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by Abigail Van Buren

Job Loss Reveals Hard Truth About Who's a True Friend

DEAR ABBY: After working 15 years for the same company, I was let go last August. I have called my former co-workers/friends just to stay in touch. I don't dwell on what I'm going through; I just want to enjoy some companionship.

I have asked if they would like to meet for coffee before or after work. Only two ever seem to want to get together. It hurts, because we always shared birthdays, happy hour outings, etc. My phone rarely rings, and I am now seeing a doctor for depression.

Abby, please let your readers know that those of us who have lost their jobs are still trying to maintain relationships. It's hard enough not having a job, but it's harder realizing friends have turned their backs on you. -- FORGOTTEN IN KATY, TEXAS

DEAR FORGOTTEN: I know you're going through a difficult time, and glad that you talked to your physician about your depression. Take from this experience some valuable insight: The people who get together with you are your true friends. Those who no longer want contact may fear that unemployment is a communicable disease and were only acquaintances. And now you know who's who.