Recently an anonymous person reached out to me, letting me know that she felt abandoned by her friends and loved ones. This post is dedicated for her and people who are feeling like her right now. People who feel alone, abandoned, unloved, unwanted, friendless and isolated.
1. It’s okay to feel pain. Cry your tears. Scream into a pillow. Take that sick day. The last time I felt intense pain, some of the best advice I got at the time was to feel my pain and get it out of my system. Often times when we feel pain, we want to mask the hurt with trying to feel good. You might find yourself trying to distract yourself or do anything other than feel the pain. Instead take a few days feeling miserable. Give yourself permission to be upset, to feel angry and to feel sad.
2. You are not alone. I understand that right now you may feel like you are the only one in the world feeling this pain. You might feel like you are stupid, pathetic, undeserving or embarrassed about something that happened. I guarantee that not only are there many people feeling similar to you right now, but that even the people in your life have battled through these feelings as well.
3. Ask for help. I understand that right now you feel abandoned and like nobody could understand or care. The good news is that I can guarantee that you can find someone who cares. One of the main reasons you may be feeling alone is because you may have developed a habit of never asking for help, not opening up to others about your feelings or automatically assuming that people couldn’t be bothered to help you. When you ask for help, you might be surprised by the type of support you can get. Help can also come from unlikely places. Several years ago I was dealing with such intense pain that I was forced to reach out to help. Some of the most supportive people during that time included a friend who I wasn’t close to at the time, two friends that I had made through a support forum, a friend that lived thousands of miles away, my family and even strangers who I met once while on a holiday. When you put yourself out there, you allow people to come forward and help you. Keep in mind that the people who might be there for you, may be people you never really noticed before.
4. Release your feelings in a healthy way. Sometimes you will feel alone and there will not always be a reason for those feelings. Find a healthy and consistent way to manage those feelings. Personally, I write and exercise to help manage my feelings. Whenever I’m feeling upset, I take time to journal my thoughts. Exercise also helps me release tension and feel good. Everyone has different things that will work with them. Explore different interests and find what positively helps you deal with your feelings.
5. New beginnings take time. Feeling alone may make you realize that it’s time for you to find a new support group and make new friends. The last time I felt alone, I realized that I had to try and make new friends. The process was not easy or quick. Friendships need to happen organically and sometimes you’ll click with someone right away while other times a friendship will be formed over weeks or months. Several years ago I met a girl who I didn’t vibe with right away. The feeling was mutual. We didn’t talk to each other for almost half a year but continued to be friends on social media. Through social media she ended up asking me if I’d like to hang out soon, and I agreed and turns out that our friendship clicked right away the second time we hung out and I found myself hanging out with her at least once a week. Good friendships take time to create and maintain. Stay positive about the process and remember to keep putting yourself out there, meeting new people and being the kind of person you would want to be friends with. Eventually everything will fall into place and you will start to see that you have a stronger support network.
6. Take care of yourself first. Feeling like your friends have abandoned you is a terrible feeling but you must also learn techniques that you can utilize to help take care of yourself. Everyone is fighting their own battles and your support group may not be able to help you in exactly the way you would like them to. That’s okay because your loved ones may be going through their own trials and are not able to extend help properly at this time. Find ways to cope with your pain alone. You can still rely on your support network but find other ways where you can take care of yourself.
7. Be real and be vulnerable. Learning to be authentic with yourself and others will encourage positive and healthy relationships with others. Other people will understand that you are going through the same things and need their support as well. Often times if you have always come across as the strong, confident and giving person in any type of relationship, people may not even realize that you need help or even struggle with feeling left out. A great way to break that cycle is to be authentic with who you are. Be vulnerable too. This allows people to relate to you better and provides an opportunity for a stronger friendship to emerge.
All of us share similar struggles, so even if you feel abandoned and alone, you are not. Instead of trying to change your loved ones and blaming them for the reasons you feel alone, work on yourself first. Be open to meeting new people. As difficult as it may to let go of old friends, be open to opportunities for a deeper friendship with other people. Be understanding towards your loved ones. It’s possible they may not be able to support you during this time or may not even realize or understand how they can support you. If that is the case, do not be afraid to ask for help and to be specific in the type of support you would like from your friend. Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself and others. It’s okay if you feel abandoned right now. Deal with the pain, cry your tears and be ready to pick yourself up again. You will be okay. Keep your head high and stay strong!