Why I'm Eagerly Awaiting the Day when I Permanently Engrave the Most Feared Punctuation Mark into My Wrist
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Health and Wellness

Why I'm Eagerly Awaiting the Day when I Permanently Engrave the Most Feared Punctuation Mark into My Wrist

The story behind my semi colon.

Why I'm Eagerly Awaiting the Day when I Permanently Engrave the Most Feared Punctuation Mark into My Wrist

I've never had anything against tattoos, I've just never pictured myself getting one; there was never a symbol that I found meaningful enough to permanently engrave it into my body.

That was my stance until I learned what it felt like to be your own worst enemy; that was my stance until I understood the agony of wanting to permanently leave this earth. I'm so beyond thankful to say that the only permanent thing I want to do now is engrave a semicolon into my skin.

The definition of a semicolon according to the Oxford Dictionary is, "a punctuation mark (;) indicating a pause, typically between two main clauses, that is more pronounced than that indicated by a comma". It is deliberately employed by authors when they could have ended the sentence but decided to continue it instead.

It's ironic that the semicolon is one of the most feared punctuation marks by amateur writers. It's ironic that the semicolon is also now one of the most profound symbols in the mental health community. It's ironic because our society paints a taboo streak over anything and everything mental health-related; our society fears mental health just as an inexperienced writer fears the semicolon on its surface.

But for a suicide survivor, the semicolon is so amazingly remarkable. This simple punctuation mark reminds suicide survivors and suicide idealists that we could have stopped the sentence – our life – when we wanted to, but instead we consciously decided to keep it going. I wish my words could accurately exude the fascination and amazement that I have for this singular punctuation mark.

But why do I have to permanently engrave it in my skin? Isn't it good enough to just idolize over in my writing? Isn't it good enough to just wear my semicolon ring every day? Isn't it good enough to just keep redrawing it on my skin in sharpie? Sorry, but no. All these things are bound to fade away. But see, my mental illness is never going to fade away, so why then should my "keep going" reminder fade away?

The semicolon tattoo also reaches far beyond an individualistic reminder to keep fighting. It's a battle wound that I can proudly display on my good days and vulnerably display on my hard days. To one person, it may carry no significance. But to the person next to her, it will carry all the significance in the world. It's a reminder that we are in it together, that I get you and that you get me. A reminder that we are not in our own little world of misery alone, but instead that there's a community of us out there and that you are not alone. The tattoo is so much more than a permanent engraving, it's a survival trophy for me and a hand to reach out to for you.

Just because I drew the bad stick in life and happened to have a chronically lower level of serotonin in my brain doesn't mean that I should constantly feel like I need to navigate this alone. It means that I can be a beacon of light for the next person who hasn't yet gotten through their first spell yet, who hasn't seen the light at the end of their first tunnel yet, who doesn't know that it's possible to be happy in a body that wasn't wired to always be happy yet.

That's why I eagerly am awaiting the day when I permanently engrave the most feared punctuation mark into my wrist.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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