Dear Aunt B,
A while ago I went through a bit of a rough patch, I withdrew myself from my
friends and stopped going out with them. I felt very depressed and I don't know why.
Now i'm feeling so much better and I just wanted things to go back to normal with my
friends but it didn't. I have no close friends anymore and i feel stupid trying to
talk to people who have no interest in me. They're not outright mean but they never
invite me to go out anywhere and I feel pathetic asking if I can come. I feel like I have lost so
much of myself and i don't know what to do. I've tried making other friends but
its my final year at school and everyone has their own friendships.Its just really hard because
I have no one to talk to at all. What do you think i should do?
First I would like to tell you how glad I am that you have kicked your depression down, and are feeling better. That is no small feat, and you should really look at that as a huge accomplishment. Many people go through their whole lives trying to do this. And though I am going to ask you to do the leg work of repair after being drawn into depression, know that it doesn’t make you a weaker individual or a lesser person for treating your friends the way you have. This is common in depression, and the bottom line is, you are healing your mind and emotions, now its time to mend some fences too.
It’s hard for a person to come to terms with actions you have made without explanation, so that being said, I would talk to whomever I thought was my closest friend in that bunch, and explain to them what happened. Explanations are hard to do, and may seem embarrassing, but it is worth it to regain a friendship. Friendships are a two way street of trust and understanding, and if you don’t feel you can trust a person and they won’t understand... well either you aren’t that great of friends or you are scared for someone to know you. Figuring that out can be tough sometimes, but more often than not, it’s already a feeling you have. It is difficult to return back to “normal” once you have withdrawn and isolated yourself. Your friends are only human and likely felt hurt and just like you do now, feeling pathetic thinking you don’t care to do anything with them.
People are generally more open and understanding once they do not feel like they are on the defensive. And that is how a person feels once being shunned or ignored. They are likely wondering what they did wrong and can’t figure out why you dislike them so much. So now, this turn of events with you coming back into their lives has probably throw them off, setting a warning flag. I know I would be wondering what was going on, and what you wanted if you stopped talking to me all together and then just wanted to start talking again.
So, the advice is simple, but hard. You should tell your friend(s) your situation, take responsibility for being withdrawn and shut down to them, apologize and ask for forgiveness. Not an easy task, but well worth the reward; friendship.
Wishing You Strength & Courage,