The 20-year-old’s tattoo can be interpreted in two ways depending on the angle you look at it. Looking towards Bekah Miles, it reads “I’m Fine”, but if Bekah looks down it reads “Save Me”.
The Oregon student struggled with depression last year to the point where she was barely functioning. She posted the image of the tattoo to her Facebook account, pleading with her parents not to “kill me over this permanent choice. I want you to hear me out”.
Miles noted that tattoos are a great conversation starter and in this instance a way for people to open up about their innermost struggles.
“This forces me to talk about my own struggle, and why the awareness of it is important,’ she wrote.
“You’d be surprised by how many people YOU know that struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. I may only be one person, but one can save another…and that’s all I could really ask for.”
The Beyond Blue website states that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide with an estimated that 45 per cent of people Australia expected to experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.
Miles also quoted the late Robin Williams, whose suicide sparked a mass public outpouring of sadness and a discussion about the private melancholy people hide. “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
Read Bekah’s letter about her tattoo that went viral gathering 377,153 likes, in full below:
So today, I got this tattoo. I feel that my leg was the best place for the meaning behind it. When everyone else sees it, they see “I’m fine,” but from my viewpoint, it reads “save me.” To me, it means that others see this person that seems okay, but, in reality, is not okay at all. It reminds me that people who may appear happy, may be at battle with themselves.
To me, depression is the days that I feel sad for no reason.
Depression is the mornings that I don’t feel capable of getting out of bed.
Depression is the sleeping too much, or sleeping too little.
Depression is the homework that I never completed, simply because I didn’t feel like I was capable.
Depression is the break downs I have over absolutely nothing.
Depression is the eating too much, or eating too little.
Depression is the nights I begin to cry because I feel so overwhelmed, even though everything is going right.
Depression is the 50 pounds I carry in my chest at all times.
Depression is the need to constantly be distracted (being on social media, playing video games, watching movies or shows, or working all the time) because I can’t trust myself with my thoughts for longer than 3 minutes.
Depression is the friendships that have suffered because of my inability to function.
Depression is the hurtful thoughts and actions I have towards myself.
Depression is the tears I have because I don’t know why I feel so worthless, when I know I should feel happy.
This is one of the most difficult things to open up about because it’s extremely hard for me to feel vulnerable…but this needs to be talked about. Mental illness is serious, but so shamed in our society. We care so much for our physical health, but hardly a thing about our mental state. And that is seriously messed up. Mental illness is not a choice and will likely hit everyone at some point in their life. If it’s such a huge issue, why aren’t we having this conversation about it?
That’s why I got this tattoo; they are great conversation starters. This forces me to talk about my own struggle, and why the awareness of it is important. You’d be surprised by how many people YOU know that struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness. I may only be one person, but one can save another…and that’s all I could really ask for.
Maybe this is part of why I am so interested in psychology. I want to help people who feel the way I have—and still do—because it’s hell. And I don’t wish that upon anyone.
“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
**Also, THANK YOU to the ones who have helped me in this battle. I would not be where I am without you.**