Anxiety: a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

Many people suffer from anxiety, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. For some, anxiety means getting a little bit nervous before an exam. For others, anxiety is like a dark cloud following them around day-to-day that they cannot escape. Personally, I'm an extremely anxious person. In fact, it's taken me weeks just to write this article, because my anxiety got the best of me. Thoughts and fears raced through my mind every time I went to write it. I kept on thinking, "What if people think I'm weird?" or, "What if no one can relate to what I'm saying?" and then it clicked: I am not these thoughts. I am not these fears. I am not this disorder. I am not my anxiety.

I am not the tests I've failed because I'm so anxious taking them that I've almost forgotten how to write my own name.

I am not the breaths that I cannot catch, or the tears that don't stop flowing during one of my many panic attacks.

I am not a "freak" or a "weirdo" for needing to seek counseling to learn how to better control my anxiety.

I am not the negative thoughts that run through my mind telling me that I'm not good enough.

I am not the fear that tries to control a future that I literally have no control over.

I am not this disorder. It does not define me.

I am, however, the questions on the tests that I answered correctly because I did not continuously second guess an answer that I knew was right even though my anxiety was telling me otherwise.

I am the deep breaths that I take once I realize I am not going to let my panic attack overpower me.

I am smart and I am strong for knowing when my anxiety has gotten out of hand, and when it's time to see a professional.

I am good enough.

I am brave and I can take on any challenge the future has in store for me.

I am me.

I am certainly not my anxiety.