Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Tattoo

I have always been very into rainbows. They're pretty AND orderly! It's basically a dream come true for a little OCD kid, like a times table chart but prettier. When I line things up in RYOGBV order I feel calm and in control.

So while I still love rainbows, they're always this weird little reminder that mental illness has touched every part of my life. My likes and dislikes, my experiences and activities, my relationships, my body.

I don't believe that mental illness is a blessing in disguise or a gift bestowed upon me. I don't believe that I am required to be grateful for it making me stronger or more empathetic or creative or whatever light and fluffy garbage Upworthy is spouting to try and make us feel better about the fact that the playing field of life is grossly uneven. I wish our culture wasn't so hell-bent on trying to find the good, and instead we could lean into the pain and grieve and keen for what we wish we had, or wish we hadn't lost.

I do not believe that mental illness is beautiful. I think it's ugly and cruel and heart-wrenching. But I also think that once in a while we can make something beautiful out of the ugly that makes it a bit more tolerable and helps us find the spark of light in the darkness. So I put my reminder of ugly/beautiful on my body. And I did it on my 30th birthday to feel like a badass.





Also: Rainbow Scabs. Just think about it for a sec.

9 comments:

  1. Honesty is beautiful. Self-reflection is beautiful. We are connected by our shared experiences of pain, and the way we comfort one another when we need to.

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  3. I love what Janet Vickers said, and also, check out John Piper's quote on my Facebook today. I'm with you all the way, we can weep together, and then trust God together, and then help each other grab the lives we have been given. So far, for me, I still find myself weeping. Hopefully that will let up soon. I love you, walk with me. Sending depending hugs.

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  4. A tiny rainbow tattoo is just so "Shantini" to me. I love it.

    And I love your words, too, you shameless truthteller. I hear you on this. I've never found true peace and healing in hard things without really letting myself just FEEL. I love finding the beauty in tough situations, it's just the way I deal with it (Full disclosure: I do love a good Upworthy video, don't hate me! Haha); so it was a difficult lesson for me to learn...that sometimes I just need to sit there with my feelings and let them hurt, run their course...without glossing them over, OR being determined to remain in my self-righteous pity party indefinitely (which seems to be my other extreme). I think that's just a long way of saying, again, I hear you, even though our battles may not be the same. And mad-love you always for your 'you-ness,' every little piece.

    Also, I WANT MORE SHANTINI WRITING.

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