The semi-colon is grammatical device that can allow an author to continue with a sentence, instead of ending it.
The semi-colon has also been used over the last several years in the mental health community as well. Many people who struggle with mental illness and suicidal thoughts and actions have chosen to have the punctuation mark tattooed on their bodies, for a reason of hope.
The semi-colon tattoo is seen as a reminder that as bad as the storms in our lives get, we can continue on. As much as we want to end our lives, we can push through and continue our story.
I have mine on the inside of my right wrist where I can see it everyday, and have a reminder that as many times I’ve contemplated suicide, and even tried, I have fought through, and I am continuing my story.
What is really a poignant reminder of my past and present is when I compare my wrists, as on my right is my tattoo, and on my left is a scar just below the fold of my wrist where I began a suicide attempt. I stopped myself part way through, but that was still good for 5 stitches and a few weeks in hospital.
That happened nearly 3 years ago, and I remember it vividly.
My wrists are a lesson in contrasts. The left, a reminder of the mental storms life can bring; the right, a reminder that hope exists in this world.
Unfortunately I can’t say that I will never succumb to the illness. I’ve been feeling suicidal as recently as a few weeks ago during my last stay in hospital. I’m not psychic. I don’t know what the future will bring. I can use the tools at my disposal though, to minimize the risks. I can chose to focus on the hope, and deal with the storms as they arise.
My story isn’t a story of a straight line success. I battle with the beast everyday, with some days being better than others. Everyday I live is another day my story continues.
Thanks for joining me on this journey.