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Endless loop of loneliness and depression

Community Member
Hi guys,

I just thought I'd share my miserable existence with anyone who cares.

Many people on this forum talk about being depressed and their partners/spouses/friends noticing them. Man, I only wish I had some friends or partner to rely on.

I'm a 28 year old man living by myself in Sydney metro. For the last approx. 10 years I have not had any real friends. Yea I have acquaintances and some work colleagues who I chat to profusely but no real friends. You know, the friends that normal people have, the friends that normal people go out with on a social setting in evenings/weekends/holidays etc. None of that.

I've also have never had a partner in any romantic/personal way (can't have a love-life if you don't even have a single friend) and I don’t get along all that much with my parents/extended family.

Because my parents moved a lot (not just suburb to suburb but all over the country), I never developed the usual friendships that people form in high school and then build upon later in life.

Three years ago I moved out of home and settled in Sydney. However, it’s been so long since I’ve had friends that I feel like it’s such an insurmountable challenge now to catch up and have any semblance of normality in my life like people my age.

I feel abnormal, depressed, lonely, with nothing to look forward to. I don’t feel like things will ever look up for me or that I will ever be happy. I look with envy at people who seem ‘normal’ – you know who actually have people in their lives who care about them.

Recently I have developed a close connection with this colleague at work, dare I say, we consider each other friends and have gone out on a social setting etc together. Exactly what I thought I needed.

However, rather than cheer me up this has depressed me even more. I’ve become obsessed with him and infatuated with his life. Most times of the day I spend daydreaming about him and living vicariously through him. I think he’s got the perfect life, perfect interests, perfect girlfriend, perfect social life etc and I am constantly looking at everything through a prism that involves him.

I'm constantly green with envy - I feel like he’s the personification of normality and that I can NEVER measure up to him and have a exciting/stunning/cheerful life like him no matter how much I try.

I feel like I’m in an endless loop of loneliness and depression. What’s the point of meeting new people/friends if I end up feeling worse?

Appreciate any words/comments. Thanks
12 Replies 12

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Richard_C~

Welcome here, a place where you will find many who care, and many who have had similar experiences. I’m sure that in time you can have a better life.

Before going any further, I noticed you mention being depressed a couple of times. Have you been to see a doctor about these feelings? If not I’d suggest you do so and see what happens.

Unfortunately feeling lonely and cut off from others is something far too many have to endure. As you mentioned going to different schools and moving around does cut down on childhood acquaintances.
It must be very hard to see your friend appear to have all the elements of a life you lack, though I guess one could be glad for him too. At least it should remind you such a life is possible.

As far as I can see having true friends is a pretty rare event, and if you have three or four over a lifetime you are ahead of the pack. Acquaintances are of course much more common and tend to come and go.

There is no reason that developing further friendships should make you feel bad and no reason either why romantic attachment should not come your way. I suspect you may feel you have not got enough to offer -please tell me if I’m wrong.

Feeling one has something to offer comes from confidence in yourself which in turn may come from accomplishment. This does not have to be anything earth-shattering, perhaps an interest in music, or books, or sport, or an ability such as woodwork. You know you, what do you enjoy?

There are many other lonely people (sounds like a Beatles song) and it is the opportunity to meet and get together that is missing. Appearances too can be deceptive and some who put on a normal mask may actually be quite unhappy with their life. So I’d suggest you maximize your chances of meeting someone.

Many use on-line services to meet others. Frankly I don’t know too much about them, though I suspect it is not nearly as straightforward as it’s made out to be, and one can easily end up on an emotional roller-coaster.

Perhaps an alternative approach, such as volunteering in organizations that tend to gather members of the opposite sex, or joining a club or group, from art to gardening, whatever appeals.

What do you think?


Community Member
Dear Richard. So sad to hear of your loneliness at such a young age. I'm almost 68 and it never seems to become lighter. BUT the wonderful thing about this site is that at least we can share and send hugs through the air to those that need it most. As a newbie to this site I think I am going to have to send out lots of hugs. I hope the one I sent you just landed gently.

Community Member

Thanks for your kind and considerate words Croix.

