welcome to beyond blue.
I found that negative thoughts get into a downward spiral and that is all I think about. Of course it can be hard to get out of that spiral, and I have tools for that as well.
And if you and your partner are both tired, then talking might not be something you want to do. It can be like that for me. And talking about my work is not something I like to chat about.
So tell me some things that you like? Hobbies? Music? Books? TV shows you like? Or watched? What sort of videos do you watch on youtube? Tell me something about your job?
I am getting better at talking to people. But if they are a total stranger then very difficult to have a conversation. With that said, I was "somewhere" and I kid asked me "Do you like the AFL?" and that started a brief conversation with that child about teams and players and results etc. Sometime you wish you were like that child - not afraid to blurt out a question. I would like to say that it means asking open questions, but that is easier said that done.
There are also web pages on conversation starters you could look at - questions like "would you rather be stuck in a lift with .... or .....?"
PS. Congrats for being clean now. But that self-aware thing I am familiar with as well, and no drugs ever here. That you have recognised it, you can start to work towards some sort of the resolution. But it takes time. I nearly forgot, there is also a talk on youtube where a guy was talking about rejection and then for the next 100 days asked people if he could do something. A bit different to your situation, but this person had to put himself there, and being vulnerable.