Today, my wonderful guest, Malou, shares her story and why she chose to get a semi-colon tattoo as her first tattoo. It’s beautiful and it really touched me, so I hope it will do the same for all of you.
This February, I decided to get my first tattoo: a semi-colon tattoo.
‘A semi-colon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.’
I have struggled with depression and anxiety from a young age and have had many suicidal thoughts throughout my life so far. For the most part, I didn’t think I wanted to live. I didn’t understand the point if the only way I had to spend my life was to be in pain. I resented my parents for creating me, I resented the world for letting me exist and I resented myself for being alive.
However, this changed.
Throughout the years, countless people told me that ‘it will get better.’ Needless to say, I did not believe a single one of them. Even more so, hearing the phrase didn’t help me because I was stuck in this shitty situation and, if the future were to be better, that still wouldn’t change my current shitty situation.
However- (yes, I am very sorry if you are still non-stop suffering and hate hearing this phrase too), it eventually got better. After years of perpetual darkness, life drastically improved over time. It didn’t simply happen. I moved countries; I surrounded myself with the right people and worked really hard on myself. But it got better to the point where I felt like I wanted to shout at the world: ‘I want to live!’
It was incredible to reach the moment in which I actively wanted to live. It felt like being able to eat after having been starved for years or like being able to breathe after having had an oxygen shortage for years. It felt so incredibly precious that it almost made me scared; like when you’re holding that special 5000-pound vase that your mum inherited from her grandmother and are so afraid to drop it that you won’t even hold it (not that we have such a thing in my family haha).
So, I experienced what it is like wanting to live and now that I have experienced this I know that I want to live even when my depression relapses. I know that I actively want to live and therefore I wanted to make myself the promise to do exactly that: to continue living no matter what happens because life is worth living.
If you have been around Tumblr or are an active mental health advocate or have been involved in the community in any other way, it is likely that you have come across the semi-colon tattoo before. As I stated at the start of this post, ‘a semi-colon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.’ And this is why I chose to get it.
I decided to get this tattoo as a promise to myself to never give up, and as a reminder that life is worth living. When I felt and sometimes still feel like I want to die it’s because I can’t cope with the pain. This means that I don’t want to end my life and only the pain. Therefore I want to live and life is worth living.
For me, the semi-colon tattoo represents my will to live
Additionally, it also represents the solidarity amongst all the people who have chosen to get this tattoo. We are all advocates of mental health and we have all chosen to continue our sentence.
And if you are struggling I hope that this tattoo and its meaning, and perhaps this blog post, may help you someday too.
Remember, life is worth living.
Your life is worth living.
You are worth it.
If you enjoyed this, you can find Malou in the following places:
Missed the last guest post? Take a look at Zara’s lesson in body positivity here.