I decided to do the Ulitmate Blogging Challenge (2019). I did this with the hopes of gaining new traffic, getting into a better blogging habit, and adding more valuable content to MCH.
So, what is the Ultimate Blogging Challenge? It is a 30-day challenge created for bloggers to participate in to help them write more content, generate more ideas for content, help redirect more traffic to one’s site, build connections, and more! If you’re interested, click the link above and sign up. It’s free!
On the first day, I wrote a short story about two friends being there for one another during a hard time.
Having a good friend can help reduce depression, stress, and anger. They also bring so much joy into one’s life. Think about your best friend and all the amazing times you’ve shared. Friends become like family.
If you have someone who is there through thick, and think don’t forget to be thankful and always make sure you are there as well.
What Are Friends For
Alone in a dim room, a broken-hearted girl named Sara sat drowning in her thoughts. The constant memories of how last week’s events played out. They reminded her how there was nothing she could do to change what happened. She wondered if she could have made a difference in her friends’ life by being there more often, rather than going to another softball practice or hanging out with her boyfriend.
Getting that phone call and hearing the words Shay has been in an accident, we don’t know if she’s going to make it replayed like a broken record in her mind as tears flowed down her face. The next call was like a knife through the heart as the words “she didn’t make it”, slashed through reality.
Thoughts of self-hatred, anger, confusion, and depression started to consume her. “If I was there more, she wouldn’t have been out drinking and driving. I should have told her my concerns instead of watching her party her life away. I was a horrible friend now my friend is dead….” The thoughts piled on and on, dragging her into a deeper depression.
The thought of drinking until she became numb flashed across her mind. Frustration overwhelmed her and she let out a scream. Not caring if the neighbors complained. She lost someone to alcohol and now she’s thinking of numbing herself with the very thing that killed her friend. More self-hatred started to pile up.
DING-DONG DING-DONG DING-DONG
Annoyed she got up to check the door and saw one of her best friends standing on the porch with a concerned look on her face. Instantly the thought’ “Maybe if I ignore her, she’ll go away, I don’t want her to see me like this.” Guilt washed over her as she realized she was about to turn away from another friend.
Hesitantly she opened the door. Amanda stood there with sad eyes and a soft smile. “Hey, I thought I’d come by and check on you.” Tears instantly flowed down Sara’s face as she opened the door wider to let Amanda in. Immediately Amanda took Sara in her arms and gave her a long hug while all the guilt, frustration, and thoughts came flooding out of Sara.
After Sara cried and recollected her thoughts, she opened up by talking to Amanda, letting her know all the painful thoughts that kept entering her mind.
Broken-hearted Amanda listened to how Sara felt. “I did not know Shay as well as you, but I’m sure she does not blame you, Amanda said softly. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now, as I have never lost someone close to me, but I will be here for you to lean on. I love you like a sister don’t ever think I’d turn you away.”
“You’re going to get through this. I know it hurts and I know you may never get the answers to your questions, but I will be right here to help you carry the heavy load of a broken heart.”
A calmness washed over Sara as she listened to Amanda’s reassuring words. A feeling of relief from the turmoil she had been going through washed over her. She was still sad, but the pain of the sadness was not as heavy. She could think more clearly. With a small smile and a little more hope in her eyes, she thanked Amanda for being there for her.
Amanda pulled her in for one last sisterly hug before heading home and whispered: “Hey, what are friends for?”
For a long time, I pushed my friends away when I was going through pain. I ended up isolating myself and making my situation 10x harder as I was sucked deeper into depression.
Honestly, it was not until recently I started to branch out and make new friends. I also stopped isolating myself from my current friends. They know who I am, and the things I struggle with, and they accept me. So, why couldn’t I accept the fact I had so many people around me with open arms?
I realized I was afraid to get close to people. I was afraid to be abandoned and taken for granted, and I was afraid to look like a fool.
Growing up I moved around a lot and when I made friends it was like they were there for a split second until I had to move again. I learned at a very young age to not let many close to me. I did not like the feeling of losing friends, so I isolated myself for years.
Don’t get me wrong I had people I would occasionally talk to, but no one I actually dared to call up and ask them to go on a midnight run to Walmart just for the fun of it. Or to lean on when life got rocky.
I realized I was miserable because I would not let anyone in. I rather lock myself away in the comfort of my home than go out once or twice a month with a friend. I didn’t even message people out of fear they would expect too much from me or I would let them down in some way.
This mindset was not good. I knew if I wanted to feel better and stop moping because I had no friends, I was the one who had to do something about it. So, I did.
Honestly, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Of course, the fearful thoughts are still in the back of my mind, but I redirect my thinking to be appreciative of the experience’s life brings. Both good and bad.
If you find yourself isolating yourself from your friends or are afraid to make new ones, keep reading below.
Ways To Stop Isolating Yourself from Friendships
If you have difficulties making and keeping friends because you are afraid, this section is for you. It can be difficult to admit you are the one keeping yourself from having good, supportive, loving friendships. Here are some ways you can stop living in fear and learn how to let others in.
- Take a deep breath and just ask a friend to go to the movies (or another place) with you. When your mind is constantly giving you a thousand reasons not to do this, take a deep breath, and tell yourself you are making a change. Push through and you keep giving into your thoughts and isolating yourself from the world you are just going to continue to feel as you have been.
- Start giving random strangers compliments. If you see someone with a gorgeous pair of shoes tell them, ask them where they got them from. Most people will happily stop and chat for a few moments. This helps build confidence as well as brightens someone’s day. You never know, your compliment could have changed a bad day into something a little more positive for someone.
- Try a self-confidence workbook or a building friendships workbook. I found that it helped ease my mind doing simple workbooks to help boost my confidence as well as my knowledge. Think of this as investing in yourself.
- Join groups of like-minded people who enjoy some of the same things you do. You’ll be able to find friends who you can chat with for hours about a topic you both love.
These ideas may or may not work for you. They are what helped me stop isolating myself so I could make good supportive lifelong friends. I hope they can help someone else who struggles with making and/or keeping friends.
Always remember friendship is a two-way street. If someone is draining your energy, making you feel bad, or not a good friend in general, do not be afraid to cut them off and wish them well from a distance.
Also, make sure you are not the draining friend. I know it can be hard to admit, but sometimes we get so caught up in our own world that we forget to be there for the people who have always been there for us. It doesn’t make us a bad person, just human. We make mistakes and we learn.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this post.
All constructive criticism is more than welcomed. I am in the process of learning all I can about writing and blogging. Feel free to leave some tips and advice to help me improve the content for the readers on MCH.