I printed out your post so I could go through it line by line. My short term memory is not very good.
Believe it or not, I can relate as this sounds like the old me. The "needing to feel loved and get attention and approval" from others. My answer for me is that I lacked attention as a child because my brother, who was born when I was seven, had a rare disease which consumed all my Mom's attention and then on top of that, she had my baby sister when she was 41, hence, I basically raised her because once again, my brother took my Mom's attention. I didn't have any resentment for him. I was just lost and alone. I was a under acheiver in grade school because of it, I reeked havoc at home, gave my parents a hard time and did anything I could for attention. My other 2 older sisters had their own lives and eventually married. My mom had my sister 10 months shy of my oldest sister having my nephew making my sister, now 41 to mine and her nephew less than a year younger than her.
Your question for loving yourself means that you are lacking something in your life as I was and still am. Do you feel lost, absent, unloved, lacking attention, lacking friends, not enough attention from other family members? I did too and I stopped talking about myself to them in family functions. I had the need to be the center of attention at all family dinners and such. I was the "class clown" and there for everyone's amusement. Trouble is, as the saying goes, "laughing on the outside and crying on the inside". I was so busy trying to get attention that I forgot to give it all to my X husband and girls who are now grown and turned out great. They got 70% and I got 30%.
Your current friends may see you as a "drag" because perhaps you "dote" on yourself or talk about yourself too much. You may want to shift your conversations from yourself to them. After all, they have lives too and I'm sure need someone to listen to them instead of you "overflowing" onto them. They are most likely sick of hearing your gripes and complaints. (this was me) We all need to have people and loved one's around us at times, but the aforementioned still applies to that question. Shift the subject to them. Stop the "why me" syndrome. (me)
Negative sentences will not get you friends. I am referring to the last few lines stating "I guess I am looking for answers and will probably NEVER find them here. That is a negative. Instead of the "glass is half empty" try the "glass is half full" thing. You need to turn things around. Remember action causes reaction. What about me? Well I have 3 sisters that don't know I exist, my Mom is 84 and loves me and we are close. As for my brother? He dies one week before his 18th birthday. My husband does everything for me after 23 yrs of marriage as I am ill, (Lupus), my daughters have 5 kids between them, beautiful and healthy, they don't talk to me. So, how do I handle this? They are in denial of my disease first of all. When I developed epilepsy, they really turned their backs. They profess to be christians but that's not for me to jusge as the Lord will when they get to the pearly gates. I have turned my life around and I pray a lot and never talk about myself or my problems to anyone other than my Mom, husband or mother-in-law and doctors only because they care. I guarantee if you stop the "poor me" syndrome and the "pitty parties", you will begin to acquire friends or get your old ones back. This is the best darn advice I can give you, kiddo. Take it from a veteran self-absorbed person. I know. Love yourself, think that your life can will be better. Focus on being stronger and set your sites on others and away from yourself. Seek counseling if you have to but don't waste any more time. It is way to precious. Live your days as if they are the last. Do not look back now. Only look ahead. Look for a good future and I will pray for you.
There is no such word as can't. Can't simply means wouln't. Grab as much as life as you can. Future is a long way away for those who don't believe. Don't build a foundation of life on sand. It will take it away with the tide. Love a little more, be unkind a lot less.