We never see our 'friends'. This is obviously completely untrue, or at least hugely exaggerated, but I'm going to stand by the statement. We never see our friends.

When I suggest we go out and see our friends, if we get out at all, we go and see the same one or two. Or maybe three or four, or possibly including one or two who may be "our" friends, but really aren't my friends. It's as if these token outings are a salve: as if I ask because I need to see people, any people, for the good of my own mental health; and having seen one or two of them, I'll be all better. Fixed. Not so. I miss each one of my friends painfully and individually.

Of course, I can't say this. Not only would it feel like a betrayal (one friend isn't enough?) but the guilt it'd inflict would make me feel even more guilty.

Instead, I apologise to them incessantly for never coming out (though I feel I have no say in the matter), and for being crap. I apologise and bluff it off, because I'm unable to face the greater fear: that fundamentally, I'm no longer relevant to these people I still call, whether it's accurate or not, my 'friends'.