themighty logo

For the People Who Call Me an 'Attention Seeker'


Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

It’s cold and dark. I’ve just heaved myself up my stairs and flumped onto my bed, where I have developed a habit of staring at the ceiling for three hours and contemplating my existence.

School has been pushing me to the limits lately. It seems the teachers aren’t really invested in my education and my classmates just want to watch me burn. I have friends, I think, but I can’t really talk to them — they don’t understand. I’ve been seeing this boy lately and I really like him, but I don’t think he likes me. We fight a lot. I know we are together but I have never felt more alone. I can’t tell if this is in my head or if I will be single by the end of the week. Maybe I should just send a text and end it right now.

My parents are asleep now, so I’ve snuck downstairs and got a large glass of my mother’s boxed wine, I hope she doesn’t notice. I sip on the glass while scrolling through the internet, searching for answers, looking for a sign it will all be OK. It feels like the world is against me. One glass turns into three and now I don’t feel right; my head is detached from my body, but I quite like it. I look at my window and think about what would happen if I attempted suicide. My parents don’t like it when they catch me sitting on my window sill, but it makes me feel powerful like I hold my life in the balance.

My thoughts won’t shut up. I’ve not slept in days. I feel heated. I need answers to all of my questions. I decide to text my friends and my boyfriend. I aggressively attack them with the words that once hurt me. I want them to know how they made me feel, but most of all, I want them to tell me it’s OK, that they love me. I make things worse like I always do. I throw my phone against the wall. I’m not going to make it; I don’t think I can do this anymore. I pull out my pens and paper from my school bag. I start scribbling letters to everyone I love and everyone I hate.

I don’t want to hurt them; I don’t want to make them feel bad, but I need them to understand… just in case. I finish the letter to my dad, my eyes so full of tears that I can’t see. I hope he knows how much I love him. I hope he doesn’t hate me. I just don’t want to leave him with nothing. I want to give him something permanent, so he knows this isn’t his fault. I seal the wad of letters and tuck them underneath the mattress and between a beam for support.

I think they’ll be safe. I don’t know if they’ll find them if they need to, but I can’t risk anyone seeing them while I am alive. I don’t want that conversation, I can’t deal with knowing I could burden them with my pain. I’m ready to say goodbye.

But I didn’t; this memory is how I felt six years ago. I ended up choosing to stay; no one ever saw those letters other than myself. I think I just lost it one day and ripped them up. You see, when I wrote these letters, I just wanted a chance to explain myself without causing problems for anyone else. I didn’t want people to feel responsible for keeping me alive.

Today, I get called an attention seeker because I talk about my past self-harm and my suicidal thoughts because I remember how alone I felt back then and how much I needed someone who understood. So, I try to be that someone. But the thing is, I kept these letters for years and no one knew. I battled a few suicide attempts alone and dealt with all my pain in the dark of my room.

The last thing I ever wanted was attention — I still don’t — but what I want is to live in a world where I feel safe, just like we all do.