updated 6 Aug 2009, 18:21
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Thu, Aug 06, 2009
The Star/Asia News Network
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Suffering in silence

I am 26 years old and single. I feel blessed because I have a good and supportive family. So far, I am also fortunate to have a good and promising career.

I never really thought I would find myself writing in to your column as I count my blessings daily. It is just that lately I find myself feeling lost, lonely and sad, despite all the happiness and security I find around me

Being single among my group of friends who are mainly attached (either in relationships or moving towards engagement and marriage) weighs heavily on my mind of late.

I find myself suffering in silence, and secretly sad and depressed over feelings of loneliness. I often stop to wonder whether this depression is merely a temporary feeling that arises upon seeing happy couples around. Many times, I just shrug the feeling off, but it does not go away completely.

About two years ago, I started to like a guy. We got closer but we remained merely good friends. One day, we talked about our feelings and he admitted that he liked me as I was a nice girl, but we could not be together due to some reasons, which I tried to accept and move on.

He was a kind, caring and nice friend; someone with whom I could share all my thoughts and feelings. I missed him a lot especially since his job got busier and we met up less frequently.

During all these times, I realised that I still loved him and could not let him go. I knew that he had moved on, and I promised myself that I would accept us going our separate ways.

It has been a few months since we stopped seeing each other, and yet my efforts to move on have been extremely futile. I want to be happy for him if he meets another nice girl someday, but it is easier said than done. I wish I can meet another nice guy too, someone who will appreciate me for who I am.

Thelma, how can I let go of him completely and move on? Should I slowly break off our friendship?

What can I do to overcome all the feelings of loneliness? I am even reading books on depression these days because I do feel a lack of self-esteem and confidence.

I have hope that things will get better, but this feeling keeps coming back over and over again. People around me do not know that I am secretly depressed as I try hard not to worry others. Do you have any advice for me?

Silently Sad

Reading about depression, hiding in your room away from friends and fun will get you deeper into the rut of despair. You are only 26 and life should just be getting to be exciting and interesting.

Losing a friend does not mean you are undesirable and unattractive. If he has his reasons for not having a relationship with you, then consider yourself lucky to have found an honest, sincere pal.

So simply enjoy the friendship and meet up when you can. It is harder to pretend not to care when your heart and mind will not forget. So do not pressure yourself and be glad that you have youth, passion and resilience to take on the many challenges in life.

Do not try to be too brave and try to cover up your feelings. Talk to a close friend, cry a little and feel better about it. Most of us have gone through such moments. It’s a growing path, a learning curve that we are better off experiencing than sitting alone, moping without sweet memories and hopes. When the pain does not catch your breath and keep you awake, take time out with friends. Have a good time without worrying about love and relationships. Guys will find your smiles and laughter more attractive than mournful looks and wistful sighs.-The Star/ANN

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