I'm stuck and can't communicate
So I've had severe social anxiety for quite some time. I have a small group of friends that have stuck by me. I'm in danger of losing them because I have such a hard time keeping in touch. I have a hard time communicating. It's pathetic. Even a simple message seems impossible to respond to. I don't know what to say or how to say it and I get so afraid of saying anything that I say nothing at all.
The longer I go without contacting them the harder it is to start again. I literally went half a year without talking to them. Not much of a friend I'll say. I really want to talk to them again. I've let them down so many times though. I can't seem to do it. I need someone to initiate for me and I can go from there but until then...
So sorry to hear you're struggling with this. It's a common theme for those of us with anxiety issues, I'm sure. I know I've struggled and failed for years. All I can say is this: you don't need as many people in your life as most would like you to believe. I know because I have my husband and two very dear friends. That's it. And I'm so very good with that. I don't have the energy to maintain relationships beyond that, and I no longer beat myself up about it. That said, I take frequent breaks from them all. Even my husband - who's amazingly supportive and understanding, btw. I just tell them that's what's happening, instead of leaving them wondering. I don't make plans. I can rarely keep them and that's incredibly unfair. I reach out on the days I can, and recharge on the days I can't. Sometimes the "breaks" last a few days, other times they last a few weeks, if not months. They know I always appreciate hearing from them, and there is no pressure for me to respond in any particular time frame. If someone doesn't understand or support your request for these breaks, where you're allowed to focus on yourself and not much of anyone else, doesn't really care about you, and you won't genuinely miss those people anyway. Nor will they miss you. That's not a bad thing, and it doesn't make any of you bad people. Being honest about what you're capable of, and more importantly - what you're not - is incredibly powerful in close relationships. Just talk to them. Tell them the time between visits is no reflection on how you feel about them, nor the importance of their roles in your life. If you can have a few difficult but honest conversations with those that matter most to you, you'll be so much happier, and feeling much less guilty.
Hope that helps. Hugs!
Social anxiety is not your fault, but you can resolve it. There are techniques and skills you can learn in therapy to help you through this (e.g. meditation, CBT etc), it's a matter of learning and practicing them, just like you would in any other class you take. If you can, look up and email a therapist who specializes in social anxiety skills to help teach you these skills. Therapy is very, very commonplace these days, and around one in every three people go to get advice. In basically every country, therapy is 100% confidential and the information cannot legally be shared with employers, other people etc. Good luck!