A dear friend recently sent me a text and asked if I’d seen an article about the origin and owner of The Semicolon Project. She told me she didn’t realize the meaning behind the symbol but had noticed it on my wrist. After hearing her say she’d consider getting one, I told her I’d love to come with her if she decides to make the appointment. The very next day, posts about semicolon tattoos started to appear en masse in my Facebook newsfeed.
I am not at all upset that a tattoo I got on December 26, 2014 is receiving big attention. When I heard about the Semicolon Project (from the immensely funny Kimberly of Make Mommy Go Something Something) it immediately hit home. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, this punctuation mark represents a sentence the author chose not to end, and a continuation of life. This symbol provides hope for those who struggle with mental health disorders and was created by Amy Bleuel as a tribute to the father she lost to suicide.
When I sat down with my tattoo artist back in December, I told him I was a punctuation nerd and I launched into what the semicolon meant for me, as well as my own experience with anxiety/depression. I knew then that this adorable little symbol would now be a way for me to connect wordlessly with others who have suffered and that it would be a beacon of hope on my darkest days.
I don’t like to discuss it much, but July 4th has a lot of history for me, because it was my first experience with a panic attack. I’ve tried masking the pain of that day for four years by popping pills, drinking alcohol, and trying to forget a painful experience deeply routed in my psyche.
What if I stopped pretending it doesn’t exist and I embrace it as a part of who I am?
It doesn’t mean that I have to love that part of me, but I can learn to make peace with it.
So if you tell me you are going to get a semicolon tattoo, and I am available, heck yes, I’d love to come with you. If I see you sporting the punctuation mark, I will give you a wink or a nod as an act of solidarity because I know what you have struggled with and I am here for you.
PS: In completely unrelated news, I’m excited to team up with Adore Me for their “Adore Yourself” Giveaway! Up for grabs is a chance to win a $100 shopping spree to coincide with this new video and new collection of sexy lingerie. To enter, simply share the exclusive video on Facebook, tag @AdoreMe and use the hashtag #IfBoobsCouldTalk (I dunno about yours but my boobs are very vocal so they’re happy to finally have a platform).
A giveaway that celebrates YOU and encourages you to love yourself? Maybe it’s not so unrelated after all.