“Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire.”
I only turned 18 last week, and I’ve already plucked up the courage to go and get a tattoo of something which means a lot to me personally. If any of you have been following my blog, reading my posts, or even follow me on Twitter; you may be aware that I suffer from anxiety- a mental health illness that many others experience worldwide.
My tattoo is a small semicolon on my left wrist as you can see from the picture above. It’s a representation of hope, strength, bravery and awareness. It’s a constant reminder that my story is not ready to end, and that my sentence just requires me to pause and carry on.
For someone who constantly believes everyone is better off without me, that I’m a constant burden and that everyone hates me, this tattoo is also a reminder that it’s okay not to be okay. My story is going to have dilemmas, but in the end, everything will be okay.
Considering the fact that I couldn’t even speak on the phone to a stranger or order her own food three months ago, I am incredibly proud of myself for stepping out of my ‘comfort zone’ and getting a tattoo on my own. For many, this may seem like such a simple task, but for someone like me who has panic attacks in a lot of social situations, overcoming this fear of ‘people judging me’ was part of my tattoo journey and experience.
Above all, I want my tattoo to make a statement. A statement that shows that mental health issues should not be stigmatised. I am very vocal about my experience with anxiety, and that won’t ever change for the very reason that people need to be aware of these issues that millions face worldwide. I am not going mad. I am not psychotic. I am still as human as you reading this right now. I still love. I still care. I still have the ‘weirdest’ and most dorky personality. I can’t help feeling these things- and I can’t help the fact that my bad anxiety days make it even a struggle to get out of bed and complete simple tasks such as going to work.
My semi colon represents my story. A story of strength, hope and my own crazy journey. After everything my mind has decided to throw at me and destroy me with, I’m still here. And guess what? I’m doing pretty amazing. My anxiety will not ever win, no matter how much it tries. Fact. I’m stronger than that. Of course it will linger and I’ll have ‘bad’ days, but I’m still here- and I will be for a long time. As much of a miracle in itself that may be, I still have a lot more to offer this world and the people around me. My story is just getting started.
I hope people ask me all about my tattoo. All about the story and meaning behind it so I can share my experience for the benefit of others. It’s time we decreased the stigma that surrounds mental health one person at a time. My tattoo is not only personal to me, but a reflection of what many other people have to battle against daily. If you have any type of mental health illness, this is for you. Stay strong, stay bold, and stay fearless. You deserve to be loved and appreciated as much as anyone else in this world, and you don’t deserve to ever doubt that. You’re still here reading this, so make your story the best story it can be. Paint it all over the walls, dance on top of tables. Feel alive. You can do this.
“A semicolon is used when a sentence could have been ended, but it wasn’t. It’s a reminder to keep going, even in times of feeling like you want to stop. Don’t let your story end.”
Love and happiness always,
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