What It Meant to Hear My 5-Year-Old Say, ‘Don’t Worry, You Can’t Catch What I Have’

“This is my little brother. He has an illness where he can’t eat and has to go into the hospital all the time because gets sick a lot.”

I listened from the other room as an introduction took place between my 7-year-old daughter and her new friend. My heart had become terribly used to a lot of jabs, but it wasn’t quite prepared for the pain that would come from the next few words spoken. On the floor in front of them, sat a sweet little 5-year-old boy who had become very adjusted to his medical isolation and apparently, without me knowing, had become extremely aware of his own medical condition.

This new friend looked curiously at my son, who without missing a beat, replied, “Don’t worry you can’t catch what I have.”

In that single moment, I was whisked back in time to a scene of me rushing a vomiting toddler out of a children’s museum. I could vividly see the gawking parents in the play area, their faces resembling that of the child who then stood in my living room. That day in the museum had been etched into my memory. As I made my way towards the exit I could feel the piercing eyes of concern from the parents around me. In my need to defend our presence in the children’s play area, I defensively began to repeat, “You can’t catch what he has. Please don’t worry, you can’t catch what he has!”

My instinct at that moment was to free the onlookers of their fear of catching a virus from another child. I have come a long way from that moment in the museum, yet suddenly I found myself transported back to the insecurity of those feelings.

My heart broke knowing my child felt the need to make that same distinction to others.

“You can’t catch what I have!”

No child should have to make that kind of clarification to someone. No child should have to feel the need to defend their existence that way.

His words broke me… but not him. To him, it was just a simple reassurance he sensed this new person needed.

When did he become so aware? I still see him as a young baby who has no knowledge of his differences. Yet, here he sits trying to comfort others with the news of his illness.

Daily he watches others consume food, something he has never been able to do.

Daily he watches others run and play outside, something his body just doesn’t have the stamina to do.

Frequently he watches others swim, something he can’t be apart of because of his central line and risk of infection.

Often he’s in a hospital, enduring procedures and fighting infections and fevers.

Yet, he feels the need to reassure others, bringing them comfort in coming to an understanding of his situation. These circumstances have just become his way of life, and he has an incredible ability to make the best of it. Never asking, “Why me?”

Yet, no one would blame him if he did.

Instead, he pretends to eat food when everyone else sits down to eat a meal; watches through a window shouting funny activities for others to act out while he giggles at their silliness; splashes his hands in a sink full of water, while others submerge in a bath; drives a motorboat and shoots water guns at the others while they play in a swimming pool; turns a hospital room into an imaginary world filled with pirates and dinosaurs, while others continue on with their lives on the outside of the hospital.

boy in wheelchair playing near a pool

How can one little boy endure so much and still find joy in each day? He teaches us that we are so much more than our circumstances. He reminds us that all life has value and purpose, modeling how each of us must choose to find the good and allow it to cast a shadow over the struggles we endure.

Once again this little child has taught me a valuable life lesson. My instincts often lean towards sitting and licking my wounds, dwelling in the sadness of such moments. His, however… is to address the concerns of others by giving them comfort and reassurance.

“It’s the best day ever, Mama.”

Words that often follow days filled with pokes, procedures and tests. Words that my perspective would not have allowed me to utter, yet somehow he freely offers them as an attempt to comfort me.

“How’s your day been?”

I hear him frequently pose this question to those he encounters throughout his days, leaving me to wonder, when’s the last time I concerned myself with the goodness of someone else’s day?

Perhaps if we all focused on a concern for others and less on the darkness of our own days, we too could redirect our perspective, guiding our own attitudes towards hope and joy.
It sure seems to be working for this amazing little 5-year-old boy!

Once again I am humbled by his young wisdom and pure heart.

little boy with walker near a pool

Full Source: disableddatingclub.com

This Cartoon Shows Things That Happen When Your Kids Have Cochlear Implants

This is a cartoon that adds a dose of brevity to the struggles of parenting children with cochlear implants and other hearing devices.

My friend, Adrienne Hedger, and I collaborated to make the cartoon:

Description of cartoon:

Things that Happen When you Have Kids with Cochlear Implants
Inspired by: Valli Gideons @ My Battle Call
Cartoon by: Hedger Humor

Slide One :
You are constantly searching for the pieces.
Here, a mom searches on a seat cushion of a chair shouting, “Where are they?”

Silde Two:
You accidently connect the pieces incorrectly and don’t realize it for a day.
Daughter waits patiently while mom is struggling with pieces of hearing device and thinks, “Um, oops.”

