My problem seems to be the opposite. I'm avoiding others in my life, and that's not good! Now what?
Unfortunately Cheri, unless you have a very dedicated, diplomatic and persistent friend or relative who simply won't accept your distancing actions, eventually, you're going to be pretty lonely. Most people won't push too hard if you indicate a lack of interest or desire to socialize with them. They'll simply 'cross you off their list' of available friends and move on to other people they want to socialize with. They'll tell others that "it's too bad Cheri has gotten so anti-social"
, and acquaintances will nod their assent and mummer "she's been through so much"
. Then they'll move on to other subjects. Anyone who is really concerned about you will hope you 'come out of it' but at some point, they'll just let you withdraw and accept that as your right. The reality is that everyone has their own problems and can't or won't spend a lot of time trying to draw out someone - even someone they like and care about - who doesn't seem to want to socialize anymore.
You know withdrawing isn't emotionally healthy. What to do? Well, it's pretty much on you, Cheri. Frankly, you
have to make the first move. It doesn't have to be attending an 'event', like a party or big family dinner. Inviting a good friend that you know cares about you for a 'cup of coffee' (and some sharing on your part) is a good start. This can be done at a coffee house, restaurant or in your kitchen, where you might feel more comfortable. You can keep it light and short or stretch the 'cup of coffee' out to as long as the friend can stay and talk. The telephone is always a good tool to stay in touch. My wife uses it to great advantage when she doesn't feel like going out too see people. E-mail works, too. At least as a start. You can use the phone or e-mail to re-establish a connection to a friend or favorite relative and perhaps plan a low-key 'outing', like shopping or lunch. The point is that you
have to reach out. Whether or not those you reach out to, respond, is up to them. Don't set unrealistic expectations and you stand less chance of being disappointed. Remember - everyone
has their own problems they're dealing with. Of course, doing volunteer work (charity, church, school, arts center,, an AN support group, etc) is a great way to get out, meet folks with a shared interest and take your mind off of yourself for awhile, which we all need to do sometimes, no matter our situation. As you noted, avoiding other people in your life is never a good idea.
I don't mean to be presumptuous, Cheri. I'm no councilor and I have no idea if anything I've offered is even feasible for you or germane to your situation. Just a few practical thoughts that I wanted to send your way, Cheri. You seem like a vibrant person and I was dismayed to see you post that you're avoiding others in your life. I anticipate you changing that, soon. Of course, you have to take the first step. I hope you do. Jim