I am, my anxiety. The never-ending fluttering machine that is my heart, the elephant sitting on my chest, the awkward silences because I've gone mute, and the feeling that everyone is watching me or judging me everywhere I go. This is me.
I am, my depression. The periods of time, sometimes weeks, sometimes months, of being motivationless; the weight of everyday tasks and stresses weighing me down like an anchor. I am the inevitable sigh I release when I walk past a mirror or when 'everyone' on social media seems to have their shit together but I.
I am, my cigarette addiction. Used to combat the previous two, but another 'disorder' or struggle of its own which hands me another label to wear. I am the sinking feeling I get at work or in class when it's been one hour too many. I am, the pathetic release each exhale of smoke brings me.
I am, my OCD. The perfectionism that drives me to spend hours on projects or assignments I could have finished in ten minutes, the earth-shattering feeling that overtakes me because I accidentally colored outside of the lines, and never knowing what it's like to actually be content with something I do. I am, detail-obsession.
I am, dermatillomania. The overwhelming need and urge to pick at and scratch any scab, bump, cuticle, or infected hair my fingers come across; the obsession that any imperfection must be scratched away; the unexplainable need to do this, regardless of the long sleeves I wear to hide it or missing out on pools or beaches for multiple summers in a row. This is me.
I am, misophonia. The overwhelming desire to punch someone in the face, or scream, because the sound of their chewing sends shivers up my spine; worse than any scratch on a chalkboard or scrape of cardboard. Any smack, jaw-pop or finger-linking, and I'm trying to force myself from irrationally leaving the table.
Or — I am none of these things at all.
Maybe, just maybe, these labels do not define who I am.