Slide Three:
You invent songs and dances to get kids to wear them.
Mother and child are dancing. Singing, “Let’s wear our ears, oh yea!”

Slide Four:
You try to have your kid wear them in the car.
Mom driving, seen telling her child in the back seat saying, “No, don’t take them off. Leave them on.” Child proceeds to toss them across the car.

Slide Five:
Some conversations are like:
Mom says game is at 6 p.m. Kid replies, “What?” Mom repeats herself. Kid says, “Huh?”
Mom exclaims, “Are you even wearing your ears?”

Slide Six:
It is so rewarding when your kid finally gets it.
Kid surprised says, “Mama, I gotta keep these on so I can hear.”
Mother excitedly says, “Yes. Exactly.’

Full Source: disableddatingclub.com

Why ‘Speechless’ Matters to the Disability Community — and the World

Richard Ellenson is CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Tonight, the second season of “Speechless” comes to an end.

“Speechless” is a show that has sent thunderclaps of recognition and empowerment throughout the entire disability community. It leaves us in its season finale with the DiMeo family sharing a warm, if slightly odd moment together: looking up at the stars and out toward the future with a sense so many of us share: desperate belief coupled with torrential uncertainty.

The heart of that final scene is important. And just as certainly, “Speechless” is important.

We all know the statistics that one in five people is disabled. By some definitions, I could be seen as disabled: I wear glasses. And if Hollywood were to come back at us with that perspective, they could claim that nearly all shows on TV have someone who is disabled.

But that’s not really right, is it?

The most critical issues in disability often aren’t the challenges faced by the body. They’re the far more staggering challenges faced by the spirit and the soul: challenges that arise when one is constantly misunderstood, underestimated, underappreciated, and far too often rendered virtually faceless.

“Speechless” has changed that. “Speechless” — a show that includes a child with cerebral palsy who cannot speak verbally — has given our world a voice.

The cast of “Speechless” has given us a new way to see ourselves: with humor, and with the courage to look a bit deeper at what makes us tick. It shows us the complex condition that is not just cerebral palsy, but a family with cerebral palsy.

Take Micah Fowler, whose nuanced and insightful acting has allowed so many to acknowledge the frustration and disappointments that can be part of life with CP, but also forced us to look past disability to see the vibrant engagement and desire that is too often missed. Or John Ross Bowie, who has created a textured and nuanced sense of a father torn between an infinity of love toward his son and his inability to fully deal with that emotion. Or Cedric Yarbrough, who has brought a veritable Greek chorus to the role of Kevin. Or the bold work by Minnie, Mason, and Kyla to inhabit characters who are trying to balance a family while also trying to define their own true center.

Who among us doesn’t need to see the brave exposed complexity of this family’s life to help us figure out our own? And isn’t that the purpose of art?

Jessy Yates and Micah Fowler.

The everyday world has not had a difficult time finding sadness and perceiving tragedy in the world of cerebral palsy and similar disabilities. And heaven knows, it is there when one looks. In fact, many of us have had moments this year which are all but unbearable: moments which test faith and belief. However, the world has rarely been able to see the more important aspects of disabilities: humor, kindness, and most of all, living a full life.

Speechless has done so much right to help change this. Scott Silveri, whose humanity finds a way into every decision he makes, has not only created a vehicle to honor his brother, but to honor every one of us. Surely it must have been a journey for him to find the universal within his own personal experience and reach out to so many others to help guide his way.

This season of “Speechless” ends with a profound sense many of us who are touched by disabilities have experienced: that we grow as time goes on. The DiMeos have grown. The show has grown. The writers have grown. The production teams have grown. We have all grown: even us as an audience.

Video editing for "Speechless."

New characters have joined the show as guest stars or recurring roles, and each time they bring the authenticity of having the actual disability of their character. More and more, “Speechless” has taken on truly difficult topics: the challenges of dating, going to college, finding one’s passion in life, wrestling with ambition, and even tackling the complexity of simple friendships in our world. In doing so, “Speechless” has found something unique: it has begun to challenge the conventions of the sitcom. Sitcoms have a formula: problem, laugh, solution. But those of us who live a life affected by disability know it’s not that simple. The arc of our life is different: it is problem, laugh if you can, and sometimes accept irresolution.

In tonight’s episode, as the DiMeos look up into the sky, that word defines the moment: irresolution. The show fully embraces it, just as we must.

