without sounding pat, it seems like you are suffering from depression which kind of puts you in a catch 22. Your circumstances lead to feelings of depression and depression prevents you from changing those circumstances. Unfortunately people around you probably find it very difficult to deal with or even know how to help someone who is depressed, that's before even getting their head around your past and accepting you as the person you are and not what you have done. It can seem like an abyss from which you can't climb out of. I would advise that you set yourself small but manageable goals each day; like making an appointment with your GP and maybe getting some form of counselling if you don't want to go down the anti-depression route. (anti-depressants take a couple of weeks to properly start working since they usually need to have a 'build up' effect...they work on serotonin or something chemicals within the brain...) but work for some people and not others. Sometimes helpful just to kickstart you in getting your life back on track, if only as a temporary measure... your doctors right, they don't change whatever reality is yours, just maybe your perception and alleviate some of the most debilitating symptoms of depression you know? I'd say dealing with that would be your first goal, in order that you can maybe address other aspects of your life that you feel need working on. It can all seem very overwhelming when you try to undertake too much at one time. Its like setting yourself up to fail to be honest because then you feel bad for not having achieved the targets you set yourself; even though those targets may have been impossibly unrealistic at a given time. This is why I say start with baby steps and bui;d up from there. Forgive yourself and take one step at a time. You have a right to choose what you tell people too, or not as the case may be. You've paid your debt and as such, you deserve to be treated on the merits of the person you are now, not on mistakes you've made in the past and which you've paid your debt to society for. With regrds to making new driends and relationshops, yes, change can be a very scary and daunting prospect. We cling to what we know, because its familiar and familiarity often seems safe. It isnt always the best thing for us though. You've made a positive step already by reaching out to people on this forum. Thats a move in the right direction. Try not let yourself become overwhelmed by thinking about too much and dwelling on all the things you want to change and feel you can't. Instead pick one thing that you can achieve and when you've done that, choose another and another and so on. Write them down if it helps too and tick them off as you achieve them. Take time to celebrate in your achievements and don't dwell on what you think are failings. There are people out there who will support you irrespective of whatever choices you've made in the past. They will support you because of the person you are, because they care about you; they will want to be there for you as your friend. I know because I'm one of those people who chooses to support someone who everyone else has seemingly abandoned. Give people time to get to know you if needs be first, before telling them anything about your past. You don't owe people anything, they should gain your trust first as much as you have to gain theirs; its the same for any new friendship/relationship. It has to be reciprocal. Things WILL get better, they truly will if you want them to. If you are at rock bottom, there is only one way left to go and in the words of Yazz, the only way is up! Stay strong and keep fighting. Best wishes.