"Do you have the time, to listen to me whine--about nothing and everything all at once?"

Did you know according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the third leading cause of death among individuals from age ten to about age twenty-four? In addition, fifty percent of mental illness begins by age fourteen and seventy-five percent by the age of 24.

For me, my biggest obstacle is getting out of my head. It takes just a little gesture or small innocent comment to send my anxious thoughts on a frenzy. Some of the most common symptoms are: feeling nervous, restless, or tense; trembling, sweating, and difficulty concentrating or thinking (Mayo Clinic). I've decided that I no longer wish to let my anxiety control my life—I still deal with my symptoms every day but I also continue daily activities of a "normal" twenty-two-year-old.

The wheels in my brain are always spinning. Just as soon as I think I've calmed myself down I'll remember something I was worrying about, a text exchange for example. Why aren't they answering my texts? Did I say something to make them mad? When in all reality they are just busy living their lives. Tip: If you know someone is dealing with anxiety; reassurance is one of the biggest alleviators of anxious thought.

I've been a people pleaser basically my entire life. I make things personal that don't need to be made personal. Anxiety finds your insecurities and feeds off of it. For me, it's a balance between recharging my batteries to making sure I'm not sitting and dwelling on nonsensical things. Let me tell you, anxiety is absolutely exhausting. On the days my anxiety has gotten the best of me I must decline invitations to be social, even though I know it might help boost my mood.

I am happy to see mental illness being brought up in the news. Mental illness has always had a negative stigma. Our society has reinforced this stigma time and time again. I find a little bit of relief after the suicide of Kate Spade. If someone as high profile as Kate Spade can battle with mental health and substance abuse issues—why is it unacceptable for a normal person like you or me to share their stories?

I will never stop talking about mental illness. My anxiety is only a piece of me, it does not define me. Most importantly, it does not define me because I do not allow it to define who I am. Yes, some of my personality traits coincide with my anxiety but it's who makes me who I am. I'm sorry if this upsets people but I've learned self-love and self-care are SO important and not just a person dealing with a medical condition like anxiety.

Ask me questions about my anxiety. Ask me how you can help me feel better during an anxiety state. Remind me that I'm a bright, sweet, and caring young woman destined to do great in the world. It may seem silly to you—but it's very important to me.