How big an impact has “Speechless” had? It can’t be overstated. Nor can the anticipation for its future: for how much more it is sure to grow and move us all forward.

“Speechless” has had a great impact on the people who have been involved in it. Today, Micah Fowler has an enormous role in the world of disabilities. The grace JJ shows riding fictional ups and downs is matched by Micah’s personal grace in riding what surely is a soaring sequence of continual ups. His role not only as Cerebral Palsy Foundation’s ambassador, but as a meaningful presence at so many events, has affected so many.

Zach Anner, a man with CP and one of our great creative minds, a man whose presence on YouTube gets him stopped often by people in the street, has become a writer on the show, moved to Los Angeles and found a comfortable place in that larger creative community.

Jessy Yates, who appeared in this year’s episode “S-H-Shipping,” was just accepted into The Yale School of Drama – the first actress in a wheelchair to have that honor.

And my son Thomas, who had a small role in last year’s episode “The C-L-CLUB,” was just accepted into SUNY/Purchase, in their Theater department: a first for a nonverbal individual.

Each of these moments blazes trails for us all. Each one shows what is possible. Each one defies a convention and breaks a barrier, just as surely as “Speechless” broke barriers.

Yes, “Speechless” is a family sitcom. Yes, “Speechless” is a funny show. Yes, “Speechless” part of an ABC Wednesday night filled with uniquely engaging families.

But if you are one of the tens of millions of people in the US who have gone for decades – no, make that forever – without having someone tell you it’s OK to fumble a bit through life and laugh at it, “Speechless” is also something else.

“Speechless” is important. “Speechless” matters.

P.S.: If you feel like we do, post your thoughts on CPF’s Facebook page. We’ll make sure they get to the cast and crew.

Have a great Wednesday evening. If you happen to be watching TV at 8:30, we’re sure you will.

Full Source: disableddatingclub.com

If You Have a Lot of Medical Bills, These 15 Memes Are for You

If you or a loved one live with an illness or disability, you know that medical bills can quickly get expensive. All those co-pays, medications, blood draws, tests and procedures really add up when you have a chronic condition, and trying to figure out how to pay for it all can add undue stress and frustration to all the health challenges you’re already facing.

Struggling to pay medical bills is a very real issue that can have significant consequences on a person’s life. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed and are in need of a good laugh to relieve some stress, check out the following memes that nail what it’s like to have to pay medical bills. And remember: If you’re stressing about medical bills, you are not alone.

1. When people doubt if your illness is real:

woman shouting, 'you bet it's real... I've got the medical bills to prove it!'

via @nicalayneh Instagram

2. When the bills keep stacking up:

I've got bills, they're multiplying

via @murphyerika Instagram

3. When you don’t have any medical bills to pay:

the complete opposite of having a thousand medical bills: the simpsons rolling in piles of cash

via livingbeyondwithguts Tumblr

4. When you need to de-stress after looking at medical bills:

looking for a wine that pairs well with adding up medical expenses

via @living.with.grit.and.grace Instagram

5. When identity theft could have some perks…:

if someone steals my identity I really hope they pay off my debt

via @murnwina Instagram

6. When you leave an appointment and think about how much it’s going to cost:

bills: tobias funke sobbing uncontrollably in the shower

via adhdandcats Tumblr

7. When your wallet becomes lighter after every appointment:

every time I see a doctor they say something has to come out... usually it's my pocketbook!

via maxine.com

8. When you’re no longer covered by your parents’ insurance:

medical bills? tell me about how much you're enjoying your independence

via @your.craziness_my.reality93 Instagram

9. When some security measures just don’t make sense:

why must I prove that I am me to pay my bills over the phone? do strangers call to pay my bills? and if they do why don't you let them?

via @karleighmimssmith Instagram

10. When your insurance doesn’t cover the whole bill:

me paying $3000 in medical bills despite having good insurance with a photo of a woman throwing up

via @chunkbardey Twitter

11. When all your money goes toward medical bills:

how your bills be looking at your check on pay day

via @cjcheeze Instagram

12. When you’re reviewing a bill after your appointment:

medical bills be like... breathing: $1. talking: $5. standing: $10. existing: $2. lollygagging: $2. chewing: $1.

