I feel like I've woken up with no friends - what can I do to get by?
September 3, 2013 4:26 AM Subscribe
I'm a 22 year old male. In the past month I've moved to a new area, lost my best friend and gone through a breakup. My friendship had been so broad and close that I neglected my other social connections. I'm also new in my job and haven't made any real connections there. Ultimately it feels like, in the span of a few weeks, I've lost all of my social outlets. I feel desperately lonely and unsure about what the hell I can do. I'd appreciate any advice on how to get through life day-by-day as I piece myself together.
posted by Henners91 to human relations (19 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'd been friends with a guy since we were about 15; we went through adolesence together and were close like brothers. He was always the leader and could be pretty controlling; he often likened himself to being my mother. I think he got a lot of self-affirmation from influencing me. Nevertheless he fell into Ayn Rand and Objectivism; when that happened we had a lot of arguments about morality, etc. In the end he won me over to the extent that I 'tagged along'; I found it a very useful crutch for getting over a breakup that I was going through at the time. Nevertheless, I didn't really suit Objectivism: At his urging I broke things off with my 'irrational' parents and he and I adopted this 'us against the world' sort of mentality. He would often criticise my life choices and paint himself as the 'rational' being I should aspire to be like; really I only had his word for it that he was indeed 'rational' as there were no other Objectivists or even friends in our circle to hold him to standard. He told me he was benevolent whereas I was not. Nevertheless he did have a strong influence on me and I think it made me a significantly worse person, inclined to judge and dismiss others on the basis of 'irrationalities'. The damage to my family and my relationship was quite severe.
It evoked a lot of conflict in me and, after an intervention from my parents as well as a lot of tensions with my friend, things had really come to a head. We went on a holiday to Asia together and he drove me insane with how he treated other members of our tour group that I was getting along with just fine. Suffice to say our friendship did not make it through and he made it clear that we were to not speak again.
Beginning just before this I went through a breakup that wasn't exactly clean. It still hurts but I think I can accept that it wasn't really going to work, though my personal problems certainly accelerated things. Our split had been amicable but we tried the 'friends' thing when I got back from Asia. That proved too difficult and awkward for the both of us and I was told yesterday that it would be best for both myself and this girl if we never spoke again (ouch).
Additionally two weeks before going to Asia I moved to London. I am in a house-share so I do have some social avenues there but I really haven't 'clicked' with anyone.
Suffice to say this means that over the past month I have lost my primary friendship, which I had nurtured at the expense of my others (it had been all I needed at one point), my relationship and I am now living in a new area. It feels like three of the most stressful social strains one can go through have hit me simultaneously!
I've tried reaching out to old friends and acquaintances and, to an extent, I've been successful. But geographic/life issues mean that any meet-ups are sporadic. I'm faced, mostly with empty weeks. Some people I've tried to talk to (old friends and new acquaintances alike) seem to have been scared off by my 'eagerness', so to speak. I don't know if it's a good idea to admit that I am just desperate and lonely. I am also conscious when I meet people that recent events have made me *very* self-centred (here I am on the web whining about my problems - of course I'm thinking about me right now!).
The crunch is that every morning getting out of bed is a struggle. I look at the oncoming day as a massive empty labour. When I get home I have video games but I can't sit in my room and play them. I feel lonely and want to meet people but I have no idea how to go about it when I think I literally reek of desperation. I'd appreciate any advice or experiences people might have. I imagine the natural solution to this is 'keep your chin up and take your pennance'. They say time heals all wounds so maybe it's a case of stumbling through.
I'll also add that the above are my literal *immediate* concerns (namely getting through the day). I do intend to take time to, when I can do so without feeling emotional, get introspective and think about why I have gotten where I have. I am sure I likely have become self-centred and perhaps I have treated others badly.