Last week I got my second tattoo and I love it. The whole idea behind this one is to get people talking and I want to talk about it. I am now part of a growing movement called Project Semi-colon, the aim of which is to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness and to prevent suicide. It’s a movement to inspire, encourage and start a conversation about those unspoken things that are killing people.
My tattoo is a smile during my day, it’s a reminder of the strength which I’ve shown time and time again. My tattoo is a symbol of solidarity to all those who struggle every day, whether because of depression, self-harm, addiction etc. My tattoo says I choose life. My tattoo says that I am not worthless, or inadequate. The pause represented by a semi-colon is permission to take some time for myself when I need it. It shows me I am human and that, more than anything, I have a choice to be alive and to live rather than just exist.
The semi-colon is a break and a continuation; it is a triumph. The tattoo just reminds me that I am also a triumph every single day that I wake up. Depression is a killer and it is cruel, but I chose to go on, and that’s something worth shouting about.