Nl14 welcome! Look at this forum as a meeting place for your lost tribe. A tribe where everyone is on individual paths but with many things in common. Hang out here and you will be amused, cuddled, liked for who you are.
Commenting on different subjects strengthens your ability to communicate. Along with commenting comes research....non of us want to appear ignorant, though I can achieve that lofty goal on many occasions, so we look up stuff, that helps us redefine or add to our knowledge.
Every minute that we can lose ourselves in our work, our family, in conversations........... is a minute that allows us to put more distance from the WTBT$ and their followers.
I'll tell you a secret........ my wife and I have been out for five decades but I can still close my eyes and remember my friends among the friends. Some also left in their own time and way but alas we lost contact. We had to start over.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
What you are feeling is true and honest as we all need meaningful social contact. After all as a JW we knew ourselves by what other JWs thought about us. When we lose that feedback it feels strange. While you have the love and support of your close family you are missing the definition from others of who you are.
So you are a mother........ find a Mom's group in your area. Your commonality is that you are all parents. My daughter-in-law joined a local Mom's group. There is always an event, birthday party, field trip. In that setting she has made many new friendships.
My wife and are are retired so we volunteer and have developed some wonderful relationships with a variety of great people. Volunteering gives back to the community at large. Find something you can support..... be it your local library or animal shelters or one of a hundred different options.
If you don't know your neighbors consider inviting everyone to a block party or backyard party at your place. We did that when we moved into a small City and really didn't know anyone. We put a flyer in everyone's door or mail box and 60 people showed up, everyone brought something to share. It was a bring something invitation. What we had in common was that we all lived close to hand....... that was enough to put everyone at ease.
We also started a New Year's Day house party. A lot of people don't go out New Years Eve...... we didn't but kinda felt we were leaving something out. Turned out a lot of folks felt the same way now we all look forward to our special day together.
So welcome to the rest of your life...use the time well.