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I reached out a few weeks back and apologized for seeming to disappear for several months. I’ve been so depressed this past year that I kind of shut down, ultimately neglecting most of my social connections.

I mentioned that I always felt unwanted because no one invites me – I always end up doing the inviting. I figured people would reach out, especially after what I was going through, but the burden of contact always fell back on me.

You mentioned you never invite me because you assume I’d say no – I’d want to remain in my own safe place. Am I such a hermit people simply skip over offering me a chance to get out? How did I end up like this?

It’s always been this empty cycle – I convince myself I bother people and stop contacting them as much, and then they don’t contact me because they’re used to me being the one to reach out. Then I start believing I was right, that I am a bother, and they’ll be happier without me. I have lost so many friends through simple silence.

Am I a colder person than I realize? I want to belong. I want to feel like people enjoy spending time with me. What signals do I keep sending that suggest I don’t want to be included?

I might as well stay inside. At least I can’t be disappointed if I shut everyone else out.

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