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Sharing my story through my tattoo

On September 16, 2012, I got my first tattoo. I was thinking of getting one for several months. I wanted something that really inspired me, and helped lift me up when I was feeling down, and certainly one that I wouldn’t get tired of down the road. My tattoo is on my right wrist. It saysYou’ve been a fighter since the beginning keep fighting. This phrase has stuck with me and has inspired me since the day it came into my head. 

The tattoo has several meanings to me. I was born severely premature and was quite ill at birth. I was born at 25 weeks gestation and weighed only one pound and three-quarters (1 lb. and 3/4). I had to fight for my life. I don’t remember any of it, but I do know it was very difficult for my family. I stayed in the hospital for four and a half months. 

The second significance it has is in regards to my mental health. Since grade seven (approximately age 13), I have been dealing with anxiety. When I was younger I would cry, scream, get really upset and quite worried. Now, at 20 my anxiety is mostly internal, which is often harder to deal with. Sometimes this can become overwhelming. Now that I have this tattoo, I am able to look at it when I feel overwhelmed or frustrated with what I am facing. Around age 13 I began to get help for this, and am still receiving help today.

I’ve been questioned as to why the tattoo is in such an open and visible place- my right wrist. Getting the tattoo there just means so much more. As a premature baby, many significant wires, IVs and other medical equipment went through that part of my body. It marks what I hope to be an ending of medical treatment related to being born prematurely. Also, placing it on my wrist allows to me to not feel ashamed and share my story. I like to share my story and make a difference.

The tattoo allows me to tell my story, in my own expressive way. It’s a conversation starter. Having this inked permanently on my wrist allows me to feel secure in my decisions and believe I have a purpose in the world. It’s something I’ve told myself and can continue to be inspired by. 

Please know that help is always available for you or a friend. It does make a difference. 

Talk to a friend, a teacher, a coach, an activity leader or anyone you trust.