One student's Facebook post about her struggle with depression has connected with a lot of people on the Internet.
Rebecca "Bekah" Miles is a 20-year-old student at George Fox University in Oregon. Last year, she was diagnosed with depression. She felt crippled by her condition, but felt she had trouble talking to anyone about it. She discovered firsthand the social stigma that's still attached to mental illnesses, even very common ones like depression. So she decided to get a conversation going, using the favorite icebreaker of all Millennials: a tattoo. But unlike most tattoos, this one would start a conversation deeper than "Nice tat. Netflix/chill?"
As you can see, the tattoo says "I'm fine" to onlookers, but from Miles's perspective, the same letters spell out "Save me." It's an image she originally saw on Pinterest, and realized would have special significance on her body. Any nerds out there might recognize this illusion as an ambigram. The meaning of the image, on the other hand, is anything but a trick. It's a very apt commentary on the struggle faced by millions of depression sufferers: they're desperate to let others know what they're going through, but feel compelled to hide it at the same time.
Miles shared an image of the tattoo on Facebook, along with an intimately personal essay about her own experience with depression. That post has gone viral, with more than 400,000 likes, 300,000 shares, and coverage in major news outlets.
The post ends with a heartbreaking quote from Robin Williams:
“I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
Miles was shocked and delighted at the reaction her post received. She had hoped to connect with people, and had exceeded beyond her wildest dreams. This has to be the best-received tattoo in history. Miles was so blown away, she wrote this follow-up post.
You can support her by sharing the post on social media. You could have friends and loved ones suffering from depression and be totally unaware of it, and this post might make a real difference to them. And it doesn't just spread awareness of depression – it also spreads awareness of tattoos that aren't dumb. And that's just as important.*
*not nearly as important