What is a semicolon tattoo?
Yes, these tattoos are SMALL, but the meaning of semicolon tattoos are huge…
In writing, the semicolon separates two thoughts but indicates they share something in common. Everyday individuals that don’t write often might never use the semicolon. It’s becoming one of the most popular tattoos in the country right now, though. Tattoo artists continue to draw small semicolons onto thousands of eager customers’ bodies.
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But why? What does a semicolon tattoo mean?
Amy Bleuel fought against mental illness and depression throughout her life.
In fact, she lost her father to suicide some time ago.
That spurred Bleuel to create Project Semicolon in 2013. The project started as a way of honoring her father, and now it symbolizes hope for a countless number of people.
Project Semicolon’s website makes a simple statement on this punctuation mark.
The semicolon tattoo meaning: It states that the optional semicolon continues a sentence rather than ending one like an abrupt period.
Therefore, each human being is the author that chooses to keep the sentence (life) going on. Many individuals struggling with depression, self-harm and other ailments can embrace the semicolon.
They can relate to the sentence-ending (life-ending) period, too.
A Message From Project Semicolon
Based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Project Semicolon attempts to tell each person that the story isn’t over.
It’s a faith-based nonprofit that encourages each person to keep battling depression, self-harm and other issues.
The semicolon originally represented its founder’s father. Since then, it has grown to represent millions of people that want to share their stories and continue them until the proper ending is written.
Project Semicolon is all about inspiration.
Tattooing businesses across the country have reported an increase in semicolon tattoo requests. Such awareness has helped Project Semicolon increase the visibility of its cause and plight.
Jazymn Case works at the popular 717 Tattoo and Body Piercing business. It’s based in Harrisburg, and she’s performed over 10 semicolon tattoo designs recently. She notes that people do it for themselves and others that they know.
Similarly, J.D. Brosius from Never Say Die Tattoo and Body Piercing has performed almost 20 such tattoos. That parlor is located in Harrisburg as well. A similar story is playing out for tattoo artists around the United States.
The owner of Red Beard Ink, Robert Treat, notes that six semicolon tattoos have been inked in the past week. In an interview, he mentioned a couple that tattooed the semicolon and the date of their first meeting on themselves.
Treat notes that he never asks what the story is behind the tattoo, but he can often make inferences nonetheless.
Mental Illness: A Growing Problem In America
As mental illness rates continue to rise, the issue remains a mostly invisible one.
Everyone seems to talk about all other issues, except for mental health. An American takes his or her own life every 13 minutes nowadays. In a single year, that tally reaches a cumulative 40,000 Americans. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention notes that most suicide victims suffered from diagnosable disorders.
Suicide is even the 10th most common cause of death in the country.
Even though such a preventable cause of death should be fought against, we remain silent on the problem. Issues like STDs and even homicide are commonplace on television. For whatever reason, mental health topics seem to bring out the pitchforks for the whistleblower on such problems.
An invisible problem can only worsen, and that’s going to be the case for depression, self-harm, suicide, and other mental health topics.
A Problem That Receives Lackluster Support and Care
Unfortunately, men and women battle depression for their entire lives.
It never disappears completely because a resurgence can occur without warning. This can happen every couple days or every few years. One day a person feels incredible, and then they feel terrible the next day.
Few individuals that suffer from mental health problems seek medical attention. In the beginning, they don’t want others to see them struggle. An admission of a problem makes people feel weak.
After dealing with the issue long enough, help simply seems impossible.
Heather Parrie received a semicolon tattoo to support Project Semicolon. She wasn’t supporting a friend or family member, though. To the contrary, she did it for herself after publicly revealing a diagnosis for depression and anxiety. Parrie is a blogger that resides in Kansas City, Missouri.
She blogged about the experience on her website. What does a semicolon tattoo cost? For $60, she let a stranger with a Jesus tattoo adorning his head ink a semicolon onto her wrist. Parrie plans to keep the mark there until her last breath.
The semicolon tattoo is a promise to herself.
To Parrie, that promise is that she’ll never put the period after her sentence by choice.
Parrie mentions that the stigma associated with mental illness is still strong. Her goal is to bring up a major conversation about mental health in the country.
After feeling stigmatized, she now wants people to realize something about mental health problems.
She wants people to see the semicolon on her wrist and know that they’ll be OK at some point in the future. When people see the tattoo on others, they can realize that they’re sick but not alone or crazy. The story can always go on as the author keeps on writing.
Individuals don’t have to feel like failures or feel like they’re receiving pity.
Stories from our readers.
I’m only 17 but I feel I have a lifetime of experience. Last year, I lost my dad after an 8 month battle with stage 4 cancer. He was the dad that wanted to be everyone’s best friend and I love and miss him everyday. Since his passing, I have been diagnosed with depression, PTSD, and insomnia. That was a few months after he died and I went to grief therapy. I had to stop going because all I did was talk and relive those heartbreaking events from those eight months. Watching someone you love give up the fight to live because of an illness that is taking over their body is a nightmare to watch let alone live.
I’m currently finishing up my senior year of high school. Many people have asked me if I’ll miss high school. I won’t. I’ll miss maybe 5 people and my choir class and thats it. I don’t want to look back on these past four years and have this roller coaster as my memories.
I decided once I turn 18, I’m going to get a semicolon tattoo. I have thought about self harm but I knew once I did that I would never get back on track. I would have panic attacks daily and have my PTSD trigger which has my depression following right behind it. I would plaster on this fake smile and pretend to be ok. I know now that its alright to show emotion. So I want the tattoo as a reminder that it is ok to let people in and ask for help. I might get the words “my story is just beginning” as well but thats still debateable. But, in the end I’m glad I am getting this because it provides self reassurance as well as bringing up questions and i can tell my story. -Melissa
Semicolon Tattoo News & Updates
Read our new review of the CES Ultra (by Adam S, Lexington Kentucky).
Amy Bleuel ended her life on Thursday March 23rd 2017.
Write to me about anything related to a semicolon tattoo, mental health or the project semicolon.