It may look like all the grammar-obsessed people in the world decided to take a stand against poor grammatical structure. However, it is nothing of the sort. Semicolon tattoos have a specific meaning and purpose. One of the most honorable, in fact.
Semicolon tattoos represent the fight against mental illness and depression. The semicolon itself, as a grammar punctuation sign, is
utilized for the purpose of separating two thoughts that share something in common. It symbolizes the option of continuing the sentence despite being able to end it right there. This is why it was chosen to represent the movement.
This amazing movement began in 2013, as way of the organizer pay homage to her father. It has spread around the world since then, becoming a symbol of hope for everyone facing this type of illnesses. This tattoo became, almost unintentionally, an international symbol of social support towards a medical problem that is still marginalized by great part of society. Some people even designed semicolon rings in honor of the suicide awareness movement. This is especially important, since despite the enormous amount of information available to everyone worldwide, this sicknesses are still devalued by most. As they don’t usually present themselves in a physical manifestation, it becomes very easy to attribute it’s consequences to the person’s personality, or other external factors. The action of ignoring or overlooking it and not giving support to the person who suffers from this type of problems can have devastating consequences. Some people mutilate themselves or even commit suicide. Lives are at stake as long as a simple visit to the psychologist or psychiatrist is frowned upon. Lives are at stake as long as people who suffer from mental illnesses are look at as crazy people. Lives are at stake as long as society does not evolve, become aware of this problem and starts showing some support and comprehension.
Semicolon tattoo brought up mental illness as a lighter conversation topic. People randomly have the habit of questioning the meaning behind other people’s tattoos, this one just happens to have a whole lot of meaning. It is an amazing strategy for decreasing the social stigma revolving around it, for it allows open, sincere and relaxed dialogues over this subject to begin.
You may erase a tattoo, but you cannot erase mental illness. Mental illness is a clinical condition without permanent cure. Depending from person to person, the symptoms may decrease during days, weeks or years, only to return unannounced. Every time it returns it becomes harder to fight against. It becomes frustrating even, because it feels pointless to fight against something you apparently can’t win, ever. This is what makes social illness so deadly. It destroys you from the inside, until there is nothing left, until your own family doesn’t have the patience to put up with you anymore, until your career is in pieces’, until everything you hold dear isn’t there to give you strength anymore. Until you want to put an end to it, and had a full stop to your story.
Semicolon tattoos represent the option to continue fighting, to build a better future, to live for tomorrow because better things will come as long as you are willing to invest in yourself. Everyone has met someone who went through this. The movement became not only a statement of freedom and willingness to fight on behalf of the people who suffer from these problems, but also as a sign of support from the people around them, a sign of promise to never give up as long as they don’t. It became a worldwide support system, providing strength, love, hope, comprehension and sense of belonging to anyone who ever felt to alone to keep fighting for their lives.