Living with depression is a daily struggle. Some days, washing your hair feels like a task of Sisyphean proportions. On the rare evenings you can push yourself to go out with friends, you find that you've mastered fake normalcy, and no one can tell anything is wrong. Consider Robin Williams — the comedic actor fought with depression until he tragically took his own life in 2014, and only his inner circle knew about this battle.
Instead of hiding her diagnosis, 20-year-old student Bekah Miles is bravely sharing her depression with the world via her new tattoo, which she hopes will start a conversation about mental illness. "When everyone else sees it, they see 'I'm fine,' but from my viewpoint, it reads 'save me,'" Bekah explained to her Facebook friends. "To me, it means that others see this person that seems OK, but, in reality, is not OK at all. It reminds me that people who may appear happy, may be at battle with themselves."
The psychology major said that the prominent location of her new ink (the front of her leg) will force her to talk to others about her struggle. "You'd be surprised by how many people YOU know that struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness," she stated. "I may only be one person, but one can save another . . . and that's all I could really ask for."
Bekah's isn't the first ink that's raised awareness about the struggle of depressive disorders. The recently viral semicolon tattoo movement is another design that is seeking to take the stigma out of mental illness. "Mental illness is not a choice," Bekah reminded her friends. It's time to shine light on the darkness of depression, and we're loving that beauty is helping to start this serious conversation.