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Do I want to be alone or not?

I’ve been feeling lonely, but then found myself turning down an invite. What gives?

Our elder helps a letter writer find some new ways to form connections.

Dear EWC

I’m 16. Lately, my friends have been too “busy” to make any plans with me, my family is almost always working, and my boyfriend (of two years) has been away the past month and still will not be back for another three weeks. I have felt really alone, and like I have no one to count on. But the other day one of my friends reached out to me and wanted to meet up. I declined, even though I was available. I was thinking later that day. I hated being alone but also didn’t want to meet up with friends. What do I want, to be alone or not? I do not know. I have always been a very sociable person and always up for making plans with friends, but just recently I have felt different, but I have no idea why. I feel like I don’t know who I’ve become anymore. I would like some advice from you on what you think is going on. I know this is not an emergency, but I have felt quite down about it and would like to fix it asap. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Cara replies

While you’re experiencing many complex emotions, one of which is loneliness, please give yourself major kudos for reaching out to EWC. By doing so, you have taken one significant step away from true loneliness and isolation. It’s wonderful that you wrote to us!
There is a harsh reality and a lesson for us all when what you describe occurs. Truth be told, we could be with 50 of our friends and feel very much alone, or conversely take a solitary walk and feel whole, satisfied, and connected. In other words, it all starts within us.
We have to feel satisfied personally before we can ever truly connect in relationships. The following are some steps you can take to begin this process:
– Decide what interests you and become involved after school. Not only will this enable you to meet people, but you’ll be active and not merely thinking negatively;
– Contribute to your community by doing volunteer work. There is nothing more gratifying than giving back, as we ultimately receive so much as a result;
– Reach out to a friend instead of waiting for an invitation;
– Visit the library and/or research the Internet as these provide a vast array of resources that will meet your needs;
– Explore the possibility of seeing a therapist as he/she will be able to provide an unbiased opinion. This has an additional benefit, as the process replicates your ultimate goal of making connections.
Wishing you the best; know that EWC is here for you if you choose to reach out again.

Letter #: 445476
Category: Self-Improvement

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