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Not an Attention Seeker
Mental Health

Not an Attention Seeker: An Overthinker

Attention. What a word. Am I writing this article for attention? Maybe. Maybe I’m writing it in hopes that certain people will see it. All I know is that it’s therapeutic to write down one’s feelings. It helps, but it also harms.

It helps because it gets your feelings off of your chest that you may not be able to articulate with spoken word only. I find that typing out my feelings requires more thought and I somehow dive deeper into a feeling that was only at the surface to begin with.

It harms because the feelings that I reach through writing may come off to some as attention seeking, overthinking, or overbearing. Somehow people will take my writing the wrong way.

I am an overthinker. I have anxiety.  And no, it’s not just the “anxiety” word that people throw around like it means only to be nervous. It’s actual debilitating anxiety. How it frustrates me when people say they have anxiety when it’s only the twinge of nervousness one feels before an exam or entering into an interview.

An example.

Today I was alone for the majority of the day even though I could have changed that. I went to a café to get some work done, and it started there. I saw a group of my friends, good friends, sitting at a table and chatting. I did not join them as I had much work to do, yet I stayed with a strange feeling of being left out of the café invite.

Fast forward to when I got home. I was feeling a headache come on so I took a nap and woke up 2 hours later feeling disoriented. At this point, my roommates were both leaving the house and as I watched them walk away, I felt my chest tighten. Why was I not invited to go with them?

I went back to my room and began to think of all the work I had to finish still. It’s Saturday, and tomorrow is Sunday. How have I not gotten more done?! I begin to cry as I consider all the things I have not done and wonder how in the world I will even begin to complete them. I open up social media and distract myself for a little bit. An hour goes by, and then 2, and I still have not done anything. My computer is messed up. How will I get it fixed all the way in Honduras? Without my computer, I can’t work!

My thoughts continue to race…

I walk outside, and it’s already dark. I enter back into my room and begin to cry again because I feel as if I’ve wasted my day. My boyfriend messages and says he wants me to go out dancing with him. How can I go out tonight when I have so much work to do? I tell him I’m sick and I can’t make it. He says that’s fine but he’s still going anyway. My mind races around the thought of him going out dancing without me so I try to talk him into staying with me instead. I tell him I’m sad and feeling lonely, and he says he would rather stay in tonight with me anyway. What a relief.

Fast forward to 10pm. My boyfriend shows up with his other friend, and I find it strange. Why wouldn’t he come alone? I open the door and I can see he is nicely dressed with his hair slicked back. He hands me food and says he is going out. What about hanging out with me? What about spending time with me instead of going out like you said? I take the food, and push him away closing the door behind him.

I go inside and cry once more. I feel like no one cares about me. Everyone has their own lives apart from mine and no one cares to hang out with me even though I made no effort to hang out with them. Why does no one check in on me? Why does no one ask if I’m okay? I’m sad and I’m over thinking my whole day so I go back to bed and get back on social media to distract myself.

It’s now 1:30am. 3 hours have gone by since my boyfriend left, and I still have not done any new work since I left the cafe. I finish the night thinking no one cares, and then I remind myself. Yes, people do care. But at the same time, I can’t help thinking they don’t. Am I seeking attention? Maybe. I hope it’s not taken the wrong way though.

This is my anxiety.

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by erinmcc

I currently live in Cofradía, Cortés, Honduras as an English and science teacher to amazing 5th and 6th graders, and I recently made the decision to stay here another year and grow as an educator. I have a passion for dance, food, travel, and learning new languages.

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