How do I get over my best friend rejecting me?

I've been in love with one of my friends for the past three years. I found out she didn't feel the same way about me after I sent her a drunken text about it. She didn't ever mention it. The trouble is she's in my close circle of friends so it's virtually impossible to avoid her. If I stopped hanging around with them they'd want to know why and I couldn't tell them. They're all so nice to me and such good friends but I feel trapped - we live in a small town and it's impossible to avoid anyone. My other friends are all couples so I never see them. The whole thing's really getting to me. I'm having panic attacks. I'm not a confident person as it is and I just feel so shy. I don't know what to do with myself. How do I move on?

It sounds as though there have been a few things that have left you feeling lonely lately. It’s a shame that this girl doesn’t return your affections – but since you sent her that drunken text message at least you know where you stand. You gave her an opportunity to respond and it may be hard to cope with, but it seems that you are not the one for her. Three years is a long time to have feelings for someone so it might help to give yourself time and space to get over it.

It’s easy to think of all the “what ifs?” but it’s important you try to look forward. Keep yourself busy – maybe spend time with smaller groups of friends that don’t include her for a while – arrange a boy’s night out for example. Having a little time apart from her and having fun without her around could help and might remind you how much you can enjoy yourself without her.

Alternatively, do you have other opportunities to go out in a different circle of friends, for instance with people at work or college? Living in a small town can be difficult but it can also give you the opportunity to get to know people well and have a good support network around you. You could also think about whether you feel able to meet new people and boost your social life. It can feel really difficult and challenging to make new friends but maybe you could explore your interests by joining a local club or you could volunteer – sharing an interest can often be the first step on the way towards a friendship. And it’s important to remember that you can spend time with other people without cutting yourself off from the mates you already have.

Panic attacks are triggered by stress and anxiety. So it’s important to try and look after yourself in every way so your stress levels are reduced. Are you taking care of yourself? Do you eat good food and get exercise, for example? What do you love to do – are you into movies, reading, walking? Are there courses or classes you’ve always wanted to do? Spending your time focusing on what you need to do for yourself will make you feel happier and give you the confidence boost you need.

While you’re going through all this it might also help to lean on your friends. You’ve got a good group of friends – is there one you feel you can confide in? Or could you talk to a trusted family member? It may help and could give your friends or family a better insight into the situation, helping them to offer you more effective support and understanding.

If you feel that you can’t talk to someone you know about how you’re feeling, No Panic is a charity that offers support to sufferers of panic attacks. You can call the confidential helpline on 0808 808 0545 from 10am-10pm. You could also speak to your local doctor (GP) about how you’ve been feeling – GPs can offer help and advice in these situations or refer you to someone else who you can speak to. If you’d like the space to simply talk through your feelings you can call SupportLine on 01708 765200.

Fundamentally, you need to remember you’re not alone. Try to take the time to think about what you want for yourself, how you want to live your life and even have a go at making a plan of small, incremental steps to make it happen for you.

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