A viral photo of an Oregon woman's tattoo is helping raise awareness about depression.
At first glance, the ink on 20-year-old Bekah Miles' leg reads, "I'm fine." However, from her perspective, upside down, it says, "save me."
"To me, it means that others see this person that seems okay, but, in reality, is not okay at all," Miles wrote in a heartfelt letter to her parents on Facebook, which has gone viral with more than 305,000 shares. "It reminds me that people who may appear happy may be at battle with themselves."
Miles told BuzzFeed that she sought help for depression a year ago, after a college professor started a dialog on it.
"In a class I had with her, she opened up about her own struggles that she has faced with her own mental illness," Miles said. "Hearing her words made me realize that even though it can seem like you are the happiest, most intelligent, or down-to-earth human being, everyone has struggles.
"I sought her out not long after. She helped me find the right help that I needed."
Miles continues to fight the illness every day, and she thanks her family and friends who have helped her continue to move forward.
The fateful day with her professor taught Miles the importance of starting conversations and raising awareness about mental health.
It is difficult for her to talk about, but Miles said it needs to be done:
"Mental illness is serious, but so shamed in our society. We care so much for our physical health, but hardly a thing about our mental state. And that is seriously messed up. Mental illness is not a choice and will likely hit everyone at some point in their life. If it’s such a huge issue, why aren’t we having this conversation about it?"
Miles hopes that her unique tattoo idea can help start conversations and change one person at a time. Ultimately, she hopes that she can do her part.
“The stigma needs to end," she told BuzzFeed. "And I know that this post won’t end it, but I sure hope and want to be a part of the fight against it.”