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Why I'm Not Joining The Semicolon Movement Yet

I will someday get the mark permanently placed on my wrist, but for now the daily reminder has been very healing and cathartic and powerful for me. Maybe it'll do the same for you.
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If you haven't heard of the Semicolon Movement, you can read more about it here and here. In my own words, here's the gist.

When writing, a semicolon is used when a writer could have ended the sentence, but chose to pause, and continue on. The Project's goal is to help those who struggle with suicide ideation and remind them to keep living, keep telling their story.

It's also spread into the area of mental illness such as those suffering from depression, anxiety, etc.

It's gained a lot of momentum over the past year or so, and many people are choosing to get semicolon tattoos as a constant reminder that, yes, their struggle is very, very real, but they have a story to tell, and they do possess the strength to continue.

The idea of getting a semicolon tattoo has intrigued me since I first read about it several months ago. I've been wanting a new tattoo, and I've been wanting a way to commemorate how I'm overcoming my own struggles.

I self-injured myself (also called cutting) in high school. I've battled suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety. I've told a bit of my story if you're interested in learning about my own journey.

While I do plan on getting the tattoo eventually, I've chosen to delay it for a bit. Instead, I've opted for a different approach. Every morning when I wake up, I take a Sharpie and draw a semicolon on my wrist where I'd eventually like the tattoo to be. (I need to get better at my drawing skills, obviously.)

The point is that every day when I ink my wrist, I'm reminding myself that no matter how bad my anxiety gets that day, no matter how large the dark cloud of depression which looms over me is, I am choosing to continue my story. I am choosing to fight back against my inner demons. I am choosing to acknowledge my struggles -- rather than hide from them -- and also acknowledge that I am fighting through this because I am a strong, powerful, capable woman who can make it through.

It's becoming a part of my morning routine and every time I catch a glance of the mark on my arm during my busy, chaotic days, I'm reminded of these truths. And it calms me just a little bit. It gives me strength and courage and the confidence to persevere.

I will someday get the mark permanently placed on my wrist, but for now the daily reminder has been very healing and cathartic and powerful for me. Maybe it'll do the same for you.

You can find more from Toni Hammer at Is It Bedtime Yet, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.