So, you want to support mental illness awareness?

Oh, of course: you don’t need to ask for permission to look at my tattoo, much less to grab my wrist and stare at it in a way that’s comfortable for you. After all, if I’ve got a tattoo, it’s meant to be admired by the public, right? Who would get a visible tattoo that’s meant just for themselves?

Ah, thanks for informing me about your granddaughter’s new “mental health” tattoo. It’s so heartwarming that you also want to get a semicolon tattoo to, y’know, support that “mental health thing.

I had only just forgotten how selfish and ignorant it is of me to view the people who struggle with their lives as “people” rather than social justice points.

I sincerely hope that your reason for wanting it is to show support — maybe even as a silent message to those who struggle that you’re glad they’re alive. I hope you saw my discomfort and glassy eyes as you grabbed my wrist and listened to me explain the power of that message… that it’s about choosing not to end the sentence. I hope you understand what that really means and, maybe, even that you’re glad I’m alive.

I hope that, above all, it means that you realize: my struggle — our struggle — is not a decoration. 

I am alive; the struggle is not dead.

The word “awesome” stencilled alongside a bicycle.
The word “success” written alongside a rocket ship.

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