via The Bottom of the Human Food Chain Tumblr

13. When medical bills are the worst type of mail:

what I wish I got in the mail instead of medical bills: with a picture of corgi puppy standing inside of a mailbox and looking adorably perplexed at its situation

via disabilityhealth Tumblr

14. When your paycheck may as well be sent straight to your doctor:

when all my money goes towards medical bills: man setting his paycheck on fire and crying

via tinyspooniechick Tumblr

15. When you finally pay off all your medical bills:

paying all of my medical bills like... two men making it rain with cash

via @tickdontkillmyvibe Instagram

Full Source: disableddatingclub.com

Boy Scouts Demote Boy Scout With Down Syndrome Who Wanted to be an Eagle Scout

Logan Blythe, 15, has been a Boy Scout with the Utah National Parks Council, a local Boy Scouts of America affiliate, for the last six years. Blythe, who has Down syndrome and autism, became a Cub Scout when he was 8, and joined the Boy Scouts program when he was 11.

Blythe earned 22 alternative merit badges and was looking forward to becoming an Eagle Scout. However, the national Boys Scouts of America declined his project proposal and stated his previously earned alternative merit badges would not be recognized.

For some kids with disabilities, achieving traditional merit badges is not an option. However, Boy Scouts has an option for children with disabilities to earn alternative merit badges. In their application for “Alternative Eagle Scout rank merit badges” Boy Scouts of America states: “The Eagle Scout rank may be achieved by a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified* Venturer or Sea Scout who has a physical or mental disability by qualifying for alternative merit badges.”

In order to become an Eagle Scout, Blythe had to do a community service project. “Logan’s mom and myself came up with a service project Logan could do — newborn kits for the local hospital and distributing them — so Logan and I submitted this to the local Boy Scout leaders for their approval,” Logan’s dad, Chad Blythe, told The Mighty.

According to Chad, the local chapter approved the project, and “even [took] a picture with Logan in his full uniform.” The next day, after the local leaders contacted Boy Scouts’ national office for its approval, they were instructed to suspend Logan’s Eagle project.

After a two-hour long meeting with the local chapter, Logan’s merit badges were considered void and he was reduced to Cub Scout rank. The Cub Scout program is for children ages 10 and under. Logan is 15 years old.

Following the decision, Chad received a text message saying, “we should have never said you were approved.”


Logan Blythe with mom and dad

Logan, who needs modifications and supports, signed up for the alternative merit badges, which were approved by his local Boy Scouts program. Chad said, “They did so because they felt it was the right thing to do. The local leaders made modifications to the requirements so he could earn them.”

Logan’s local scout leaders were more than willing to work with Logan to earn his alternative merit badges and said he deserved them.

“We were led to believe everything was fine and Logan could get through, he could earn merit badges, advance in rank for as long as he did what he needed to do,” Chad said.

When asked how Logan was taking his demotion, his dad said, “He was saddened by it. Since this has occurred, we now struggle to get him to wear his uniform. That was not the case before.”

Logan had already assembled 25 kits for newborns at a local hospital in Payson, Utah. “We had planned on Logan even distributing some,” Chad added.

The Mighty reached out to the local Utah National Parks Council who gave the following statement:

We are moved by this young man’s desire to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. We’ve worked closely with this young man and his family to attain the benefits of the Scouting program and are committed to continuing to do so.

The Eagle Scout Award is a national award. Final decisions regarding the Eagle requirements are made at the National BSA level. Since its founding in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has served youth members with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Through the Disability Awareness Committee, the BSA enables youth to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Utah National Parks Council stands ready to assist all Scouts and their families who, despite extraordinary circumstances, have the desire to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Mighty reached out to the National Boy Scouts of America and has yet to hear back.

Images provided by Chad Blythe

Full Source: disableddatingclub.com

Google Adds Wheelchair Accessible Transportation Routes in Six Cities

On Thursday, Google Maps announced a new feature that will help people who use mobility devices find accessible ways to travel. With this update, users in Boston, London, Mexico City, New York, Sydney, and Tokyo can access wheelchair accessible routes through Google Maps.

Local transit authorities and people with disabilities worked with Google to crowdsource accessibility information about specific places. This includes not only written information but updated pictures on Street View so people can see what their journey will look like beforehand.

According to Google, the new features can be accessed by doing the following:

To access the ‘wheelchair accessible’ routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap ‘Directions’ then select the public transportation icon. Then tap ‘Options’ and under the Routes section, you’ll find ‘wheelchair accessible’ as a new route type. When you select this option, Google Maps will show you a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration.

Screen where users can select a wheelchair route.

