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I’m 26 and very lonely. I don’t have any friends. I moved from the regional town that I grew up in 2.5 years ago to the city and I’ve never managed to find a group of people I fit in with here. I moved to study at university and I’m very nearly finished studying now. I tried joining clubs at uni, but I either never really felt that I belonged or something happened that made it difficult to continue with that group. I have struggled with anxiety and depression since I was 16 and have severe self-esteem issues, that makes it difficult to believe that other people want to be near me. This also means that I’ve never had a boyfriend or anything close to a relationship, which at 26 also makes me feel that something must be wrong with me. My family has effectively been my only social support network for a long time now, but I’m starting to really feel like I’m burdening them by relying on them so much. Particularly my sister who I rely on heavily for general social interactions. Lately I’ve also been finding that I’m growing further away from my parents too, most of the time I can barely have a conversation with them without an argument occurring. I don’t know what to do anymore I’ve always been shy and I’ve always had to push myself to do any socialising but now it feels like nothing ever works out. I have seen various mental health professionals during my life, although none at the moment, and I’m currently miles away from where I was at my worse but it feels like if I don’t find a way to sort through some of these issues I might end up back there again.
1 Reply 1

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Sad Bookworm

Hello and welcome.

It's sad to learn you feel so lonely. It must feel very discouraging not to make friends easily. When you move to a new town where you know no one it can be hard to make new friends. I can see it would be another blow to your self-esteem not to make friends as easily as others appear to do.

Relying on your family for a social life is OK and does not mean there is something wrong with you. It means you are shy and find it hard to join in conversations with people you do not know. This is OK. I want to congratulate you on going to uni in a town you do not know and staying with your course. It shows you have determination and courage to achieve your dreams and needs. May I ask what you are studying?

Having coped by yourself during the past couple of years you are standing on your own feet and relying less on your family. I wonder if this new found independence is the reason you feel you are growing away from your family. You are relying on your own judgement and this can be the reason for disagreements with your parents and sister.

I have never been good at going away on my own. I remember having a panic attack on the plan flying to the UK from Australia and the plane was only a couple of hours away from Australia. It was quite scary. We can push ourselves to do these kinds of things when there is a reason such as going to uni or going on holiday. I don't think I would have travelled to the UK if I was going to be on my own when I got there. I was staying with my family who live there.

It's reassuring to know you are not as overwhelmed now as you have been in the past. It may not appear to be much but it shows you are getting stronger. It's something to be proud of. I also admire the way you have tried to make friends by joining several uni clubs. It's most definitely not easy being there on your own.

Having a history of depression and anxiety can be daunting but you have shown you are becoming able to manage without lots of support. I know it seems hard, and it is, to be in a place where you know no one but please remind yourself that you have persevered.

If you find it helpful to post here please continue.