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Author Topic: Feeling very lonely...
Atonement
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I haven’t really felt lonely in a while. I’ve been keeping really busy, swimming, cooking, and going to class.

Then today, something happened.

After arriving at school (I’m taking a night class for this portion of the summer), I realized I had a flat. I didn’t have a jack in my car, and then I came to the realization that I have no one.

I scrolled through my phone contacts, and there was absolutely NO ONE in my phone that was here for the summer.

In addition, I posted a request for help on facebook in hopes that one of the friends whose phone numbers I don’t have might see it. I didn’t get a single response.

Eventually, I found a guy in my class who had one, and we were able to change it.

It’s bad enough not having people to be friends and hang out with. But I just feel pretty sad to realize that in a rough spot, I have NO ONE to turn to here. I honestly thought I was going to have to get my mom to make the +1 hr drive to my school to help me, which would have been nearly impossibly inconvenient for her.

To top it off, my birthday is in a week. I was so sure that I would have friends by now, but it looks like I will be spending it alone. I just thought my life would be so much better now, and in a lot of ways, it is. But at least last year I had friends to spend it with.

My mom keeps telling me to give it some time, but I’ve already lived here for 6 months. It that’s not giving it time, I’ll be graduating and starting over in a new town by the time I make friends.

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Karybu
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I'm sorry you're having a rough time with this, Atonement. Not having anyone to turn to can definitely be very lonely. Unfortunately, making friends and keeping those friendships going so they get closer does take time, and there's no way around that. Until the regular school year starts again and the friends you made last year come back, have you thought about trying to strike up a conversation with someone in the class you're taking now? (Easier said than done, I know.) What about organizing a study group?

If I remember correctly, you're also in your first year of university, right? One thing that tends to happen as you progress through (at least, this was my experience) is that people stick around for the summer much more in later years. It's pretty common to go home for the summer after the first year, but after that, many people will stay for work experience, classes, etc. I know that doesn't really help right now, but it's very likely that all summers won't be like this one.

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Atonement
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Well, actually, I did a few years at a community college and transferred in 6 months ago, so I'm a Junior and on track to graduate in 2 years.

There's been some opportunity to interact in the class I'm in now, as we do a lot of in-class group assignments. But everything's been strictly business so far, and I just feel socially drained.

Last semester, I feel like I was trying too hard and came across as awkward, fumbling, and unconfident. I'm really feeling my desire to have friends conflict with my need to be myself, which unfortunately is friendly but not very outgoing.

Of course, as my mom keeps reminding me, last semester wasn't a complete fail. I didn't make as close of friends as i wanted, but I did have one girl that I knew who signed up to be my roommate this year.

I did find one friend to celebrate with me on Friday, so I feel a bit better.

I guess a part of it all is that i thought it all would be so much better coming here.

I don't know how familiar you are with my previous situation (it is well documented in previous posts),but i came out of a pretty rough home situation, and was also very limited by responsibilities and geography. this was supposed to be the freedom that I dreamed about all those years. Of course, my life IS much better now than it was then, but I never anticipated spending so much time alone.

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WesLuck
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I know this might sound cliche, but do something you enjoy, just for you, like cooking, knitting, gardening, listening to your favourite music, etc. It's great if you can enjoy your own company! If after doing that, you think there is some type of hobby, interest etc. that other people might be interested in too, you can take your personal interest and by focusing on that and talking to others who enjoy it, you could meet new friends in a way that is comfortable for you and for them!

It also helps to be in the moment. Unlike past and future, the present is a precious gift and the only time that really exists. [Smile] If you can feel happy in your own skin in the present, it helps you reflect positively on your past and help build a beautiful future!

Best wishes!

-hugs for Atonement-

You are wonderful and unique, all by yourself! [Smile]

[ 07-16-2012, 06:31 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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copper86
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Atonement, if it helps, my first year of university was very lonely. I had friends but I felt lonely and unattached. I was still very shy and didn't go out, so I felt very estranged when people would go out and I stayed in residence. Karybu is right about the upper years staying around in the summer; and I'd also like to add that my second year was mich better (I too transferred schools after my first year, so I had to go through that awkward "making friends and meeting new people" process again), and then in my third year, I was just so comfortable that I was able to be a bit more social and make new friends (and I'm not always very outgoing, too).

