A Tattoo That Says 1000 Words


Etched across my back are two lines that ebb and flow. This may seem like a simple design to some, but it alludes to my complex story without using a single word. It is the awareness symbol for disordered eating; my tattoo tells the world that the taboo mental illness has played a starring role in my young life. I frequently field questions and receive compliments on the various pieces of art that cover the right side of my body. But on a few rare occasions, kind words will come from a person who went out of their way to comment specifically on my back tattoo. In these special moments, I can see instantaneously within the eyes of the other person a degree of understanding that is only produced through shared lived experience.

I know when these individuals state, “The tattoo on your back is beautiful,” they are actually saying, “I know what you’ve been through, I have been there too.”    An image that may seem simple to some provides space for two people to safely share their mental illness, enabling them to convey empathy to one another without exchanging a single word.

- Taylor Peters

Thank you Taylor for sharing this with BridgePoint!  Past participant stories are such an inspiration to us all.