Touching your hand to a stove, tripping on the same step heading into Davidson, choking on your own spit: There are many behaviors we engage in as humans that compel us to hurt ourselves. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but none go down as bitterly and agonizingly slow as a breakup. The debris from a breakup blast is painfully evident – it can take days, even months to alleviate the hangover of a broken heart. Yet, despite the lethargic process of healing, we do emerge from our turmoil for the better, even stronger. I recently endured my most devastating breakup with an intimate someone, so, in order to achieve some catharsis, I felt it might be useful to share some advice on how to relieve the “case of the ex,” so when the love bug inevitably bites you again, you’re not completely immune.

Firstly, never condemn yourself to being alone. Surround yourself with people, though it may be difficult, because the sights and sounds will distract you from your pain and dilute the dark voice in your mind that continually tells you you’re not worth it. Trust me – you are. Don’t let your ex define you as a lover or a human being. To loosen my grudge, I just took a walk down the main stretch of campus and observed the happy people around me. Strangely enough, it didn’t make me feel insignificant or envious, but provided me with comfort in knowing there is much more to life than one foolish person. On that same note, do not hide in your room, or your self-doubt will ring ever clear.

For your own sake, listen to music, but don’t project your agony through a sad song. Instead, enjoy a song that is uplifting and enabling. You’ll find, lest you prevent love from ever returning, that the hope you never knew is concrete and sound. Besides, it has become evident to me that nobody enjoys surrounding themselves with someone who is self-absorbed. Everyone suffers and we all have pain, but we swallow it and carry on. From experience, Modest Mouse’s “Move On” is a great way to at least temporarily convince yourself that tomorrow will greet you whether you’d like it to or not. Due to my penchant for girly music, I also reveled in Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter,” because it shows our trials only make us better people. Find what best calls to you and gets you through the day. Especially in this gloomy weather, don’t make the storm a signature for your feelings – the world doesn’t turn for you, nor does the sky cry in light of your predicament.

Be strong, but be wise, which leads me to a very important point: Do not sin out of anger. The temptation to sink to a cheater’s level is prevalent in the wake of a broken heart, but you must resist. Do not forgo virtue to make someone hurt as badly as yourself. Though you may feel indignant and vindictive, take the high road instead, and you’ll expedite the process of healing. Sinning out of anger is easy when you are in your darkest hour, but seeking forgiveness is to show the true measure of your heart. The best indication of you as a person is how you react to strife. Avoid the anger bang – you’ll feel good for a moment, but it will ultimately accomplish nothing and could even exacerbate the problem. Unfortunately, I did sink to that level at one point, and all I unearthed was an even heavier burden. Do not make the same mistake. As the old axiom goes, “Bitterness is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Lastly, know yourself and know you’re worth it. The fact you are attending one of the most beautiful and rapidly expanding schools in the nation speaks volumes of you as a student. Your ambitions and dreams should never be held in check because of some loser who didn’t know how good they had it.

Trust me, the high road is safer. You may wish they’d love you as much as you love them, but you’ll be much happier without that dead piece of you. Have a happy, healthy and safe new year, Gauchos.