What I would suggest is - though it is pretty scary to do sometimes - is sit beside a stranger in class, and just ask them if they did the reading, homework, assignment, or whatever work you had to do. Honestly, many students feel the same way you do at different points in their college careers - they feel shy, they want to make friends, they want to be loved and accepted. No matter how outgoing and happy they are on the outside, I can guarantee they have felt similar feelings!

Don't give up! I'm so happy to see that you have someone who signed up to be your roommate! That's always a confidence booster! What does she like to do? Maybe you and her could go to a movie or do something. I find that a lot of the time, people wait on others to plan things; so maybe bring up coffee or a movie with your roommate or others. I know how nerve-racking and scary that is - very much so - but I know you can do it!

What are you majoring in, and what class are you taking at the moment? There's gotta be a college-sponsored club, event, or volunteer basis for it (my university had cheese clubs, for example, and that's pretty unique! [Smile] ). You can also volunteer over the summer - I'm sure you'll meet new people doing that! If you're really busy, try going to only a few club or volunteer meetings and go from there. Even an hour will help you feel better about yourself. [Smile]

Take care, and I hope you feel better soon! I understand how you feel, for sure; but I promise you that things will get better.

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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WesLuck
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Too right! [Smile]
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Atonement
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Thanks for all the replies!

I have been cooking and swimming quite a but. I'm starting to feel tempted to pick up art again too, but when i do i devote a lot of time to it that i don't really have available while doing this class.

I am a Biology Major, and am currently taking a Physics class.

I actually don't know too much about my future roommate's activities or interests, but I do know that she wants to be a doctor like me. She's moving in sometime next month, which I'm looking forward to. But I'm comfortable enough with her that I'd definitely feel comfortable inviting her to go places with me. I feel like she will be a huge improvement over my last 2.

My old roommates moved out at the beginning of May, and just came to collect their things from the apartment on Saturday. I was a little upset with them because despite the fact that I helped them with all kinds of things while they lived with me (including taking care of them when they were dangerously drunk), they left while I was in my room studying without saying a word to me and didn't even bother to lock the door behind them. I felt that that was kind of rude, but we never really had anything in common, so I guess that's just how it is...

I was actually really involved in an organization last spring (which was where I met my future roommate), but unfortunately my campus and pretty much the whole town turns into a dead zone during the summer.

Also, my therapist has been scheduling our appointments much less frequently. I think it's because a lot of times when i've met with her, I've been doing really well and in high spirits, and she doesn't feel like i need her as much. Overall, I guess that's true, but when have a rough day, it can be really frustrating to have to wait so long.

On one hand, I'm really looking forward to the fall semester, but on the other hand, I'm a bit scared because I know it's going to be a very academically demanding semester.

But I have felt a lot better the last couple days.

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Sans
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I'm really glad that you felt better the last couple of days, Atonement! [Smile]

-hugs for you if you want them-

--------------------
"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Atonement
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Thanks, Sans.

I'm always happy to accept hugs!

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WesLuck
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-more hugs for Atonement- [Smile]
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Atonement
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Thanks!
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Heather
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Hey, Atonement. Sorry to hear you're having trouble with this.

If it helps, thought I'd give my two cents. Over the last 10+ years, I've not only moved a lot, I also have primarily worked at home, which certainly makes finding friends challenging.

And to top that off, the last two states I moved two have tended to have a social dynamic where people are not particularly warm (something the opposite of Chicago, and probably also alien to you, too, since Texas' social dynamic also tends to be pretty outgoing). When I moved to Minneapolis, I moved there knowing all of two people, and it literally took me THREE FREAKING YEARS to find friends. Seattle was a bit better, but not much, and I've now been on the island for two years and still only know a few people. So, I feel you.

The things I've done that have helped make that happen when it's tough have been things like these:

• Get out of where you live and find a tea or coffeehouse you feel comfortable at and go there often, even making a daily ritual of it if you can. Conversations will start, people will get to know you, and you can always strike up your own conversations.

• Find a way to make your exercise something social, whether that's striking up conversations at the gym, out on walks, connecting with a bike-riding group or park yoga, etc.

