So recently I've been dealing with loneliness issues and the isolation as a result of current circumstances hasn't been helping.
I've just recently turned 23 and I've lost a lot of close friends in an online social circle that I had. I made a drastic mistake and a lot of people I knew have turned their backs on me, telling me I need "serious help" and the people that did stick by me don't talk to me the same way anymore. It's like they're actively trying to avoid talking to me, they won't start a conversation with me anymore and will only talk if I talk first but they seem completely disinterested and only trying to be nice for the sake of it. The entire incident has negatively impacted my mental health and I don't feel like I can function normally anymore. I've made plenty of mistakes throughout my life but this feels like the worst one yet, those friends shared a lot of my niche interests and seemed genuinely interested in me as a friend and a person. To lose them like that just feels like a huge punch to the gut.
I've been trying to find new friends to fill in the gap it's left behind but I've had no luck in any online social communities or even dating sites. Real life friends would be better for me but they're a lot harder for me to find than online friends since I am mostly introverted and it's not like I can go out anywhere right now anyway.
Bottom line is: I just really want friends. Friends who become close friends that stick by me and who I can regularly hang out with to play video games together and share a good laugh and maybe even meet physically if distance allows, but I have no idea how that's going to happen and I lose hope every day trying. I just feel lonely and hated and it's quickly getting to the point where it feels like my efforts are hopeless.
Is there anyone out there who could be a friend like this or just offer some advice?
Have you tried to break the awkwardness with those who stayed in touch with you b humour and signal to them somehow that you understood your mistake and won't repeat it?
Yes, but it hasn't really had any effect. They even mentioned there's no way that mistake can be erased from their mind now that it's happened. It's the type of mistake that isn't so much about doing it again, but rather doing it in the first place. The unforgivable kind.
Cutting ties and starting from scratch is not such a bad idea as if they abandoned you so easily they weren't real friends anyway. Don't castigate yourself. Just take a step back and think. There are no absolutes in the world. It is unlikely that everyone hates you , think about it. It is certainly an exaggeration. It is also unlikely people hate you. This is such a high energy emotion. Cheer up.