GENERAL HOSPITAL - The Emmy-winning daytime drama "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH19(ABC/Todd Wawrychuk)CHAD DUELL
Credit: ABC

“It’s hard” — but invaluable.

Nine months after Chad Duell and Courtney Hope ended their relationship following an eye-popping steampunk-inspired wedding, the General Hospital star opened up to castmate Maurice Benard about how he’s doing during an episode of State of Mind (which you can watch in full below).

If you split from the partner with whom you’ve been for years, “there’s two ways you can go with it,” Duell said. “You can try to fill the void, rush something to try to feel ‘better’ about yourself, but what you’re doing is you’re just going back to your comfortable state of your identity being in a relationship.

“People do that a lot,” he added. “They’re heartbroken or they feel pain, and they want to jump back into something” — and the sooner, the better. Only it isn’t necessarily better. It robs the individual of the opportunity to heal and regroup.

Me Time

Not that taking that time for oneself is easy, Michael’s portrayer noted. “It hurts, and it’s hard to just sit with yourself and choose to be single. It’s a decision. It’s hard to do, man, because everyone likes to have somebody to love.”

Courtney Hope, Chad Duell at the Stars Celebrate The 70th Emmy Awards Season Event At The Television Academys Performer Peer Group Celebration at NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angeles, California on August 20, 2018© Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661

The upside of enduring such a rough patch is this: During it, Duell suggested, “you try to build yourself into the man or woman that you really want to be so that when you’re in a relationship, you’re not having ‘what ifs,’ not thinking, ‘Oh, I should’ve taken more time for this, that or the other.’”

More: Chad Duell talks epic General Hospital battle

Duell knows of whence he speaks. “I’ve been in relationships pretty much since I was 18 — bam, bam, bam, next one, next one, next one,” he admitted. But flying solo since the end of his romance with Young & Restless’ Hope is “what I’m going through right now, learning who I am as a man… I have this time right now to make myself into the best man I can possibly be, but it’s hard because you have pre-wired routines.”


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‘Courage and Strength’

In Duell’s case, that tends to mean filling his days with distractions rather than looking inward and growing. But he knows how important it is to dig deep. “If you enter a relationship with your heart broken, you’re filling a void and you’re just gonna end up hurting that person and yourself, in the process delaying your healing — and you’re messing with that person because you’re not gonna be emotionally available.

“It takes courage and strength” to walk the path alone, he concluded. But for now, at least, “it’s the right thing to do.”

Review photos of your General Hospital favorites with their real-life loves in the below photo gallery.

Video: YouTube/State of Mind