You're absolutely right, I don't believe I have anything to offer people. I would say my self-esteem is less than nil, well into the negative territory. Whenever I meet new people for whatever reason I feel like I'm leeching off their lives and experiences because I have nothing to reciprocate back. I constantly steer personal conversations off myself and onto talking about the other person, which then makes me infatuate their lives and in my mind inflate the gap between my life and theirs. Again I feel like I can never measure up to 'normal' people. I feel like I was born to be abnormal.

My fear is that I've been trapped into this line of thinking for so long that it may be impossible for me to develop a different outlook. Perhaps the best I can hope for is to get used to thinking this way and numb myself to the pain in some way.

Thanks Mo1949 - really appreciate your thoughtful remarks.

I would be happy to listen to your story of loneliness and perhaps learn a few tips on how to cope and manage - you're older and much wiser than me.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Richard~

Perhaps the best I can hope for is to get used to thinking this way and numb myself to the pain in some way.

Um - I have to be honest -that's bushwah. There is no reason in the world for you to go for second best like that. Having the feeling you have nothing to offer is very common and always wrong.

It may well have its roots in depression or anxiety, and that feeling can be convincing, but that is the illness talking. Having things to offer does not mean being a brilliant conversationalist, it means honesty, reliability, kindness, the ability to seeing anther's point of view, and having the knowledge these things are inside you.

If you are worried about conversation I'm sure you must have interests, anything from pets to planes, books to bougainvilleas, you name it. In a way any of these, where you have knowledge developed from your interest can be used to compliment a conversation with someone else, not taking it over and monopolizing it, but not sitting passively either, try to weave a conversation between you.

At 28 you have a whole life to talk about just the same as everyone else, it will be interesting to some, and those are the people you want to be with.

OK, nag session over. By all means come back and disagree 🙂

Croix (who is even older than Mo1949)

Hi Richard C,

I think your generation has it even tougher than mine as you grew up with 'unsocial media'. i am 36...and to be honest my own friendships are non existant and starting new ones is impossible in this digital era...

also, I do think Sydney is particularly horrible...

anyway, I do think for people who are awkward around others the best way to meet other people is through doing stuff...Like joining a club of some sort..and taking up a hobby...I no longer bother as I have my kids who I take to all their hobbies...But if I was you, trying to meet people...then hobbies are the way to go...as you can switch off whoever is annoying you and concentrate on your hobby. It also means that you have something to talk about that isn't too personal...

Community Member

I remember feeling very depressed and lonely when I left home and moved to Sydney to study. I felt like I lost all my friends. I battled through this for years and it was tough.

Eventually I joined a bushwalking club and found the exercise really gave me a high. I then met my husband in the club and he has been a wonderful support.

I was still unhappy in Sydney so after 3 years of marriage and trying to find friends, we moved back to my home town. We have now had 17 very happy years. I have managed to find support and friends back home. Now that I have a little family I make new friends through taking my children out to activities every day. I have really found happiness with my family.

Living in a big city like Sydney is very lonely if it isn't what you are used to. I could never live in Sydney again....

Community Member

Hi Richard,

Thank you for sharing your story, It's amazing what we can learn from each other and about ourselves when we express something so close to us.

I can relate to a similar sense of loneliness, though this is not my story... It feels as if you find yourself so pre-occupied with the stories of other's, that you forget how unique and amazing your story is.

In my experience of building friendships, I learnt to ignore feelings of comparison - how my life is just so different to the person I am talking to/befriending. When I could finally remove myself from this habit of comparison, I could be fully involved in conversations with people and we could then get carried away and do 'friend things'. And it felt great! People are just as interested to know about you as you are to know them! Dropping the weight of worrying about where you fit and how you're different, really clouds any confidence you could have left.
I'll try to keep this short and sweet - I really want to carry on and help you see yourself in a different light 🙂
Just remember, you've seen places others haven't - they would love to know about it! You have skills that would amaze people - others would love to see you do it!
And just to finish off, there are other ways to boost your confidence and fight depression. Recently, studies have linked gut health with depression (Which is a huge step in health research) and fitness/getting outdoors and away from the hustle and bustle of your town has also shown amazing results in preventing/fighting anxiety/depression. Also.. vitamin D from sunlight (everyone seems to be lacking these days and you only need 15minutes before 12pm to get the amount you need).

You can do this 🙂

Helloooooo there,

I just found your thread, sorry I am all over the place.

Have read through and totally get it.

Whats doing now?