Google is not the first company to show how accessible locations are, although it is the largest. In May, Ellen DeGeneres gave 12-year-old Alex Knoll, $25,000 on to develop Ability App, similarly designed to help people with disabilities identify accessible locations. Beyond Knoll’s app, AccessNow — created by Maayan Ziv, who lives with muscular dystrophy — as well as AXSmap — created by Jason DeSilva, a filmmaker with multiple sclerosis — also lets users view how accessible their destination is.

While wheelchair accessible routes are currently only available in six cities, Google said it plans to expand its service to other locations.

Full Source: disableddatingclub.com

28 Tattoos That Give Us Hope for Self-Harm Recovery

While most tattoos have a story, a tattoo that represents a journey with self-harm is more than a symptom — it’s a visible reminder. Maybe it’s a way of reclaiming your body, giving the story your scars tell more context. Maybe it’s simply a way to cover, to start fresh and move on from a painful part of your life. Whatever the reason, tattoos can sometimes be a way for people who’ve self-harmed to commit to their recovery, and act as a reminder that stopping self-harming behaviors is possible.

To show some examples, we asked our mental health community to share tattoos they got in honor of self-harm recovery.

Here’s what they shared with us:


A tattoo of trees

“This is my tattoo! I got it once I graduated high school to symbolize me being out of the woods and being free from the abuse and manipulation as well as the bullying I faced growing up.” — Abs H.


A tattoo of a semicolon turning into birds

“My tattoo is basically a ‘f*ck you’ to suicide. The semicolon represents the times where I could have ended everything, but I kept going instead. The birds represent each very important person to me who kept me here on this earth. Those who never give up on me no matter how low I go. Trying means you’re fighting. I want to fight every day.” — Ashley N.


A tattoo of a ship

“I just got this tattoo a week ago, and still have to go back to the artist to color and finish it. I designed this tattoo as a way to reclaim my body and skin from self-harm. I’ve had these self-harm scars for years, and hated how they drew attention and identified me. This tattoo is a promise to myself that I will ride through the waves of life, and I won’t jump ship when the tides get high. I am on my way to adventure, and I won’t my scars get in the way.” — Melissa K.


A tattoo of a heart-shaped key

“First one at age 52. Literal heart on my sleeve. Not giving up hope by symbolic attached key. Jewels are tears. The gold is nearly rusted shut. It took three and a half hours. It was no pain compared to what I continue to feel daily. To be truly honest — I liked the sensation and the damn control of needing no ones’ input.” — Dayna L.


a tattoo of an arrow

“I have two, they are both Twenty One Pilots related, but that band has helped me through my darkest times.” — Braelyn S.


a tattoo of a heart

“I used to scratch and just think horrible thoughts of dying constantly. But this helps remind me I need to love myself every day. No matter what happens, if I don’t love myself, I can’t love anyone else the way they need it.” — Keelya G.


tattoo that says, "fight back"

“My latest, a little reminder. I had depression and social anxiety when I was young and I never realized that. Recently, I noticed every time a youth comes to me to talk about some mental disorder (now I’m a youth group coordinator) one of my favorite phrases to say is, ‘You have to fight back for your life.’ So, this is a little reminder to myself of that… Doesn’t matter what… I have to fight back!” — Alejandro B.


“The large one is lyrics from La Dispute, ‘Scars will fade away but never disappear.’ The one on my wrist is a semicolon, to remind me to keep going and my story isn’t over yet. The AKF is for the campaign by Jared Padalecki, Always Keep Fighting.” — Jey S.


This photo was taken the day I got tatted, so excuse how red my arm looks. This tattoo is actually a quote from my favorite song by my favorite band (“Reaper Man” by Mother Mother, just in case anyone was wondering!). Mother Mother’s music was sometimes the only thing I could truly relate to in my darkest hours; they helped me feel less alone in my struggling, and gave me hope that I could succeed in life despite being a mess in the head.” — Carson Eileen A.


tattoo says warrior

“I’ve recently started opening up about my mental health and just got this tattoo this week. It’s not just a reminder — warriors never stop fighting. So it reminds me to never stop fighting.” — Chelsea S.


An antler skull

“I designed this tattoo to cover up the first cluster of scars I made in my early high school years. I got this after two years clean of self-harm, to symbolize the strength and resilience I needed to fight my way through recovery. I am still recovering every day, and having this reminder of the struggle I already endured helps me from falling into old habits.” — Melissa K.


