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I Am Not Ashamed of the Scars From My Mental Illness Fight

Scars, some old, some new, line my body. Some you can see zipping up and down my arms and legs. Others are hidden inside my mind and heart. Each scar reminds me of a time I was at my lowest. When the voices screamed in my head that I was not good enough, was unlovable, a burden, and didn’t deserve to go on. They remind me of all the moments I felt I had no control over my life, not even my own mind. These scars remind me of the pain that would rampage through me, so intense that I could only lay on the floor, crying and begging for it to all just finally stop.

But among those scars, there is another mark that sits on my wrist: a little semi colon tattoo. It’s small compared to all the other scars, but its voice is the loudest. It reminds me that, through it all, I chose to keep going. My scars are not signs of weakness; they do not mean I failed. I am strong, I am a fighter, a warrior, a survivor and I will not feel embarrassed of my struggle any longer.

Yes, I have a mental illness, and I fight with my mind every day. Sometimes the illness wins, and I fall into the darkness and have to struggle to crawl back up to the light. But I am no longer ashamed that I fell; I am proud I chose to get up, fight back, and survive.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

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Thinkstock photo by Valeriy_Katrevich