true confession: i never thought i’d get a tattoo.
i got a bracelet with the infinity symbol on it one week before i got sick (which i never thought would happen either). never say never. through every day of this most difficult time, i have worn the bracelet. i decided to get it tattooed on my wrist in honor of my journey and the people who have been part of it.
i got it for my dad, for johnny keaney, natalie fuller and the 41,000+ people who lose their fight with mental illness every year. i got it to remember that suicide isn’t selfish – it’s an act of unspeakable pain.
i got it for my husband. for my mom and my sister and friends who are family. for the thousands of people who support loved ones living with mental illness. my family has truly loved me through it.
i got it for the one in four american adults who will suffer from a mental health problem in any given year. i am one of them. maybe you are too. i got it as a reminder that mental illness isn’t anyone’s fault and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. depression and anxiety are real illnesses – not character flaws.
i got it for anyone who has been the victim of mental health stigma. for anyone who has been made to feel that they are weird, crazy, different, damaged or worthless because of who they are or an illness they have.
and most of all, i got it for myself. because i was brave enough to keep going. and i’m strong enough to start over. because each time i said “i can’t” i did and now here i am: a survivor in body, mind and spirit.
i can recover infinity. i can love infinity. i can live infinity.