A tattoo of a paintbrush, a pen and a pencil

I got this tattoo of a pencil, a pen and a paintbrush over old scars. For me, it represents my recovery and how I learned that writing and painting helped me cope. The pencil symbolizes my time in an inpatient psychiatric hospital, where I was only allowed to have small golf pencils to write with. The pen symbolizes when I got out of inpatient and was in outpatient (finally allowed to use a pen!) and then the paintbrush symbolizes my recovery as a whole since I learned that painting helped me cope with emotions.” — Ashton P.


tattoo that says this too shall past

“Started self-harming when I was in middle school. I’m now completely out of school, haven’t self-harmed in forever and about to be a momma! I’ve learned through the battles I still face every day that the bad moments, thoughts, emotions, feelings… everything negative basically, they pass. Even when I feel like it’s the end of the world, it’s going to pass.” — Julia D.


a tattoo of an owl

“This owl covers a huge scar across my wrist so I don’t have to share my terrible secret with everyone who always asked what happened. I am not ashamed of what I did, but I don’t also want to remember the dark time that lead me there. My life is so full of love and joy now I don’t want to taint it with the bad.” — Kim M.


tattoo of a serotonin molecule

“I got this tattoo a couple weeks ago but have wanted it since I can remember… I got it on my left wrist where most of my self-harm scars are, so it’s a reminder of the bad times I got through and it’s also I reminder I can get through even more hard times. I also have a small hope that the tattoo is motivation for my brain to produce more serotonin lol.”  — Kate M.


a tattoo of a tree

“I got this tree to remind me to not beat myself up in my head and think positive and compassionate about myself. It‘s also a reminder to treat myself well and give my body what it needs: good food, rest, exercise, sleep. The tree is a symbol we worked on in therapy. It‘s a place where I can sit and rest and get away from my negative thoughts.” — Kerstin S.


a tattoo of a fox

“The ‘hope’ and ‘love’ were written out by the drummer and lead singer of We The Kings respectively. They cover old scars and are reminders there is hope and love in the world. That band got me through the worst years. Additionally, I get tattoos on my arms to prevent relapses.” — Grayce R.


A flower tattoo

“I like to think that anything beautiful can go through bad things. Like a rose can have a few thorns, but can still be beautiful. We can have a few scars but are still beautiful.” — Kailey D.


tattoo that reads: Don't lose your fight kid

“My latest tattoo is a quote from All Time Low’s song, ‘Missing You.’ It talks about how when you feel so alone and lost in the world, to never give up and to keep fighting. It was released after I met the band, and they hugged me so hard when they saw my arms and spoke to me about it. Alex and Jack told me to never give up, and that things will pass with time — and that I can recover. When the song was released, it spoke to me on every level. I now look at this tattoo every time I feel like giving up, and remember my heroes are supporting my recovery 100 percent.” — Abby A.


a back tattoo of a heart

“Song lyrics from two songs that get me through some dark hours.” — Jess D.


tattoo that says, "Even on my worst days, I got a little bit stronger

“‘Even on my weakest days I get a little bit stronger’ on my arm.” — Jaclyn C.


tattoo that reads stay strong

“‘Stay Strong;’ Of course the semicolon is for the Semicolon Project, but I got these when I made a promise to myself to Stay Strong. When I want to self-harm, I look down and remember to Stay Strong and that my story isn’t near over yet.” — Morgan L.


tattoo that says: i am, i am, i am

“This is part of a Sylvia Plath quote. It helps ground me, so I’m not having urges to self-harm.” — Jalayne S.


two people handing hands with semicolon tattoos

“Me and my best friend got a semicolon type tattoo for my journey through self-harm and suicidal attempts.” — Taylor B.


tattoo that reads: you will be OK

“What my boyfriend says to me to calm me down.” — Breanna B.


“This quote I got from an episode of ‘My So Called Life.’ This was probably one of my favorite TB shows in high school. I was diagnosed with depression and then with panic disorder during my college years. This quote always stood out to me because although I wasn’t diagnosed at the time, I always felt different from my peers. But now as I’m older and I understand my disorders better, I’ve come to realize everyone is unique. Being complicated is what makes us humans and that is the most beautiful thing ever.” — Sherene B.


A tattoo on a foot that reads hope

“My semicolon not only represents surviving my suicide attempt last year, but it reminds me every day of the hope that’s there… despite the struggle when emotions are intense and urges to self-harm arise. I recently relapsed in self-harm and looking at my tattoo reminds me it’s OK to keep moving forward in recovery after a relapse.” — T.C.


tattoo that says, and so she goes on

“The tattoo I got to remind me I can go on no matter what.” — K.L.

Full Source: disableddatingclub.com