I’m Very Sad and Lonely

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a 24-year-old American woman: Several months ago, I drank too much and ended up in the hospital. I have since quit drinking, but a few days after the incident, some of the people I used to hang out with told me that they do not want to go out with me anymore. Since then, I have just been a mess. I was already embarrassed enough about the incident, but their little note to me just made me feel like crawling under a rock. I have never been prone to depression, but I just felt so much shame and self-loathing that I haven’t been able to bounce back.

I have 2 roommates. One of them I have not told, because I do not want to ruin her friendship with the girl who rejected me, but the other one knows. She has been extremely encouraging and sympathetic to me, but I will not ask her to choose between us. Now, the two of them often go out and its unspoken but clear that I will not go because those people will be there. They don’t ask me to go and I absolutely will not impose myself into the situation. I guess it’s mostly self-imposed exile and that’s my fault, but when they leave, I feel so lonely. I know that I should go out and make more friends, but my confidence level is in the sewer. I don’t know how to work up the courage to put myself back out there.

A: I’m very sorry it took a hospitalization to give you a wake-up call. But the important thing is that you did wake up to the fact that you were on a course of self-destruction and you’ve done something about it. Good for you for quitting the drinking. That’s not easy.

What your friends may not know is that you are as embarrassed as they are about your past behavior. You got a note. You didn’t have a conversation. If these were good friends, I think it would be worth an attempt at contact to tell them that you’re sorry that you lost control and that you’ve quit drinking. Ask for their forgiveness and see if you can move on.

It these people were drinking buddies and not particularly good friends, maybe it’s best to let them go. You need real friends in your life who you can hang out with and talk to. Get involved with places where people do the kinds of things you love to do and friendships are likely to evolve. Congratulate yourself on making a life change and set your focus forward to a healthy future instead of back to past mistakes. You’re only 24. You have a lot of life ahead where you can apply a lesson learned.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Mar 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). I’m Very Sad and Lonely. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/21/im-very-sad-and-lonely/