Don't ask me if I'm an anxious person

Both the doctor on the plane and the triage nurse asked me,
‘Are you an anxious person?’
and I bristled at the words
because, yes, I have known anxiety,
I have known a breath that would not deepen for months on end.
I have known nights of endless waking
and panic walking into rooms full of bodies I did not know.
I have known the dread each time a manager called me to their office.
This time, I knew
the finger would point squarely between my eyes
and the word ‘fraud’ would hit me hard
along with great relief that
the truth was out.
Now, perhaps, the breath would deepen and I could rest.
In my twenties I went to the doctor
and did six sessions of CBT
of which I remember nothing 
something to do with counting colours on my way to work.
‘Are you an anxious person?’
Yes, I would have told you.
Yes, I am.
I am an anxious person.
Such an anxious person.
Even when it is not there 
it lingers as an unwelcome shadow.
But then there was this discovery
when the world fell apart
and I disappeared
and I found that my great fear of being found a fraud
was true.
Except it was not Leah the person who was a fraud
but the very idea that there was a person here to be a fraud at all.
It was all one great lie
told from the beginning of time
and believed with such wholehearted innocence
that every movement of life
became the story of who I am.
The breath comes shallow sometimes still
and familiar sensations arise
But if you ask if I am an anxious person
I will answer, ‘No’
because you have got it wrong.
Anxiety is not who I am
But it has sometimes appeared in what I am
and it is welcome in my home.
I bristle at your words
because they sound the great lie of our world
And in this lie
so many suffer
thinking they are something 
they are not
and never were.

Love and courage,