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I’ve had a lot of relationships. For me breaking up is worse than any other thing I could imagine. I work really hard to develop a genuine care and love for the people I choose to have relationships with. They become a part of me and have shaped who I am today. I miss unique things about all of these people.

Because of the feelings I have, I subconsciously have made the same mistake in my life over and over again. The relationship ends, and I pretend that I can put all of my feelings into an envelope and file it away somewhere in my brain. I contain the problem. For anyone that’s tried this approach, you know how this plays out. Things are great for a time. A sense of empowerment comes from having “conquered” a difficult situation. But those feelings that are filed away, they’re still there. There have been times when I’ve put something away for years and hardly thought of it, only to have it come back as powerful as the day I filed it away.

The honest truth is, I’m having one of those moments right now. I’ve been divorced for a short time now. I was having an extremely hard time getting past the pain and hurt up until a few months ago. Because it was the deepest pain I have ever felt in my life, I took the same approach that I’ve fallen victim to in the past. I just kept ignoring what happened. I ignored how I felt. I just dove deeper and deeper into work as a distraction. But today, my brain decided that it didn’t want all of that filed away anymore, and vomited all of my subconscious to the forefront of my mind.

I find myself feeling sad, disappointed, lonely, missing my ex-wife, and remembering a lot of the good times that way had together. A lot of these feelings are actually feelings that I haven’t felt in the past year at all. Up until a few months ago, I was still feeling hurt and betrayal. It’s extremely uncomfortable to feel like you don’t have control over your feelings. I can logically process through what I’m feeling and explain to myself why I shouldn’t miss her. I can start to remember the reasons that I felt like it was the absolute right thing to end the relationship, but it doesn’t change those feelings. The harsh reality is that I haven’t taken the time to let all of my emotions run their course. I don’t need to find the logic in them. I just need to feel them.

If you’re going through a difficult situation, just remember that “feeling” your emotions is human. It’s expected. It’s natural. It’s completely necessary to restore your emotional well-being.

–Guest Post by Brant Choate. You can read more thoughts from Brant on his personal blog by clicking the link.