The attention-seeking behaviors you have described may fall under the broad category of factitious disorders. Factitious disorders are mental health conditions in which an individual pretends as though he or she has a physical or mental illness. Individuals with these disorders have a strong desire to be seen as injured or ill. They deliberately create a set of symptoms to gain attention and sympathy from others. Individuals with factitious disorders might create symptoms that do not exist or lie about their experiences. They may also seek out diagnoses or insist that they have an illness.
In your case, you have not feigned a physical ailment or a mental health condition but doing so has crossed your mind. You have considered acts of self-destruction (i.e. cocaine or heroin) to gain attention or sympathy. Your characterization of being “addicted” to attention and sympathy may be accurate.
The main problem, from my perspective, is your unwillingness to tell your therapist the truth. The therapist cannot assist you if he or she does not know that a problem exists.
You stated that “it’s time for me…to get my life in order.” To achieve that, an important step is being honest with your therapist. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You should not blame yourself for something that you can’t change. Your desire for attention is a symptom of a problem. It is not a sign that you are a “bad person.” The problem is correctable with therapy, if you are willing.
What I find encouraging about your situation is your level of insight. Your insight is a sign of intelligence. Share your insights with your therapist and use your intelligence to get the help that you want and deserve. I wish you the best. Write again if you have further questions. Take care.