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Two Tattoos With One Powerful Message About Suicide


“All done,” the tattoo artist says.

I look down and see how two phrases that have been rotating in my head for months have been permanently written on my forearms. “Just Breathe” and “Move Forward” written in typewriter font are perfect representations of surviving my suicide attempt.

Since attempting suicide, I have gone through an inpatient program in a psychiatric ward, an intensive outpatient program and a dialectical behavior program, which I am still attending. I instantly regretted trying to kill myself. Going through those programs, I learned what my illnesses do and how they have controlled my life, how to manage with medication and how to use new skills to continue to manage in a healthy way.

One of the biggest skills that works for me, besides mindfulness, is deep breathing. “Just Breathe” is a reminder to take a deep breathe before continuing with what I was doing. Past memories have had me trapped in a cycle of depression over and over again. “Move Forward” is a reminder to look to the future and stop wallowing in the past.

These two tattoos together remind me every day to keep going and keep working on my mental health. There is no magic cure for any mental illness, but with skills and medication, I know I can suppress the evil thoughts that flood my mind every day.

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. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Image via Thinkstock.

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