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I was walking on the boardwalk at the beach and walked by the henna tattoo shop. I wanted to get one with a message important to me. I had been feeling urges to self-injure, and I wanted to get a henna tattoo that would empower me not to.

I ended up getting an infinity sign with the word “love” inside of it on my wrist. Wearing this gave me a physical reminder to stay strong. Every time I thought about self-harming, I thought about my tattoo. Even after it faded, I drew it back in with marker.

I wrote in some previous posts about the therapeutic effects of art. My henna tattoo was a personal symbol of strength.

I’ve heard of many other ways to use art as therapy on your own body. Whenever you feel the urge to self-injure, for example, grab a marker (or a few) with tons of pretty colors and draw your own tattoo. Write your favorite quotes or song lyrics. Draw a symbol that is important to you. Whenever you look at it, think of why you drew it on yourself.

Always remember that if you are feeling overwhelmed or have thoughts of suicide, you can always chat with a Lifeline counselor online or by calling 1-800-273-8255.

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