This is the Groundhog Day feedback loop I get stuck in:
Step 1: Depression tells me I’m worthless and nobody wants anything to do with me.
Step 2: I withdraw.
Step 3: I see that nobody is around me.
Step 4: This reinforces the depression-based observation from Step 1, returning me to the beginning of the loop.
I don’t know if my depression got stronger as I got older, or if breaking this cycle got harder.
Someone craving external validation that others see value in them is easier to push aside when things like school and shared activities surround you with people on most days.
Not every day would be great, but I was more likely to bounce off others and get some positive feedback to keep that cycle from completing.
It was easier to interrupt the cycle at Step 3.
Now that’s not as much of an option.
But those things don’t always interrupt the cycle at Step 1.
Which isn’t to say I plan to give up on them.
But I need to start thinking about how to interrupt the process at Step 2 and put myself more out into the world.