How Seeking Drama Can Become an Addiction and How To Heal Yourself

Posted by on November 18, 2017 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living with 0 Comments

By Vironika Tugaleva | Tiny Buddha


I’ve done a lot of things for attention that I’m not proud of. I’ve created drama. I’ve bragged. I’ve exaggerated. I’ve hurt people. I’ve hurt myself. I’ve lied and lied and lied.

No one wants to be labeled as an “attention seeker.” When people say, “She’s just doing it for attention,” they don’t mean it as a compliment. I knew this. And I knew that people said these things about me.

And still, I couldn’t stop.

I spend a lot of time around animals, especially cats. It’s easy to see which ones have experienced starvation. They have constant anxiety about food. They meow and meow when it’s feeding time. They scarf their portions down without breathing. If the bowl is left full, they’ll eat whatever’s there—even if it’s a week’s worth of food!

I was that cat with attention. I could never get enough.

But compulsive behaviors aren’t about what we’re consuming. Attention seeking isn’t about attention. Food addiction isn’t about food. Really, it’s about control.

When you’ve been starved of something, you develop a fear of losing it. You begin to cling to every morsel of what you’re desperately afraid to live without. Survival mode.

That’s what it was like for me: constant survival mode. I felt like, at any moment, I was going to be abandoned, left alone, forgotten. I fought to be noticed. Fought to be heard. Fought to be “loved.”

But despite my constant attention-seeking efforts, I never got what I truly wanted. I never felt loved for exactly who I was because I never showed her to anyone! I showed the world the person I thought it wanted to see, and I used other people as characters in my personal drama.

So that is the biggest irony: because I was so desperately hungry for love, I couldn’t have it. Because I so deeply craved attention, I repelled people away from me. Then, these experiences reaffirmed my biggest fear: there wasn’t enough. I wasn’t enough. So I’d grasp more, cling more, lie more.

Too often, people talk about attention seeking like it’s a character flaw. I see it as an addiction.

When we’re trying to fill a love-sized hole, it doesn’t matter what we’re trying to stuff into it: drugs, money, alcohol, approval, sex. If it’s not love, it won’t truly satisfy us. We’ll keep wanting more and more.

My journey of healing my attention-seeking patterns has been long and painful. One of the most painful things has been realizing that most people weren’t reacting to me the way I thought they were.

I used to brag loudly in public, imagining people around me admiring and envying me. Now, I realize that most of them were either ignoring me or annoyed by my antics.

I used to stretch every accomplishment, imagining people respecting me. If it was two, I’d say five. If it was 100, I’d say 300. If it was one minute, I’d say an hour. Now, I realize that most people either didn’t believe me or used my lies to reinforce their own insecurities.

I used to make a tragedy out of every pain and a drama out of every inconvenience, imagining people pitying me. Now, I know that most people either felt stuck in the cloud of toxicity that surrounded me (because of their own unhealed traumas), or they avoided that cloud like the plague.

The world, I’ve discovered, isn’t quite the place I thought it was.

I was so busy talking and talking, lying and lying, that I never sat down just to listen. And that is what helped me heal: looking within myself, looking around me, and embracing reality.


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