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Question
Hi,

I am a male in my early twenties. Till high school, I had a group of friends and we had been friends since childhood.

But I started drawing away from these people because I had different career and life goals and wasn't in as comfortable a position as they were in, financially. I basically couldn't keep up with their lifestyle, because of money and time.

I stopped all contact with them after we graduated and now I have been in college since 3 years and it sucks.
I haven't even come close to living up the life I once had. I do have people that I can call "friends", but these are all people I meet during class or hang out with like a couple of times a month at most.

It's like once a month or so, when I get to hangout and feel like I once did. All the other days, I feel extremely lonely. I do have people to talk to and call friends, but it's not the kind of thing I had way back in high school, where we all lived nearby and would hang out everyday or so.

I was also a popular kid on high school and now i am the exact opposite of that. I learned how dependent I was on these friends in high school and how didn't really have much of an independent identity.

It has been a learning experience but at the same time, I am going through these unbearable feelings of loneliness and depression.

I know what the standard solution is. To go out more and be friendly and join clubs and all of that. First of all, I don't have much time, as I have to work on my studies and career.

Secondly, making friends with people is not that hard but the problem really is that everyone already has their core group of friends whom they have been with since years.

I can manage to be a part of everyone's fringe group but no one's core group. I don't think it's possible at this stage.

To top it all off, I don't have a girlfriend, never had one. I have hooked up a bit but that's it. I feel like a complete loser and the expectations I had from my life at this stage, it has all turned out to be the exact opposite of that.

On the other hand, it seems to be worried about petty things like these when you know millions of people in the world are dying of hunger and poverty. I don't have it nearly as bad.

But these thoughts don't make anything any better. I still feel depressed and lonely and for the firts time in my life have wept and cried like a baby over these things. Many times.
It's like a recurrent cycle of depression. Sometimes the busy schedule keeps all these thoughts away. But reality eventually comes back and hits hard.

I see all the others with their core group of friends, having fun, living the life you're supposed to be living at this age, and I just sit at home doing nothing.

Please help

Answer
dear Sir,
Thank you for your question. It is good that you are doing your studies and preparing for a career. That may be your most vital task for now, since it will help you move forward into a better future.
In the meantime, it is difficult to feel all alone and to miss old friends. I remember how sad I felt when my old high school gang broke up. Then I went through college, then I joined a religious cult for ten years. When I left, it was difficult to reconnect with people I knew before the group. Some of them had a hard time understanding why I joined a group like that, and one friend asked me if I was just throwing away my college education.
But to your situation, I believe you will have friends and a wife in your life. Maybe you just needed to hit rock bottom so you would acknowledge the value of companionship.
A good book for you would be Heart Steps, by Julia Cameron. It's a book and also an audio recording. You might get a lot out of it.
Please write back if you want to discuss further,
Nori

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Nori Muster

Expertise

Art therapy, positive thinking, and abuse recovery.

Experience

I have been an expert at AllExperts.com since 2000. Before that, during college and graduate school, I put in approximately three hundred volunteer hours working at juvenile halls. I also worked in drug and alcohol counseling agencies. In addition, I have done art and writing therapy with young people who grew up in abusive religious groups.

Organizations
The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), helps families, people who grew up in cults, and people leaving cults.

Publications
Books by Nori:
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World, a history of positive thinking and how to practice it in the post-9/11 world.
Child of the Cult, a collection of stories about children who grew up in restrictive religious groups.
Cult Survivor's Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life, a recovery handbook for people who had a bad experience in a group.

For a summary of all writing, see http://norimuster.com/books

Education/Credentials
Masters of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (psychology, counseling, and criminal justice), Western Oregon University, 1991.

Awards and Honors
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement won an award from Amazon.com for best selling book in its category.

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