I never leave the house.
I complain about how no one wants to hang out with me, about how I don’t have any friends and wish someone would reach out to me, but when that actually happens I have excuses lined up in the back of my head.
I will tell someone I cannot hang out because I have to wake up early the next morning or because I have to work that night or because I already have plans. I will tell them I’m sorry and mention how we should reschedule but I will never actually set a date for the rain check.
Meanwhile, I will tell myself the real reason I’m staying home instead of going out with them is because it’s too last minute, because I don’t have enough time to get ready, because I’m not in the mood to socialize.
I will convince myself they were only asking me out to be polite and were secretly relieved when I was unable to see them. I will trick myself into thinking I’m doing the right thing by staying home because I can get work done or get more sleep or finish the season of the show I have been binge-watching.
Of course, none of those reasons are the real reason why I choose to isolate myself. The real reason is I’m scared. I’m scared they are not going to like me. I’m scared they are going to wish they never asked to hang out with me five minutes after meeting up with me. I’m scared of looking annoying. I’m scared of leaving my comfort zone.
If I’m being completely honest with myself, I have grown used to complaining. I am used to feeling sorry for myself. I am used to feeling like I have no friends. I might not be happy this way, but I’m certainly comfortable this way.
I spend most of my time daydreaming about leaving the house. About going on road trips. About attending parties. About having friends enter my place without knocking because we are that close with each other.
But in order for that to happen I would have to make a change. I would have to put myself out there more. I would have to socialize. I would have to be brave.
I hate that I have no friends, but I also hate all of the effort I’m going to have to put in to make (and keep) friends.
I’m going to have to leave the house, even when I am in the mood to hide myself away in my bedroom. I’m going to have to text back, even when I feel like I have nothing important to say. I’m going to have to follow through on plans, even when the worry in my stomach is begging me to cancel.
I’m going to have to make a change. I’m going to have to fight through my anxiety, forget my insecurities, and decide that I am worthy of being someone’s friend. I am good enough.
I’m going to have to make a point to socialize more — but I can’t hate myself on the days when that is impossible, when I need a break from people, when I need a mental health day. I can’t forget that I am allowed to recharge. I am allowed to spend a day or two at home.