In life there's lots of ups and downs. You make friends, you lose friends, time moves on and people drift apart. It's hard not to escape the reality that personal relationships are ephemeral.
I've always been the kind of person that's struggled to make close friends. It's difficult for me to open up to people, and I'm often misunderstood. People usually make bad assumptions about me or misinterpret what I'm saying or my intentions.
As a highly empathetic person, I struggle with taking things to heart where with other people they'd simply brush things off, so I think this ends up making my emotions more volatile than others, which can't help.
A few years ago (as of this post) I belonged to a nice friendship group. We got along well, played games together regularly, and met up every once in a while. This all ended abruptly though over nothing, and suddenly I had no-one to turn to other than a close friend that was unrelated to this group.
It hit me hard. Very hard. I was abandoned by people I valued and trusted. I was faced with immediate evication from one of these ex-friends I'd been living with, and my other ex-friends were ghosting me throughout, leaving me in a desperate situation to re-stabilise my life.
I managed to pull myself together and get on with everything, but the whole situation left me rattled and filled with more questions than answers. All but one of the group refused to speak to me, and the remaining person acted like nothing ever happened and refused to apologise or even acknowledge that there was anything wrong with the situation.
I read a good article recently about how you handle this situation - one of the key points I took away is to try to rise above it, and if you want to, to approach these people and if nothing else discuss it like adults. Unfortunately this didn't work for me in practice, they made it crystal clear they wanted nothing to do with me. It's hard not to fall back into that mental state I had back then, but I have at least the most important answer now, and I know now that nothing I say or do can restore those friendships I once had.
Another key point in that article was that maybe I'd interpreted the relationships with these people as something other than what it was, that maybe they'd just tolerated me rather than considering me friends the way I did them. This would make more sense given the series of events I'd experienced, and give me more answers.
One final point of that article was that it's worth evaluating what they brought to the picture. Did they add more negativity than positivity to my life? When looking back in retrospect, it's clear they brought more negativity than positivity. I'd often be put in situations with them where I'd have to compromise my own happiness to maintain my position within the group. For that reason alone I'm confident in saying I'm better off now than I was then.
I think one of the main things I miss is the feeling of belonging. I think for human beings it's important to feel part of something, kindred spirits and all that. That's something I've missed since then, but summing up everything else it's clear that overall it was detrimental for me being a part of that group.
I've learnt that friends come and go, but the ones that stick by you through thick and thin are the ones worth having. Quality over quantity. Who knows, I may end up building my own circle of friends as time goes on.