One thing that I've noticed, talking to friends acquaintances who struggle with mental health issues, is they are all stronger than they think they are. The situations and illnesses that they go through are devastating and they affect every part of their lives. Yet they still persevere and probably don't give themselves enough credit for it.
I, myself, like to remind myself of my strength through my "Warrior" tattoo on my wrist. It reminds me of who I am and what I have overcome. Each time I am struggling, I look down at my wrist and remind myself that I have conquered every obstacle I have had with my mental illness at a rate of 100%.
I've spoken to several others who have found strength in these types of tattoos as well:
My tattoo means "strength" in Hebrew. It's on my left side to symbolize strength found in my weakness. It's in Hebrew because I wanted something biblical and to symbolize my strength found in God.
My tattoo symbolizes freedom from generations of addiction and the pain of unstable anxiety and OCD. I still have an anxiety disorder but consider myself the most stable healthy I've ever been in that regard, and am grateful for that. Hooray for treatment!
I got this tattoo in January of 2015 as a part of my healing over the loss of my mom. She died just over 5 years prior, after struggling with bipolar disorder her whole life and finally by taking her own life. The candle represents 3 things: 1) at my wedding, my dad lit a candle for her. My stepmom decorated the candle holder with a piece of ribbon and a heart charm, which are also included in my tattoo, because I know she was there that day. I've lit the same candle every year since on the anniversary of her death. 2) when a person dies by suicide, it's often said that they simply shined too bright for this world. This idea captures the wonderful, artistic, clever, and funny woman my mother was when she was well... And when she was manic. Finally, 3) when I was a child, my mom taught me to sew, and she did this by teaching me to stitch letters into old flannel sheets. After many afternoons spent practicing, she gave me a piece of flannel with the words "to Caitlin, May your own light always shine so bright. Love Mom" stitched into it and a small candle charm attached. The candle stick of my tattoo is the perfect likeness of that charm. My tattoo represents my grief, my mothers illness, struggles, beauty, and legacy, and has helped me so often as I navigate my own depression. It is a mark I will wear forever, proudly.
This is Yeshua in Aramaic...."Jesus"
It helps me realize I can make it through anything, and my problems aren't as bad as they may feel.
In the end, all of these tattoos remind of us one thing, the most important thing: We can do it. We are Strong. We are Mighty.