The Story Behind My Tattoo

by Laekin


{Pictured is me with my fresh and bloody tattoo and then my arm with my fresh and bloody tattoo. Photo Credit to Jake Miller.}

Once upon a time there was a freshman who moved to college with an AAS degree. She decided to move away from her family and try things on her own in a new town with a new college. She thought she would be okay. In the past this girl struggled with major depression, suicidal thoughts, self harm, and differentiating between reality and fantasy. And she struggled for awhile, until one day she decided she didn’t want to struggle anymore. When she moved to this new town known as Ellensburg, Washington, she tried to put herself out there and make new friends. But she had difficulty doing this in the fall and started to struggle again. When she started to fear she might try harming herself again, she decided to find something permanent that could always remind her to stay strong. This freshman had always wanted a tattoo and her mother always said that as long as she was 18 years old and paid for it herself, then she could get one. The freshman decided to do some research. She always wanted “Courage” or “Stay Strong” on her wrist, but she thought those designs were overused and unoriginal. She tried searching for words in other languages but nothing worked. One day, she remembered back to an old history class when they had discussed The Crusades and Richard the Lionheart. Lionheart reminded her of a lion. She always liked big cats, and people always mentioned lions around her because they were the first animals they could think of that started with L. “The heart of a lion–a sign of strength,” she thought. She had to have been strong to survive 18 years so far, and if she could do that then she had to have the heart of a lion. She chose a font via an internet font generator and she saved it. After the first quarter’s refund, the girl took her refund money and went to the closest tattoo parlor. They priced her tattoo and let her make an appointment. She came back in with a friend (who took the pictures) and spent the hour getting ink injected under her skin. Her wrist tingled a bit but it never hurt.

Later on people always asked her what Lion heart meant, and she never knew what to tell them. She told some the truth–others she just stated “The heart of a lion” or “It’s a sign of strength”.

Almost two years later, the girl has attended counseling every quarter since that first year. She has actively made a choice to release the pent up anger and deep hurt and is trying to be happier. Most days she is happy. But sometimes she fears her emotions will lead her back into the fog or abyss known as depression once more. But this time, she looks at her wrist and thinks: ” If I do, then my tattoo would mean nothing.” As Bryant H. McGill once said, “The worst bullies you will ever encounter in your life are your own thoughts.”

This has been story time with


Thank you for listening.