I am in my mid-twenties and have experienced a lot of change recently that I am struggling to come to terms with.
You see, I had a group of friends throughout my high school and university years. Over time, we have grown apart. They did not support me when I decided to go travelling after our studies ended and they do not support me now in my efforts to start a business and become self-employed. All I have received from them is negativity. When I am around them I lose my confidence, because all they tell me is what could go wrong, whilst refusing to acknowledge what could go right. I am well aware that they discuss my life choices behind my back. It is very hurtful, particularly because I have only ever supported each of them in the choices they have made.
I have felt very sad to no longer be a part of the group since returning home. I am no longer invited to occasions that up to now, we have always shared together. Whilst I know that this is perhaps for the best, I am conscious that I do not want my sadness to turn into bitterness or hate.
How do I deal with this sadness?
Thank you, Louis
Much of our happiness revolves around connection. Be that connection with people or connection to ourselves. Much of our sadness revolves around loss. Be that the loss of close relationships established in all stages of our lives, or becoming lost within ourselves.
What you are experiencing right now hurts. Losing the friendships that forge the early stages of our lives is a disconnection bound to cause sadness. You are grieving for the people that no longer feature in your life as they used to. Just like grief, the weight of the feelings you carry can feel overwhelming and complex, but be aware that this is entirely normal.
Life is full of transitions and personal growth. Remind yourself that is what you are also experiencing right now and it is truly positive. You are redefining who you are, for the better. You are strengthening the connection you have to yourself and to your needs and for that reason you are going to become happier moving forwards. In time you will come to see that this loss is indeed for the best. That the people you want around you, are people that accept you for who you are and support you through your growth and your experiences, free from judgement, envy or ridicule.
For the moment, recognise your grief. Take some time to dwell on what these people meant to you and what it means now that they are gone. It is no use to be resentful. If these relationships are meant to last, then they will. If not, be thankful for what the friendships were and wish them well. Have gratitude for this new path you are taking and for the opportunities that lie ahead. This is a new beginning for you Louis. Embrace the courage of your convictions and work hard to pursue the life that you want.
You mention that you are mindful that you do not wish to feel consumed with bitterness or hatred. These feelings stem from anger, which is as you may know, a stage of grief itself and something you will most likely have to contend with at some point. If you find it too difficult to manage the emotions that you are experiencing, counselling can help you to unpack your grief and to process your feelings of negativity and loss. It can also serve as a process of support and as a means to enhance your self-confidence moving forwards.
Wishing you happiness,
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