If you haven’t heard about Project Semicolon or don’t know enough about it, let me help you out. Here’s a link to their page if you want to read more about them. I actually highly recommend checking them out, because they also offer amazing resources for all types of mental illness (even eating disorders).
Mission Statement, verbatim from the website:
Within the belief that suicide is generally preventable, the mission of Project Semicolon is to help reduce the incidents of suicide in the world through connected community and greater access to information and resources. We believe that suicide prevention is the collective responsibility of each and every person on the planet.
Project Semicolon claims the slogan, “Your story isn’t over yet.” Interpret it how you want, but basically what that means is that you should keep on going and living because there is so much more life left in you.
I have had one major suicide attempt in my life that shocked doctors at how I was alive (2012) and other attempts that were in desperation of help. I have grown to realize that in those moments I don’t actually want to die, but instead, need extra support that I just wasn’t getting at the time.
I am proud of my self-discovery and my will to keep fighting. I have known about Project Semicolon for awhile but just recently got my semicolon tattoo. Why? Well, for a few reasons.
- It is a tiny tattoo and where do tiny tattoos go? On the wrist. I didn’t want to get myself into a situation where I would present as unprofessional because of it. Thankfully, as the years went on I realized that my future career as a community health educator would most likely not frown upon such a tattoo.
- I didn’t believe that I truly embodied that values of Project Semicolon. I thought because of how unstable with my suicidal ideation and self-harm that I was that I would be a hypocrite if I got such a tattoo.
- I didn’t want to have the same tattoo as everyone else in the mental health community. I like to think of myself as unique, which is why I put a special twist on my NEDA tattoo. I eventually came to the conclusion that what makes this semicolon tattoo precious is that it is like everyone else’s in the mental health community! We all have a bond to share and that is that we choose to not give up even in the darkest of times!
So, what led me to finally make the decision to get it?
Well, back in June I had a really horrible self-harm incident where my mom had to take me to the hospital where I got a bunch of stitches. It scared me that I took it that far. After 13 years of cutting, I have never experienced such a significant cut as I had in June. It actually was the breaking point for me and I haven’t cut since then. I still get the urges every so often and I thought a nice tattoo on my wrist to either cover my old scars or whatnot would be a perfect memento to stay clean from self-harm. When there was a semicolon tattoo event for a local mental health crisis center at a tattoo shop, I knew that’s exactly what I would do! I couldn’t be happier with my decision, because I love the idea of thinking about my life as my story (since I love to write, of course).
What can you do if you are not in the position to get a semicolon tattoo or have hesitations about it?
I have the perfect solution for you! While I was browsing the Project Semicolon website for this post I came across temporary semi-colon tattoos! They can be a great way to test out if you want a semicolon tattoo, where you’d want it, or for special mental health events. I wish I had known about these when I was hemming and hawing about getting one! They’re also a great gift for friends struggling when you don’t know exactly what to say or get them.
I thoroughly support this project and appreciate them as a mental health resource in the community. Through Facebook, I remember a few years ago that I found out the founder Amy Bluel actually died by suicide. It goes to show you that we can still make an impact even when we’re hurting and suffering ourselves. She is so inspiring to me because even though I just got out of the psychiatric hospital a few weeks ago I am still able to help others. Just because I have a setback doesn’t mean I’m not worthy of sharing my story and advice and wisdom to others in the mental health community. It is a community because we are all struggling and we all can lift each other up.
As always, you can check out the card featured in this post, and many more, right on my Etsy site here: