I haven't posted a real, nitty gritty, personal post in awhile. Since I have just started getting back into the swing of blogging, I have kept focused on the more fun loving, 'gushy' posts. I don't want to scare away any new followers with my sometimes brass, no limitations type of blog posts. But, between the memorial of Ashley's death (June 14th was the 3rd memorial...) and fathers day, as many of you are aware my dad walked out on my family...(read about it here) my anxiety has been through the roof. I have been on anxiety meds before, way back when I was a senior in high school, but the ones I took changed my personality. I felt slow, like the world was in fast forward motion around me and I was stuck in slow motion. I couldn't keep up. So I stopped taking them, and haven't taken any medication since. I know that I probably should, that I should go talk to a therapist after everything I have been through, and that the right medication would probably help- but my stubborn ass can't seem to accept that. I know I am strong, but for some reason I feel like my strength is only conveyed by my ability to say, "look, I have been through all of this and I don't even need help.." Which is actually pretty weak. So, last night was the third anxiety attack (major, I have minor ones more often) within the last week... and I have decided enough is enough, I need someones guidance. I am ready to seek help. I think I always feared the 'stigma' surrounding mental illness. I would be branded. People would speak of me in more saddened terms... instead of "oh MacKenzie!" it would be "aw, yeah, MacKenzie," with that look of despair. Would I be a let down to those who thought I was so strong and happy through all of my hardship? What about the people who look up to me? How would they feel? But after much thought, and I am telling you I have gone over this for quite some time now, I realize all of these reasonings are for other people. "What would THEY think..." or "what would THEY say," at the end of the day, THEY don't have to deal with the anxiety, I do. I thought I would give you a little insight on how my anxiety attacks make me feel... I want to jump out of my own skin. It is this terrible chill running over my body, leaving goosebumps from my head to my toes. My mind is racing a mile minute as if it is trying to piece together something that has a timer on it, but nothing is matching up and that time is quickly running out. I want to cry, and I try, but nothing comes out- I sit there with this unfortunate crying face, yet my eyes are completely dry. Then the shortness of breath hits me, I cannot for the life of my catch my breath. So, there I am uncomfortable from the chills, unable to contain my thoughts, barely able to take a deep breath. Then my mind starts focusing, but it is focusing on every.single.thing I have ever done 'wrong.' And I mean every little thing from the way I laughed in a situation, to the things I have said. I think of all of the ways I could have changed this 'wrong' scenario, these scenarios consist of ones from the day before all the way back to when I was 14... "well what if I said this instead.." or "what if I didn't open my mouth..." and then my mind goes on to think of the future... but never with a positive outlook, it formulates all of these potential, horrible outcomes. Its the endless "what ifs" And even if you are completely exhausted, there is no chance of going to bed. And here are those tears that were missing for awhile. So to those of you who do not have anxiety, please don't tell me "Just be happy! Just stop over thinking things.." because you have NO. IDEA. If you are facing anxiety as well, feel free to reach out to me. I would love to be someone you can talk to because I know it isn't easy. It is not easy for people to understand an illness that isn't visible or leaving you on deaths doorstep.