Hi Papa Bear!
My question for you has to do with how I've been feeling recently but a little backstory is in order.
For most of my school life I was alone, I really didn't have people I could call friends and was very isolated. All of my family is pretty much gone too aside from my mom... When I hit high school I was welcomed into a large (about 15) band of folks and stayed with them for all of high school. We were all very very close. We actually dated each other quite often but in a way we were all just one big group... It is hard to explain... Fast forward to college. Most of us went to the same place but it was the beginning of the drifting, some of my friends left. A few years go on and more move on, some I got into very bad fights with... Present day all I have left is 2 from my old high school days, my mate, and two close friends I made in the furry world.
Basically I've been having this overwhelming sense of loneliness. There are times I'll just be sitting on my bed and I'll just cry and it always comes back to being lonely. It's been getting even worse with an upcoming move I'm having to make, my current job is becoming really bad and I can't make money so I'm having to leave and not only leave my few friends, but my mate as well. We will be almost 3 hours away and I will just be by myself mostly. Thing is if we don't do this we won't be able to support ourselves any longer. I'm just so... scared. I don't want to be sad, is there anything I can do to help this? I've been talking to my mate but it's hard for him to grasp, he's always had others, like his large family (he has one of those large Georgian families that have reunions of 50+ folks), I've never even had a reunion of any sort involving my own pieces of family.
I know one thing I plan to do is reach out to the local fur groups to the new place I'm moving to. And when I eventually meet up with my mate in Athens I will have some friends there too. I do try some online friendships but I tend to have a problem with keeping them as the other party always expect me to talk to them and they never message me, shouldn't these things work both ways? I just don't know if I be able to push past these feelings. Heck just writing this is making me tear up a little. Any advice you have for me would be wonderful Papa Bear.
A Lonely Dragoness (age 22)
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It’s very common for friends to drift into and out of your life over time. It is one of the things about growing up. Of the friends I had when I was young, I only keep in touch with one these days. Right now, you are in a bit of a lull in your life as you transition from the school years to the working adult years, and, again, that is very common.
Instead of lamenting the friends who have wandered away and with whom you have lost touch, start looking at the glass half full: you are moving to a new place and a new job where you will meet new people, all of whom are potential new friends. You’re doing the right thing reaching out to furs in your new area, good for you!
As for your mate, a couple things: 1) it sounds as though you will be reunited? You say you will “eventually meet up with my mate in Athens,” which sounds like you will get together again, so the parting is not permanent, which is great! 2) you say he has a large family—is there any chance that his family accepts and cares about you and that they could become your extended family? I come from a very small family myself. All I have left is my mom, my sister, and an uncle and his wife. In my first marriage I immediately got an extended family, most especially my very kind mother-in-law; now with my new mate, Yogi, I have yet another new mom, father, and a very generous and kind older brother. Reach out to your mate’s family for additional love and support. I hope you can do that! His family should be yours, too!
Don’t limit yourself to just furry friends, of course. You should always make yourself open to new friendship possibilities, because they can be unpredictable. For instance, I met a guy at a now-closed piano bar in Palm Springs; he was playing piano and Yogi and I enjoyed listening to him. Turns out he gives lessons; and I’ve always wanted to learn how to play, so last year I contacted him and he is now my piano teacher, but more than that—he’s a REALLY nice person and we’ve become friends, as well. The supers at my old apartment building have also become good friends to both me and Yogi. So, you never know when or where a new friend will turn up.
In school, in a structured atmosphere of classes and extracurricular activities, it can be easier to become part of a social group. They practically form themselves in schools. You were lucky to have one and not be tossed to the outside like I was, so be happy for those memories. Maybe, too, if you tried, you could bring some of those old friends back to you, who knows? But, if that’s not possible, don’t eat yourself up over it. You can cry buckets of tears for a faded past, but it will not do you any good, and you know it.
It’s time to stop crying and to stop worrying and look forward to the next chapter of your life. Concentrate on your plans for the new job, on your moving arrangements. Do research on what things there are to do in the new area you’ll be living in. Contact the furries and new coworkers who live there. Ask them where they go to eat, what they do for entertainment. Tell them you look forward to seeing them and hope you can do some fun things together. By doing this, you can quickly become so busy planning that you will have no time for tears. At this point, quiet time for reflection is your enemy; fill your hours with activity until you get through this transitional phase and are firmly implanted in the new one.
Oh, and when you DO move, don't forget those two friends of yours who have been sticking by you all these years. Don't do to them what your other friends did to you!
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