to move on. I began by throwing away all of the physical items. After a while, I got myself to get rid of the pictures. I went through my phone and laptop and deleted hundreds of pictures of our memories together. Surprisingly, it did not hurt to let go of these things, because I saw them as material things that held no value compared to the actual memories we had.
The hardest thing came last—deleting my ex-husband from all forms of social media and communication. It took me months to delete him off my Facebook account, even though he was never even active on Facebook. I was scared that somehow not having access to him would make our divorce more final (mind you, it already was). Then came all forms of chatting, texting and phone calls. It was a complete cleanse from anything and everything related to him. Emails, texts, and pictures… it all had to go. And this made me stronger. It was hard, but it was necessary. I realized it was the step I needed to take to come to a healthier and more level-headed state of mind. At the end of it, all I knew was that this was what Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) has destined for me. To be in this very moment—be it pain or happiness—was written for me. And it was written for me because Allah (swt) knows I have the strength to get through it all.