After Cleaning My Room

February 24, 2023

Julia Magsombol (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer

They say injuries happen, and so does healing. But I just realized how injuries happen in a second, whereas healing occurs over a long time – if not forever. And for a long time, I thought healing was easy, but it was not. 

To me, ended relationships are huge injuries. 

I always clean my room whenever I end things with people, especially when my relationship with them reaches its expiry date. I never know why. I can clean my room whenever I want, and time isn’t really important at all. Maybe it’s my way of healing. 

Last Christmas, I cleaned my room. I removed certain clothes from my closet, arranged my books from most to least favourite, bought bedsheets and replaced my old ones, vacuumed the floor multiple times, bought new flowers and placed them on my table, and decorated. I threw things out. I threw things out that reminded me of the people I had lost. And that was it. I thought that was the end of it, or maybe the last step of me being hurt. 

I tried everything to feel okay by cleaning my room. But in my now very neat and beautiful room, I ended up sitting inside my closet. And I wept, and I wept. I wept for the people and relationships I had lost recently. And I wished I knew how to handle myself and the hurt I was feeling. I hated myself. I hated how these feelings had eventually caught up to me.  

I thought having a new type of space would help me — maybe it did, but it also did not. 

When the holiday was finished, I was still mourning. But for some reason, I started to accept the unpleasant feelings in my heart. Maybe I had no choice, but I knew I had to. 

I cried repetitively. I let the pain run through my body. It was difficult. I wanted all the pain to go away. I hoped what I was doing was right all along. 


This February, I realized a lot of things. Ended relationships are difficult to manage. Sometimes we’re so scared of them because we are afraid to face the ugly feelings they have to offer — or maybe we’re afraid of how the people we once loved and cared for will treat us after the relationship has ended. But from what I’ve learned, some relationships need to end, because they are simply changed, like people. And if they’ve changed terribly, it may be time to let them go. 


In the first week of January, I talked to a stranger in the mall, whom I had a connection with. It was funny because we’d been going through the same thing. From that point onwards, he was not a stranger to me anymore, but another broken human being. He said one thing before we parted ways. 

“Sometimes, we have to be true even if it’s hard. We have to admit to people, and especially to ourselves, that we are hurting so much, to be able to understand the complexity of pain in our hearts — only then, can we be healed and free.” 

When I got back home, I tried to stop my obsession with cleaning my room. And on the next day, I bought a box of Band-Aids to cover the bruises and cuts on my right knee that I got from moving boxes in my closet. After all, all wounds demand to be taken care of.

[Bio]Julia is a Filipino-Canadian freelance journalist based in Edmonton. One of her goals is to bring comfort to people through her writing. When not writing or reading, you can catch her buying indoor plants, sewing clothes and drinking instant coffee. 

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