I know lots of people but I don’t have any actual friends.
From writing down your feelings to finding a community online, our elder has some advice for a lonely letter writer.
Hello, So I’ve definitely been in a major funk lately. I know a lot of people, but don’t have any actual friends. Nobody I can actually depend on, and it’s making me feel unbearably lonely. Also, as an LGBT teen in a small town, I’m basically preconditioned to be lonely. Ninety nine percent of me wants a boyfriend more than anything, but the one percent of me knows that I can’t rely on a man to solve my problems. I used to be super depressed, which was all fine and dandy, but recently it’s been coming back. None of my coping mechanisms work anymore and I no longer want to do anything that I used to love. I feel as though nothing I do helps me get better, and it’s making me feel borderline suicidal. Especially since I have no friends to talk to about it. I know that none of the people I talk to are actually my friends. And that’s not even just me being insecure. They’re either flaky or clingy or just not interested in being my friend. I guess my question is, what can I do to make myself start feeling better?
I’m so glad you wrote. I’m sorry you’re not feeling yourself these days and are feeling very lonely and cut off. Have you thought about how much the pandemic is involved?
It’s very tough not to have a close friend that you can confide in when things are really tough. You can use me for that for now. I’ll answer you the next three times you write for additional support and ideas about how to get through this time.
Do you ever write about your feelings? I find that incredibly helpful. We discover just how much we are carrying with us. To get it out of our heads is such a relief. Why not try it? Don’t think about perfect grammar as if you’re writing an essay. Just let out the feelings.
Do you enjoy physical exercise? That can also help to get out some of the pent-up energy. Do a little something every day. Notice how it makes you feel. Notice if it helps.
I’m glad you are noticing that you don’t want flaky or clingy ‘friends’ around you right now. It sounds as though you need real friends, people you can count on. It takes time to develop those deep friendships. What you want to pay attention to is that there is mutuality and reciprocity. Friendship and relationships don’t work when one person is mainly the giver and the other the taker.
It sounds as though you might need to meet some new people to explore who could be a friend. Do you have any ideas on how to do that? Tell me your ideas and we can talk about that some more.
Can you find any community online, given the fact that you are living in a small town. Have you explored that? Let me know.
What are the coping mechanisms that used to work that no longer are? Together we can explore developing some new ones that work for where you are now. It’s a lot of trial and error. Try something new. And wait and watch. Observe yourself. See if it makes a difference.
I’m here to offer more support and feedback whenever you want to write back.
Take very good care of yourself. Things will get better. So often in life things are developing behind the scenes. It seems as if nothing is happening. It feels as though we are stuck in a situation forever. But things are always in the process of developing and part of living is developing the patience for things to emerge as well as doing all we can to be active participants in creating change.
Article #: 475722