Stop moping, this is good for you

Jackie Maloney

More stories from Jackie Maloney


I made a lot of mistakes in my first relationship, from ditching my friends to suppressing my own personality. I spent so much time complaining and hating it that it wasn’t until just recently that I realized how lucky I was to have had that experience. Of course, during the relationship it was less than perfect, and when it ended it was awful. I didn’t want to get out of bed or get dressed. In fact, the following week was the only week in my whole life where I ever wore sweatpants and a sweatshirt simultaneously to school. But if it weren’t for that low point, I never would have learned the important life lessons of which I’m now aware.

When it started, everything was so nice and new; it was great. We spent almost every day together. But I started to make decisions that ended up hurting me in the end, although it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal at the time. I would blow off my friends to hang out with my boyfriend or I would morph my own beliefs to fit his. It didn’t seem to matter all that much because I was happy. But when it ended, I had to face the consequences of my actions. I didn’t have anyone to spend time with or even to eat lunch with for a while. I had spent practically the entirety of the beginning of junior year with my boyfriend and I was lost after I lost him. I forgot what it was like to be independent. I lost myself.

Luckily for me, despite my neglecting them, my family and old friends supported me through everything. Of course, nothing could really make it better except my own attitude. It took awhile for me to figure out the best way to deal with the sadness that came with the change. At first I tried to deny it, and eventually I ended up turning my sadness into hate for myself, my ex and basically anyone I could think of. This worked for a while, but it ended up making me feel bad about myself.

I learned a lot about myself over my “grieving period,” as my mom likes to call it (I prefer to call it my dark days—it’s more dramatic). But what was most important was that I learned it was going to take a while to feel like myself again, and that was okay. I spent a lot of time trying different techniques to move on with my life. I did everything I could think of to make myself feel better. I wrote in a notebook every time I was upset and I ate ice cream all the time. I hung out a lot with my new friends, but it didn’t matter what I did to try and speed up the healing process. I found that the only thing that can heal a broken heart is time. It’s cheesy but it’s true.

My mom always told me that it would take twice as long as the relationship lasted to move on, which meant it would take a year for me to feel better. Now here I am, one year later, admitting to myself and to her that she was right. There was nothing I could do but wait, and focus on remembering who I was as a person. I got back into doing my favorite things, like sewing and painting, and I learned how to be happy on my own.

It’s embarrassing to admit that I only just got over the breakup recently. It was a difficult time, no one wants to admit it, but I am very grateful for the experience. Not only did I learn about how to be in a relationship, but also I now know that I can be happy without one.