• fighter

    by  • April 16, 2014 • * Safe for Work *, Inspiration • 2 Comments

    I have never told anybody the true meaning behind my tattoo. And mostly it’s because I have never really wanted to open up and talk about it before. but now I am ready to share my story.
    I have a tattoo on my right upper thigh that says “fighter” with a simple line drawing of a turtle. I got this tattoo the Monday after my high school graduation. For me, high school was not easy. I struggled trying to fit in and never felt accepted. I was constantly dealing with friend drama, was struggling with school work, and to be completely honest; i was just depressed. During my freshmen year, I started cutting myself. I’ll never forget the first time I did it, I just stood there in shock that I could ever do this to myself and instantly vowed I’d never do it again. My promise to myself did not last very long as I continued to do it for most of my freshmen year. I eventually told my mom and she got me the help I needed. Unfortunately, the therapist I saw was not helpful and I did not enjoy seeing her because it didn’t help me or make me feel better. So by the time my sophomore year rolled around I told myself my year would be a good one without hurting myself. For the most part, I stuck to that. When March of 2011 rolled around, I began a downward spiral because of a boy, because of friends, because of my family, because of my grades, and because I was too young to know how to make it all stop. The only way I knew how to focus my pain somewhere else was by picking up a razor blade again. I wore long sleeved shirts on the warmest days and somedays blood stains would leak through the shirts and people would question me and I’d make up a silly excuse. I was at the point where I wanted to be dead more than I wanted to be alive and I didn’t know how to tell anybody that. I planned the day that I was going to kill myself. I chose July 12th of the coming summer to be the last day I live I gave away some of my favorite belongings to people I cared about because I was literally going insane. A teacher noticed, a teacher that I never really liked, but she noticed and found me the resources to get help. Because of her, my mom was notified and the questions began. She asked if I was cutting again and I answered yes, reluctantly. This time, she found me a new counselor to talk to and I found myself really connecting with her. She made me think about my life in new ways and I fully got to express all the feelings that I didn’t even know I had. I saw her for the rest of my high school career. By the time the summer came, I knew that my July 12th promise to myself was not going to happen, I gave myself another chance to make things better. I had one a great summer with my best friend in the whole world and started working at a job that I truly loved. Summer proved a new hope for me and my life. Entering my junior year of high school I was excited to have a constant group of friends and was doing well in school. Unfortunately, a series of unfortunate events occurred and I cried myself to sleep for weeks and was unhappy with every aspect of my life. I had felt sad and depressed before, but this time was different. This time I wasn’t just sad about everything, I was empty. I didn’t care about things and I had lost interest in all the things that gave me hope. After 8 months of being cut free, I broke my streak. Instead of slicing my arms apart, I chose to slice my thighs. My thought process was “nobody will see it because it’s winter and my legs are hidden.” I have a hot tub at my house, and my junior year I didn’t use it much because you could barely tell that my legs had skin. My right upper thigh was the worst. Walking around during school with jeans tight against my skin was the most painful experience I’ve ever had, my legs were so raw that I’d go to the bathroom just to sit in the bathroom stalls to let the cuts breathe. I didn’t think I could recover from this experience. I continued this the remainder of my junior year into my senior year until I finally went to the doctors for a physical and she was examining me and asking me about my depression. She finally saw the scars and fresh cuts on my legs and I started taking antidepressants. I began taking the medication december of 2012. Doubtful and reluctant to take on the medicinal route to depression, I tried them. They surprised me and made me realize that I am able to be happy and I just needed a little boost. That December I made my final promise to myself about this journey. I told myself that I have six months until I graduate and I know I can do it. If i make it to graduation I will get a tattoo of the word ‘fighter’ to remind myself that I can face any challenges that come my way. Whether my high school days are my worst in life, or whether my worst day is still yet to come. Around March of 2013 I discovered the greatest poem I have ever heard. “The Nutritionist” by Andrea Gibson, if you have not heard this, i highly recommend it. This was another turning point for me because I connected to every word that came out of her mouth. Soon enough it was graduation day and I can’t even begin to explain the immediate release of what felt like the weight of the world off of my shoulders when I was handed my diploma. I had scheduled my tattoo appointment the week before and was looking forward to my own personal celebration of getting past my milestone in life. People who see this tattoo always ask about it and I nonchalantly just pass it off by saying ‘yeah i had a shitty time in high school’ but nobody really knew what I experienced or what I felt. Even reading this and writing this will never convey the way it is perceived in my head. The images I have glued to my brain will forever be a part of my life, but so will this tattoo. And when I entered college I was anticipating no challenges or trials, but I was wrong. I have faced many things I wish I didn’t have to deal with, but any time i thought negatively or wanted to hurt myself I looked at my tattoo and knew I could make it through. So I write this now, 15 months cut-free, graduated, and most of all happy. and I don’t think i could have done it alone, so I thank every person who helped me along my journey so far. I am a fighter, and I forever will be.

    2 Responses to fighter

    1. Congratulations Fighter!
      April 16, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      Excellent news and again, congratulations on many accomplishments! Just remember, mind over matter. If you think, feel and act positively, you will receive positive results. 🙂 Keep it up and may many wonderful blessings be bestowed upon you! :’)

    2. R
      April 29, 2014 at 5:29 am

      You lift my spirit.

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