I've been wanting to get a tattoo for years, but I didn't have a specific tattoo in mind. I wanted something that symbolized my struggle with my eating disorder and depression and how far I've come in recovery, but I didn't want it to be obvious and I didn't want anything too big. While researching tattoos I came across a semicolon tattoo and it was exactly what I wanted.
The meaning behind a semicolon tattoo is that a semicolon is used when an author could've ended a sentence but chose not to. The same thing goes for the lives of people with mental illness. I couldn't tell you how many times I've wanted to just give up and end it all, but I decided to fight against myself to keep going.
After thinking about it for months, I finally got a semicolon tattoo on my right ankle. I chose that spot specifically because I walk with a limp and my right side is a lot weaker than my left side, so I thought it was a fitting spot. My disability has brought a lot of obstacles in my life, but I never let it stop me from achieving my goals. I could've very easily said I can't do this or that, but I'm not a quitter. I'll do whatever I need to do to achieve something, which is also why I thought the semicolon tattoo was a good choice for me.
On a larger scale, many people around the world are either drawing a semicolon on themselves' or getting a semicolon tattoo to show their support for those with depression or those they've lost to suicide. Many people with mental illnesses are getting the tattoo to spread awareness and try to stop the stigma that comes along with any type of mental illness. I also got the tattoo hoping to spread awareness about mental illness and stop the stigma around it as well.
I am usually pretty private when it comes to my mental health. The only people that really know what's going on is my therapist and one or two of my closest friends. If you were to talk to me at any given time you'd never know I used to have a terrible eating disorder that controlled most of my life, or that I've went to bed countless times too numb to feel anything, or that I still struggle with depression on a daily basis. From the outside I look like a happy healthy girl who love's life, which is far from the truth. Sure there are days where I love my life, but with depression, I seem to have more bad days than good.
I chose to get the semicolon tattoo not only to spread awareness, but also to have a constant reminder that I can get through whatever I'm currently going through because I've gotten through all of those past experiences where I didn't think I'd make it through them.
If you want to learn more about Project Semicolon check out their website, where they have a lot of great information about their project and mental illness awareness in general. http://www.projectsemicolon.org/