Serious post alert:
In honor of mental health awareness month, I’d like to share a little bit about one of my tattoos.
But first…some facts. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adults will experience some form of mental illness in any given year. That’s 20% of all adults! That’s over 43 million people! In fact, 22 suicides a day occur by veterans of our military. With mental illness being so common it hurts my heart that there is still so much stigma surrounding the issue. Having a mental illness does not mean necessarily mean that you are talking to yourself on a street corner, it does not mean that you are “crazy” and it doesn’t mean that you are any less important or capable than any other human being. In fact, I’m sure many of you have friends in your life that “suffer” from sort of mental illness whether you are aware of it or not. I feel like people are afraid to discuss this topic because of how friends, family, or the public will perceive them. Having a mental illness DOES NOT define you, it’s just something that you address and treat; just like if you were to have asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or any other illness.
So now on to the tattoo part. There is a movement out there called Project Semicolon that basically aims to being awareness to mental illness and suicide prevention. Here’s the idea behind the project. A Semicolon (;) is used by an author when they could’ve ended a sentence; but instead they chose not to. So in life, stop and think about things and choose to keep truckin’ along, even when things are really hard. I got my semicolon tattoo to remind myself that its okay to be a little different and to never give up. EVER!
Now that I have my tattoo I definitely notice a lot more people that also have semicolon tattoos, t-shirts, etc. I enjoy talking about my tattoo and sharing what it means. You should always strive to be nice to people, you never know what is going on in their life. Sometimes even a simple smile can make a world of difference.
Thank you for reading this and I urge you to do some research and educate yourself further on mental illness in our country.