During an interview with PEOPLE, the This Is Us star admitted that when she needs to cry on-screen for he heartbreaking show, she thinks of her rocky relationship with her ex!
She added that it wasn't only her marriage that was getting in the way of her happiness, but also her low self esteem and failing career.
"I found myself at a point in my life where I had this sort of uncanny ability to make myself as small as possible, like I was a supporting character in my own life," said Moore. "From a career perspective I was barely treading water. I was dismayed at the sort of opportunities hat weren't presenting themselves any longer. And that coincided with my own life not being in a great place."
After tying the knot in 2009, the actress claimed she lost herself in her troubled relationship and began to doubt her path. She contemplated going back to school and even moving back to Florida to reinvent herself. "It was a few years of just unhappiness," she recalled.
After being in denial about her failing marriage for what seemed like eternity, Moore said she had a "light bulb epiphany moment" that suddenly made her realize she had to change her life. She filed for divorce from Adams and set herself up for her – now extremely successful – role in This Is Us.
"I get emotional when I think about it," said Moore, recalling her dark past. "I was so confused and spread thin and stressed."
She claimed that despite having gone through such terror and depression, she is glad she did, because it made her into the actress and woman that she is today.
"The stuff that's sort of broken my heart and broke me down at different points in my life are the exact things I draw upon for work," admitted the star. "Those tears are very real! It's the perfect catharsis for me."
One year after finalizing her divorce from Adams, Many Moore has found love again with Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith, 32. They connected over social media when she posted a photo of their album on Instagram and he answered with a direct message asking her out.
"We fell in love before we'd ever really held hands or kissed or anything!" gushed Moore. "I feel incredibly lucky to have someone who is just like 'I got your back.'"
The two are now engaged and looking forward to celebrating their love in an intimate ceremony surrounded by friends and family.
"I know what I want out of a relationship, what works for me and what doesn't work for me," said Moore. "My sense of romantic optimism was ever dimmed by my past experiences. I am big believer that things happen for a reason, and I must have had to have this crazy journey to get to him. I found the right person, and we can handle anything together."
Speaking of her life now, Mandy Moore concluded to PEOPLE: "I'm at a point in my life where I really appreciate where things are. I'm more grateful and present than I have ever been. It's a very happy time."
What do you think of Many Moore's shocking confession about her failed marriage to Ryan Adams? Sound off in the comments below.
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