"I felt calm and more composed than I had in a long time"
What does this sentence mean, especially in terms of "in a long time"? The meaing of "in a long time" and what does it modify?
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"I felt calmer than I had in a long time" means that for a long period of time before that moment, the person had not felt as calm / had felt less calm. Another way to phrase it is "It had been a long time since I felt so calm."
Depending on your native language, this might be easier to understand as "I felt calmer than I had since a long time before" but this is not at all idiomatic (don't say or write this!) and I write it this way only in case it helps (as some languages phrase it this way).