I think we may never (know), as you say.
There are ups and downs in my social life, natural cycles I think. Changes, moves… leave friends behind (as is the case recently), take some time to find new friends and get in the swing of things. Moving back here, I’ve started to do some of the activities the group members do, often through meetup groups. They’re great - laugh club (which is free and amazingly well run by a small, awesome group of ladies), a dance meetup - also great and I don’t particularly like dancing EVER.
These groups haven’t yet given me the kinds of friends, “real friends”, but they give me a kind of social interaction which is also nice.
I’m trying to look at what I have access to right now rather than what I left behind. If I compare the two, I wouldn’t be happy. I left behind a group of solid best friends. But there’s reasons I did so. We certainly keep in touch.
Take some time off, I suggest. Keep in touch with your current group members. This doesn’t have to be over-bearing, but nice and polite. Do some activities for yourself. Do something even if you don’t feel like it because I think you need it, as I need it here. Try some different groups out. You’ll be at some point later which you may not expect, especially if you try some new things. Mostly we know where we’ll end up if we try nothing. …And when you’re in this new place, let’s see if you want to start a group up again, maybe even in a different way. Maybe you can become a one-on-one coach, or something different.
I don’t understand it myself because in my mind, there’s clear support, and my personal history, with using a certain thing and a certain way to overcome social anxiety. Now that I believe in this, I see it as the most direct route. I’m mostly not bothered with trying to find other creative ways which would take longer for most people. But people come in all stripes and even these posts here show people looking and searching for different ways to tackle this problem - life coaches, phone counseling, the list never ends. When you get to that point later, maybe you adjust how you’re reaching out to people in some way like this.
Just my thoughts, as always. I really don’t know more than you do. I do know it is very tough to help people with social anxiety. It’s like trying to run a program that encourages people to amputate their own limb to save the body. It’s a very “hard sell” even when the person knows it is the right way to go. As we progress towards putting the knife to the skin, we lose people. But we lose them before they ever see that there never was a knife. That’s what they imagined the whole time despite the information out there and the help we try to provide.
And to cut short my strange chapter additions, I’ll leave it there too… I hope we both have a great week!