Ask The Therapist: My friends have left town, how do I cope?
Although it's not the same as seeing each other in person, it is possible to maintain meaningful relationships, thanks to the various communication platforms.
As someone who is staying in Dubai and has painstakingly built a life and a social circle, I want to confess that the pandemic has caused a major disruption to my social circle. A majority of my friends lost their livelihood. And they have had to leave the country. As I'm growing older, I find myself getting more and more reluctant to make new friendships. How do I deal with this kind of loss? - Kruttika Kallury
Dubai has offered many expats an opportunity to secure work, but leaving your familiar homeland, family, and friends is a real challenge. You seem to have been able to meet that challenge through the tremendous effort you have put into your work as well as building a supportive network of friends. It must be so difficult to see most of your friends lose their jobs and having to say goodbye. I can only imagine how sad and lonely this loss makes you feel.
As difficult as it might be, it is important for you to build new friendships, because people need a good social circle to enjoy better mental and physical health. Like you already know, it will take effort, but it will be well worth it and important to your wellbeing. You've done this before and you can do it again.
Your friends that have left will still be your friends. Although it's not the same as seeing each other in person, it is possible to maintain meaningful relationships, thanks to the various communication platforms.
Thanks to science and research, we do expect to be able to manage Covid-19 in the very near future. With that, there will be an economic recovery and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised that some of your old friends will return and become part of your expanded circle of new friends.
Dr Schonder is an integrated psychotherapist