Looking for Attention

The story of Eva Mitchell’s life... more accurately-her death. The story of mental illness. The story of coping... well mostly


1. Chapter One

If it was a physical illness with presentable bruising and scarring, not just of the mind, would the stigma be lost? Would the world take the issue seriously? I can’t help but wonder because that is all I can do. I am one girl, a weak one at that. One mind that’s too messed up to change others’ perspectives. It’s still weird for me so I understand the looks of fear or bewilderment. My mind is a river too deep for people to swim in without feeling like there are rocks tied to your feet. My heart, like a shattered windscreen after a collision, beats to its own rhythm when it feels like it. My soul so dark, you fear the creatures that hide within. It sounds poetic don’t you think? That’s because it is. That’s because I am. When nothing else seems to guide you, you learn to guide yourself. Pouring your heart out on to a piece of narrow ruled paper seems quite cliché but it works. Sometimes it works. You can’t fix a mental illness with words and paper.

I always have two sides and I have since they diagnosed me. To be more accurate, I had these two sides before any discussion but when they labelled me, I was defined as my mental illness. Hatred of that fact is not the word. I have the inner desire for company and my human security blanket while attempting to push everyone away with whatever impulse rears his ugly head. There’s one thing that everyone seems to forget, frankly I’m guilty of forgetting as well, I have Bipolar Disorder. I am not my illness. My illness it not me and therefore doesn’t define me.

Statistics. Society loves to talk in them. They’re persuasive yet not exaggerated. Unbelievable that as soon as we include numbers and a percentage symbol, what we say hits home and gets absorbed. Of course it’s short lived. Just because people get teary eyed and relate does not mean they have the courage to become the minority and influence the majority. I don’t blame them. I don’t think I could stand in front of thousands of people and announce to them why they should change their beliefs because I disagreed. Well, since letters aren’t persuasive enough, 20% of people with the same disorder commit suicide, with half of all people with Bipolar disorder having attempted suicide, yet only 1/3 of sufferers receive treatment. I hate the word – sufferer. Shouldn’t we be warriors? We are surviving a beast that kills more than road accidents, more than leukaemia, more than all infectious and parasitic diseases combined in the UK. Suicide is the weak way out. Although, at times, it appears to be the most intelligent direction.

My wings flap, taking the wind in as I let myself be carried. The constant feeling of flying through the clouds with no care in the world when the emotions are positive and high. Then the switch flicks, the wheel turns and the plane approaches and I find myself skydiving alone, parachute-less and awaiting the inevitability of death. I’m getting poetic again; perhaps it’s the sleepiness taking over me again, or perhaps it’s me recycling my poems that have no other use but to remind me of how good and bad life can get. Perhaps this is a suicidal girl’s rants in her miniature notebook, locked away in the drawer, awaiting the parents search following her death to discover it. Or this is just another story told by an attention seeking, manically depressed teenage girl stuck in her own stories in her head.

Either way, I don’t want to leave anyone wondering. How did this happen to me? You can’t always determine the cause of a mental illness. Sometimes, it just happens. If I write my story, if someone was to read it, what would they think? Am I making it up to get something all girls my age desire – attention?

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