Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.
That’s Heather Parrie’s story.
Heather is a 20 year-old student at the University of Missouri. She was diagnosed with depression in April 2015. By June she had to leave her dream job on campus. A friend shared her story with me. I thought it would be important for you to read.
5 INSIGHTS TO DEPRESSION
1. “You cannot spot depression because you become depression.”
No one ever knew that Heather’s illness had crippled her so severely that she spent 20 hours a day wrapped in blankets in her bed, trying desperately to fight away the bitter cold that had taken residence in her heart and mind.
2. “I am embarrassed to tell you that I couldn’t get out of bed in the mornings.”
One out of every four people struggle with mental illness but sufferers feel like they are the only person who has ever experienced this before.
No one tells you what to do when the good days dwindle so severely that you can’t remember the last time you woke up and didn’t want to die.
3. “Having to ask for help is something we shouldn’t feel bad about.”
Sometimes strength is admitting that you don’t have any left. Never fear admitting that you need more help than you can give yourself.
4. “A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. I got this tattoo as a promise to myself that I would never willingly end my sentence.”
A semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. I got it as a reminder to take this summer as a pause, and then to keep going strong next year.
I got this this tattoo to open up conversations between myself and other humans about mental illness, because as difficult as mental illness is, what’s more difficult is feeling stigmatized. Or like you failed. Or like people are feeling sorry for you.
5. “Because of my experience, I can be an advocate and champion for mental health awareness.”
“I will show my tattoo proudly and champion for the people who cannot champion for themselves.”
Heather told Buzzfeed, “Every time I look at it I’m reminded of how many other people are struggling in the same way and how many people are on my side. Depression has a way of convincing you to believe you’re the only one who has ever felt this way before in the world, but my tattoo reminds me daily that, above all, depression is a liar.”
Heather is a Christian with a strong trust in Jesus. She wrote her final blog post last week so she could get on with her studies.
Thank you, Heather!
For more information on the tattoo Heather got, please visit http://www.projectsemicolon.com.
Related posts: Things Christians Tend to Get Wrong About Depression
APPLICATION: Which of Heather’s five insights stand out to you? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
Pointes of View exists in order to help people grow their faith in Jesus, build healthy relationships and effectively live out their purpose.
- Subscribe. You’ll get helpful content in your email box on Mondays and Thursdays, as well as upcoming events at North Pointe Community Church, Edmonton, Alberta.
- Follow on Twitter. Daily tweets with info I think you’ll be interested in.
- Friend on Facebook. If you “Friend” my page, let me know you found me here.
- Connect on Linkedin. I like this because it reminds me what people think I’m good at.