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How My Tattoo Gives Me Hope as Someone Who Struggles With Self-Harm


I have wanted a tattoo for several years now. I’ve struggled with self-harm and several suicide attempts in my life, which I deeply regret.

This year, though, my plan was to finally get a tattoo that had special meaning — one to help remind me to keep pushing forward, I’m not alone, and even when I don’t think so, I’m enough.

I chose, “Be Still,” because of the scripture that says, “Be Still and know that I’m God.” Psalm 46:10. It helps remind me to not only think through my urges, but also remember my Savior is with me. The, “t” became a cross to represent my Faith further. The bird, which resembles a sparrow, represents this passage in the Bible, Matthew 10:31: “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” This verse reminds me I’m enough, I have worth, and my Savior has an abundant and unconditional love for me.

My dad came with me to get my tattoo a few days before Christmas, because it was my Christmas gift. I was grateful he was able to experience the joy I felt in getting this tattoo, and the statement, meaning and representation it has for me in moving in the right direction. While I will still struggle, I’m thankful for the reminder this tattoo brings each time I see the words, and not the scars.

The words have become my hope and the scars have become my past.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

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