It’s Mental Health Awareness Week! This is something super close to my heart, having battled with Mental Health issues since the age of 16. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ll have read that I have battled with Anorexia, Depression, Borderline Personality Disorder and Severe Anxiety.
It’s not been an easy ride to say the least, but I have never ever given up. I want people to know that when I write about my mental health, it’s not able playing the victim for me. I want to help people going through the same thing and letting people know that there are people out there that DO understand and want to help.
My tattoos have played a significant part in my recovery. Every single one of my tattoos means something special. Yes tattoos hurt but I’ve been through far worse pain than a tattoo needle. I’d say there are 2 tattoos that I have that signify my mental health in some way or another. The first being the feather on my stomach. To me, it symbolises letting go or flying the nest. I guess you could say I’m free from what was holding me back.
The other is my lion tattoo, which is by far my favourite tattoo. It symbolises family, togetherness and most importantly courage. It’s taken a huge amount of courage to carry on from the lowest point I was at. And as much I appreciate my friends, family and boyfriend for helping me through everything, the recovery had to come from me. I still suffer from severe anxiety and have a Borderline Personality Disorder. Some days it can be hard to even get out of bed or get a bus to work. It sounds corny, but I look at my lion tattoo and it does remind me of what I’ve been through and accomplished. It does give me the strength to keep going.
Here are some other Mental Health Tattoos that I’ve seen and particularly like:
My tattoos are my story. It’s a constant reminder of what’s important to me and of where I am today. Mental Health is something that isn’t talked about enough in my opinion. People need to be aware of just how much it can affect a person’s daily life. And it’s not just about the people who have a mental illness, it’s about the people who support and witness it everyday. These are the people who live with people suffering from mental illness.
Having a mental illness doesn’t make you weak or crazy. It’s a way of seeing the world differently and more detailed and wonderful.
Do you have a mental illness? Or know someone who does? Spread the word about Mental Health Awareness, not just this week but for weeks, months and years to come!