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Bouncing back from depression

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About five years ago, major depression hit me like a fucking train. I ended up totally isolating myself and cutting off contact from my friends, spent six months in a psych ward, and two years in therapy.

I finally quit taking meds last year, and am starting to feel like a real person again. My question is: how do I bounce back? I want to get in touch with my old friends from highschool and college, but I have no idea what to say to them. It's been so long. I almost don't want them to see how I turned out.

Basically, I want to start engaging with people, but I have no idea how. My social skills reset back to zero, and most social situations I've ended up in recently have been horrifically awkward, and I think most people think I'm a bit of a weirdo because of this. Talking to people used to be effortless - I was honestly pretty popular, but my brain turned against me, and years later, all of that has gone now. I feel like a different person now, and I don't know what to do.

How do I start acting like a real person again, and how do I get in touch with my old friends?
I don't really know what to say to help you, but I think that in a way, feeling socially awkward is a good thing. I've been depressed for about a year and on meds for the last six months, I've also isolated myself and almost always end up turning down invites to hang out with my friends, but unlike you my social skills are fine, better than ever in fact, because I just don't care about the outcome. Trust me, feeling numb and like nothing around you matters or is interesting is frustrating as fuck. So if your depression is/was anything like mine, you're probably actually on the right track even if it feels hard.
Keeping an eye I this in the hope of overhearing some useful advice.
I've been of my meds for about a year now. Getting back into social interaction Isa proving very difficult for me.
I have a wife and we almost talk, kinda.
I have a friend who really helped me through the past year, and we were quite close but we've drifted a but the last couple of months (possibly because she got tired of hearing me complain).
Other than that, I'm pretty isolated.
At least I'm feeling like I SHOULD be seeking or social interaction now, which is a big change.
So, yeah. No advice from me, sorry. Just lurking.
I'm in a similar position. Maybe just pick 1 or 2 friends to get back in touch with, ones that you were closest to or that you feel would be the most understanding. Then just see how it goes.
A similar thing happened to me years ago. I used to be kinda popular as well and then depression happened and I lost all contact.

I happened to run into an old friend coincidentally and he suggested hanging out sometime, which then brought me into a bigger social circle and got me totally back on track.

I'd suggest contacting some old friends to meet up for a drink or whatever. Just meet up with a buddy, tell him as much or as little as you want about the past and enjoy the night. If you both have fun, then you'll see each other again and move on from there.
Thanks for your words. I hope things look up for you soon, man. I was definitely where you were and absolutely nothing stimulated me in any way. It's definitely worse than just feeling down, because it's just a total absence of everything which is scary as fuck.

Honestly, the best advice I can give in return, is to try and reconcile your depression. A lot of people will say to look for positives et cetera, which is VERY useful and essential, but positive thinking alone won't work. The most important thing you can do is to accept how void you feel, even when it's at its worst, and to come to terms with it and learn from it. The only way depression can pass is to not try and fight it and be rid of it, but to build on top of it. Eventually it will pushed out of the bigger picture in this way. I'm not sure if that makes sense but I hope it helps you in some way.

You're right though, feeling anxious is a good sign and I've been reassured that many times. People have said that it means I'm responding to things in a way that matters and is in my self interest, which can only be good, right?

Again, thanks for sharing your shit. Good to hear that you're married, having someone that close to talk with must be a huge help. I hope your relationship is stronger because of this.

Yeah, recognising that you want to socialise is a big, big deal. That's definitely the first step. Have you deliberately gone out to meet people since?

Thanks for the advice. I have actually been for a drink a few times with an old mate, which has gone well. Gradually the groups got larger, and I've met new people who I've gelled with slightly - which has been helpful for sure - but I'm not certain if it will lead to anything for now. He suggested going to a music festival with them in the summer, which I hope will cement something permanent if I feel up to it.

Great to hear that a similar thing worked for you!
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