We all reach a time in our lives when we hit rock bottom. For whatever reason, everything that can go wrong has, you feel abandoned or you feel like nothing will ever get any better. Or all three.

This happened to me about two years ago and it wasn’t until I reached out to those around me that I had some hope of success and stepping out of the darkness that had surrounded me.

We all need people in our lives; it’s the human condition. We’re social creatures, on varying levels of course, but it’s always good to realize that there is always at least one person out there who will do anything for you and is always rooting for you.

Taking that to the next level, having a solid support system is key when pursuing any venture. Whether you’re going off to college, taking a job in a new state or even just getting through the day, if you don’t have anyone to support you–or you have people going against you–-it’s going to be hard to go through with anything.

So here’s how you build your support system:

First, make friends with your parents. Your twenties are a transition for them, too. They’re struggling with you being their kid still, while you’re making adult decisions and doing adult things. But, know that they’ve been in your place. As hard as it is to believe, they were once in their twenties, making all the mistakes and memories you’re making.

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While their experience may have been a little different or maybe you’re values clash, they’re still your parents. Even if you’re the most independent person on earth, which we all sometimes pretend to be, if you’re friends with your parents and all their infinite wisdom, it’s a nice comfort to know they’re only a phone call away.

Second, know who your real friends are. Trust me, it’s okay to cut harmful people out of your life. You’re in your twenties now; there’s no reason to still hold on to people that bring you down or make you feel sorry for yourself. So cut them out. You don’t need that.

Third, reach out to those who have been kind or extended a hand to you in the past. This is probably the hardest part. You try to be strong and get through it yourself, but it becomes harder and harder. But the sooner you tell someone else that you’re going through a rough patch, the sooner you’ll have someone to help you through it, especially if that someone is the kind of person who is willing to help you.

Finally, and most importantly, make friends with yourself. There are all kinds of sayings that claim you’ll get out of hard places stronger and wiser, but I think that’s only true if you come out stronger and wiser within yourself. Look at what put you into that rough spot, how low you got and what did and didn’t work to get you out of it. You are the only person you will always have a permanent connection with. If that’s out of whack, you’re whole system will be off.

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Don’t be afraid to reach for people, be it your parents, old and new friends or within yourself. Tough spots happen to all of us, if you have a solid support system, the roughness will be at least a little softer.

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