Whichever stage of the breakup you’re on, having friends around you is absolutely crucial. Whether it’s been a day, a week, or a month, your friends (or family if you’re closer to them) will be one of your strongest support systems. Trust me on this.

If you’ve been neglecting your friends, now’s the chance to make it up to them. Don’t be embarrassed to give them a call. Don’t worry about what they’ll think of you for suddenly showing up. Everyone’s been through a breakup, we all know the drill. Chances are, they’d understand, and they’ll be there for you nonetheless. If they choose not to be there for you because they have that ‘oh-NOW-you-come-looking-for-us’ mentality, then stay away – they won’t make you feel better in any situation, breakup or otherwise.

In my case, throughout my breakup I’ve leaned on all of my friends. I’m here today because at some point, I’ve broken down in tears with suicidal thoughts and a friend came to snap me out of it. I’ve had good days because a friend and I had a good time, and I forgot about the breakup, if only for a little while. I’ve survived some difficult nights because a friend accompanied me.

They basically saved me. (Thank you to all of you, you know who you are.)

Some people think that they don’t want to be a bother, and shut people out. They decide not to tell anyone, bottle it up, and deal with it themselves. This is common, (I’ve done this myself several times, especially when the depression was bad) but it’s one of the worst things you can do.

Take a second and think about what that means. If you can’t share yourself with your friends because you think that they’ll judge you, then are they really the kind of friends you’d want to surround yourself with? Or what if they don’t judge you, but you think that they will anyway? What does that say about you?

Have faith in your friends. Be honest. Let them know how you feel. Someday, they’ll need to rely on you too.

When you allow yourself to be vulnerable with your friends, and they reciprocate, that’s when you form that human connection that gives life meaning. That connection lets you know that there is happiness beyond just being in a relationship with a significant other, and that your value and worth isn’t tied to just one person.

Of course, once you do decide to share yourself, you need to reasonably respect their boundaries. You have to realise that they can’t be as emotionally invested in your breakup as you are, and they won’t be around to hold your hand 24/7. This isn’t their fault, and it doesn’t mean they don’t care. It just means they’re human, and they have their own lives and problems to deal with too.

The funny thing is, it’s this very limitation that makes it all work out in the end. It’s a good thing that they can’t care about you that much, because friends are just supposed to be a support system anyway. They help cushion your fall, but ultimately, you have to pick yourself up. You have to be the one to eventually piece your life together. You have to start fixing your own problems and investing in yourself. As much as your friends love you, they can’t do that for you.

I’ll tell you what though – they make the process a hell of a lot easier.