I am not a person who makes friends easily. I like to consider myself a friendly person, but trust does not come easily to me. Trust is problem I generally struggle with, but is especially difficult for me right now. I tell you this because I want you to know and understand that if I’m a little stand-offish when you try to talk to me, or invite me to things it’s because I don’t know how much, if anything to tell you. Everyday I struggle to answer the most basic of questions like “How are you doing?” and “What are you up to?”. I never know how to answer those kinds of questions and dread the inevitability of them. How much should I say? How comfortable am I with you to answer honestly? Do I feel emotionally up to answering any potential follow-up questions to a more detailed and honest answer? How much do you really want to know? Were you asking because you are sincerely interested or were you asking the question merely out of habit or to be nice? If you ask me a question like that by text (which is usually the best and most reliable way to get in touch with me) chances are you will not get an answer for an extended period of time while I struggle to figure out what to say. If you ask me that question in person or over the phone chances are you will either get a very brief and vague answer like “I’ve been better.” or I will lie and tell you that I am ok when the truth is that even on a ‘good’ day I am the furthest thing from ok that a person can be.
Please don’t take this behavior personally. It is more a reflection of how I am feeling and dealing with everything than it is anything else. I appreciate your attempts to include and involve me, I really do, but everything that is going on has just magnified all my awkward social behaviors and makes me more self-conscious than I ever was before. Unfortunately I believe that it will take me years before this starts to subside, but if you really are interested in being my friend and can be patient and understanding then I will try to, at least occasionally, step outside my shell and respond in kind.