It's no secret that body art is as big a mode of self-expression as writing a book, singing a song, or painting a picture.
It's also no secret that tons of people struggle with mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and self-harm.
Some are written reminders that no matter what, everything will be OK.
I'd wanted it FOREVER but got it senior year of college after the hardest, most depressed term i'd had my whole time there.
Others are simple, minimalist symbols.
I've fought really hard with my eating disorder/depression for about 15 years, now. Some days I would wake up and hate myself so much that I couldn't even see the point of living; I've attempted suicide three separate times, the first time when I was 12. This year when I turned 22 I made the decision to seek help and recovery for something that was killing me. Everyone thinks it's because I'm a huge Harry Potter fan (and I am), but I got this tattoo because the person who possesses the three Deathly Hallows is said to be the 'Master of Death', so it's a reminder to myself that I mastered something that was killing me, and I can't let something take my life away anymore. My sister is the only one who knows what it really means to me.
Others are elaborate, intricate designs.
I have bipolar II disorder, ptsd and severe anxiety. I was diagnosed in 2006. I had been navigating without medication or therapy since 2009. I got this tattoo Summer 2014. When I first saw the image a wave of calm came over me. There was just the strangest connection that I've had to an image. Having suffered from anxiety, knowingly and unknowingly, since I was at least 15, to feel that kind of peace and stillness was frightening. But it also made me hopeful. It made me remember that there is life on the other side of the illness. It doesn't have to be struggle and pain and regret and wishing you didn't exist. In September 2014 I almost died. I felt a weariness in my soul and I frankly felt tired of constantly fighting for one more day. In September 2014 I committed myself to the psychiatric ward. In September 2014 i recommitted myself to my mental wellness. I've since resumed treatment and I'm living on the other side of the illness. It will always require conscious effort to be well but I'm hopeful and I believe in that wellness again.
But they all have beautiful, moving stories behind them.
This is a Hand of Miriam with a bagua (Daoist mirror) and evil eye in it. They're all protective symbols from parts of my heritage. When I was sick, I felt possessed, not myself. This tattoo reminds me of my spiritual victory over my mind and how I am protected now. Once i finally felt free, i got it. :)
In 2013 after escaping an abusive relationship and conquering the depression that stemmed from that relationship, I decided to get this tattoo. Carpe diem: "seize the day." A lot of people tried to discourage me from getting it, because it's a common tattoo and seemingly cliche, but it resonated with me, and when I look in the mirror, I am reminded to make the most of each day to the best of my ability, to appreciate everything I do have as opposed to what I don't have yet, to appreciate my freedom, to try & love myself more each day and not dwell on my painful past experiences. It reminds me to keep fighting on days where I am depressed.