Every tattoo has a story and for the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ll be highlighting tattoo stories rooted in an individual’s mental health journey. For our third story, we are highlighting Arnav’s mental health journey.
After Arnav’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was given one year to live. He could have dealt with this news in two ways: let the situation control him or take control of how he deals with the situation. He decided to take control and use that year to become the best version of himself he could be.
During that year, Arnav achieved this goal with the help of his family and friends. He took better care of his body by becoming more active and eating healthier (with his mother’s guidance) and lost 70 pounds. His change in lifestyle not only affected him physically but mentally too. He was able to relieve the stress and anxiety the situation had put him through by channelling it into his workout regimen.
He decided to memorialize this achievement with a tattoo based on a poem from Rupi Kaur’s book ‘Milk and Honey’:
His mother ended up living beyond those 365 days and fought her battle for 2.5 years, 1.5 years longer than expected. That first year taught him that adversity can build you, not break you, and allowed him to become the man he could fall back on. Though Arnav was able to turn one of the hardest challenges life had given him into an opportunity to grow, he says that his mental health and coping with the situation is an ongoing battle but he now has the confidence and strength to fight through moments of weakness thanks to the overwhelming support from his family and friends. He wants readers to know that light can be found in darkness and that there is no cure for the pain of losing a loved one. We can only try our best to carry forward and keep their legacy alive in our actions and love that we put out.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you need some advice or want to talk to someone in an open but confidential environment, contact your local mental health organization for all sorts of support and guidance.