About your friend: even if you treated them as a so-called “emotional
anchor”, it doesn’t sound like you had any ill intentions and you were probably
just doing your best to cope anyway you knew how. It’s really hard to lose a friend.
I think every now and then people can rely too heavily on others and it’s a difficult
situation because you aren’t trying to hurt anyone, but it’s still understandable
why your friend might want space. I don’t think you should blame yourself and I’m
sure your friend is understanding of your situation even if you aren’t speaking
with each other. If you feel like you are the “lowest priority friend”, this
isn’t healthy for you either, and is another good reason to not speak as much.
Feeling lonely really sucks and it sucks more because it
makes you want to withdraw even more from the people around you. Something
which has helped me is seeing reducing loneliness as a “task” or a “chore”.
I do things just because I know it will make me feel less
lonely and not because I particularly want t0. For example, talking to my roommate.
I like her as a person, but we aren’t really friends and we barely have anything
in common. However, we tell each other about our days and talk about mundane
things and sometimes I try to think of interesting questions to ask her and
find out what her opinion is. It’s also a good way to practice listening (which
I’m pretty bad at sometimes) and making an effort to be genuinely interested about
her responses. It helps “break the cycle” of loneliness, I think.
- I try to play video games where you specifically have to interact
with people and that weirdly helps as well.
- Talking with my parents often, like calling them when I’m
walking somewhere for 10 mins, is nice too.
- Listening to podcasts can be fun and helpful.
- Leaving your house just to walk around where other people are
or even going to something like the cinema alone can help. Sometimes it does
make me feel worse to see people spending time together, but there’s something
about going places alone that is weirdly nice.
You aren’t alone and your feelings are normal. Just try to
hang in there :)
Also, don’t beat yourself up about not “putting in more effort
sooner”. Working on your mental health is really hard and there’s no right or
wrong way. In the end you’re fighting for your own happiness and no one else’s
and you shouldn’t feel bad about doing things “wrong”. You’re just doing your