• Ask people you know online if they know anyone in your area, and if they do, ask them to connect you. If needed, you can have friends ask other friends if they know anyone. This, particularly, has been the way I have made some of my closest friends with big moves.

• Find a volunteer gig if you don't have one already, and branch out from there socially.

• You could even put up flyers around your campus asking if other folks are there for summer who want to do a weekly pot luck, coffee meetup, walk, etc.

• Don't forget that some online personals have an option to look for friends!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Atonement
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Thanks, Heather!

Unfortunately, after my last Physics test and it's not so spectacular grade, It seems that I probably won't have time for much besides that for the next 3 weeks until it's over, [Frown] .

Another (copmpetely off topic) thing that I wanted to discuss is some rather out of character insecurities about my weight.

I'm a little uncomfortable about discussing this with my therapist, because last time I mentioned it to her (she is a MD in addition to being a therapist, and unfortunately medicine has been very weight focused), she talked about setting a weight goal. And I really don't know if that's a good idea for me. or not. I was dieting about a month ago, and I didn't lose any weight and was pretty miserable.


The thing is, if you go by BMI, I'm slightly overweight, and although I know that that scale is very problematic, but I have this desire to be perfect on a lot of levels, and I find myself more and more tempted to get sucked into society's idea of what my body should look like.

A few weeks ago, I started swimming laps a lot, and it's been something i've really enjoyed, and given me more energy. But it's caused me to gain a few pounds in muscle. Realistically, I KNOW that if anything, I'm healthier than before I frm a 25 to a 26, and i've had a lot of nagging insecurities about it.

I know you recommended Health at Any Size to me about a month ago, and I looked into it. But the thing is, I'm a Bio major with a strong focus on medicine, and it contradicts a lot of the things I'm being taught, and I don't know who to believe. I know medicine has been wrong before, and it'll be wrong again, but I'm having this stuff programmed into me on a daily basis, and I just don't know who to believe. And I've noticed that a lot of times, I blame my not getting attention from guys or that time i was "rejected" a couple months ago on my weight. I know this is silly because plenty of thinner girls than i get less attention, and plenty of heavier girls have very fulfilling love and/or sex lives.

But i really feel like this is an issue I need to sort out. I didn't even own a scale until a couple months ago, and now I catch myself standing on it multiple times a day.

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Heather
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Were you able to actually read HAES? If so, it goes through the science -- including the flaws in a ton of the existing science -- very intensely.

That said, hopefully your therapist, as a therapist, also has read the giant piles of study we've had for a long time that make clear that trying to tackle a body image issues with a weight loss plan is total fail. (I also personally think that it's a bit questionably ethical for her as your therapist to be suggesting dieting.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Atonement
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I haven't managed to read it yet, just the website and summary. Maybe I should make that a priority once Physics is over.

I so agree that I felt that it was a little inappropriate for her to encourage me to lose weight, especially since at the time of that conversation (not long after I started seeing her) I was actually about 10 pounds lighter than I am now and still within the "healthy" range on the BMI scale. But, she is still in her training, so maybe she just hadn't learned that yet?

(That's part of why I'm getting therapy for free- she works out of an organization that provides free or low cost therapy by using student therapists who are working on getting a certain number of hours to obtain a liscence.)

Oh wow! HAES is only $1.99 on kindle! I may be reading it sooner than planned!

[ 07-18-2012, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: Atonement ]

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Heather
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So, for sure, I'd not make assumptions about it, the science, and what it says in-depth before actually reading it. [Smile]

If this is a person new to giving therapy, then for sure, we can expect them to be just getting their footing. Mind, I don't think all therapists would agree that's ethically problematic, but I think plenty would, especially since she is NOT your doctor for your physical health, and medically-speaking, advising someone to go on any kind of weight loss or gain thing without evaluating their physical health first with at least a checkup isn't good medicine. It's dangerous, honestly.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Atonement
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I've read the introduction, and it's looking pretty interesting.

I hid my scale in the dark depths of my closet

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Heather
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Or, you could always change it to a yay scale: http://healthateverysizeblog.org/2012/06/12/the-haes-files-using-the-yay-scale-at-work-a-social-experiment-in-changing-attitudes/

(Not surprisingly, one of the best links to these for general info I found was from HAES.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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