I received my semicolon ring a few weeks ago. I knew it was a topic I wanted to discuss, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to address it. Well. Today is the day. I’m posting this late, and that’s ok. Today is the day I need to post and to talk about this. Any time is a good time to talk about this, because someone is hurting at all times.
“What does a semicolon mean?” You might ask. Here’s a description from Project Semicolon:
“A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. That author is you and the sentence is your life.”
The Semicolon Project was created to save lives. It was created to inform people about suicide. It’s an organization that creates awareness of mental health and its importance, and provides information and statistics on an act that harms more than just the person who is debating ending their life.
Suicide is a serious issue. It is a struggle and it is life changing. Not only for the person who commits the act, but also for the people around them who love and care about them.
Why is this issue important to me? 11 years ago today, I lost someone important to me. They took their own life, and it shattered my entire world. It was not a family member. It was not a significant other. But it was someone close to me and it was life altering. He was a role model to me and a friend. I don’t want to share details of the person, in respect to the family of the person who changed my life. What I will say is that this day is hard, every single year. Every day is hard, but this day seems to creep up without warning, and it’s a huge punch in the gut. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that there is an evil in this world that some people cannot conquer.
Suicide is real. Since that day, several people I’ve known personally have taken their own lives. It’s painful. It’s heartbreaking. If you or someone you know is thinking about this, please, please, don’t. Please know that you are loved. Even if you think you’re not, even if you think nobody cares, that things will not get better, I promise you’re wrong. So many people are impacted by you, and you can make a serious difference in this world.
Take a step back and think. Think about what you would miss if things ended for you today. Any future birthdays. Possible future weddings and children, for you and/or your loved ones. Graduations. Little moments. Trips with people you care about.
I’ll share some things this person has missed for me: heartbreaks. Two graduations. My future wedding. Meeting my fur child. Seeing me earn multiple jobs after college. Watching me succeed. Being there for me through hard times like the loss of my grandmother. These are all very important things to me, and it breaks my heart to look around every time a big event or accomplishment happens and that person is not there.
Someone cares. Life can seem really really rough, and I understand that sometimes life gets really dark. I’ve been there, and it is so hard. But there is light. There is love. There is happiness. Make your story a semicolon. Show that there is a pause. Don’t make your story an end.
There are so many people willing to help. Talk to someone, even if it feels silly. I promise, it’s not. Check out information on Project Semicolon. Talk to a friend. Talk to a professional. Talk to a stranger. Just talk. If you need someone to talk to – contact me. I promise I’ll listen.
Make sure your life is not a period. Don’t make the period in your life your own decision. Make the darkness a pause. A semicolon. The point where you step back and say, “There’s more to life than this. This will go on. I will go on.”