I have lost contact with an old friend, for no particularly good reason--I like this friend a lot, but I just never got motivated enough to call or write. My friend sent a couple emails, and I didn't reply to them. I kept meaning to write back, but I never got around to it, and now several months have gone by and I feel really guilty about it. It's especially hard for me to write back now because of the guilt, and because I don't know how to explain why I didn't write back before. This has gone on for several months and is only getting worse.
I feel like it takes a huge amount of energy to stay in contact with people, even when I like them. The longer I wait to reply, the harder it gets, until it seems nearly impossible. Yes, I know this is beyond normal behavior even for an introvert and procrastinator, but I don't think I can explain it any better. (If it helps, I'm a little like the author of this question
, but she might not make sense either.)
Another factor to consider is that even when I manage to overcome my inertia and talk to one of my far-away friends, I don't necessarily manage to do it for another. This is just because I find it easier to keep in touch with some people than with others, and because some are more understanding than others of my not communicating (which has never gotten this bad before).
(TL;DR details: I was recently visited by another friend that I do talk to, who had stopped by friend #1's workplace. Friend #1 wondered what had happened to me, and Friend #2 felt awkward for having been in contact with me when I was ignoring Friend #1. I also feel awkward about emailing Friend #1 and claiming my behavior was nothing personal, when in fact I wasn't ignoring other people.)
I really want to email my friend. Unless my friend is extremely angry at me, which I doubt, it's worth whatever unpleasantness I'll have to endure; I just want to minimize that unpleasantness as much as I can. (I already know it's my fault and I deserve it, so please don't rub it in.) What should I say? Should I try to be honest even though it won't make sense? Should I lie? (I think there are times when a white lie really is better than the truth, but what lie would work here?) If your friend emailed you after a long disappearance, what could (s)he say that would minimize your negative reaction?
One final note: please do NOT say things like "just say what you said here, because anyone who's REALLY your friend will understand." Real people aren't perfect like this, and I'm not sure I'd even want friends who are endlessly forgiving.)
Thanks for reading!