TL;DR- When you see a semicolon tattoo, meaning it stands for might elude you. The tattoo stands for surviving trauma, depression, addiction, or other mental health challenges, and continuing life despite it all. Learn all about the semicolon meaning, tattoo meaning, and what help is available for your own mental health journey.
In 2017, the world was heartbroken because we had lost an icon of mental health. Amy Bluel, the founder of Project Semicolon, which oversaw the popularization of the semicolon tattoo, lost the battle with her own mental health challenges at the young age of 31. In a short time, the semicolon became a powerful symbol of surviving and winning the battle against things that could destroy us. The semicolon symbol has been used as a tattoo symbol of solidarity with other survivors. Are you a survivor or someone who is wondering if you will survive something?
Are there things going on that make you wonder if you are better off alive or dead? Is illness crippling you, or have you dealt with some form of life changing loss? Has abuse devastated you, or is someone victimizing you to the point that you just want to escape? If so, know that you are not the only one who has ever felt this way. In 2021 in the United States alone, over 48,000 people ended their lives with suicide in 2021, and that makes one death every 11 minutes. 12.3 million people seriously thought about suicide that year. It’s not just you if you consider suicide.
Things can be difficult. Sometimes an internal issue makes you think you would be better off if you were not alive and sometimes things in life make you feel that way. Find out what the semicolon symbolizes and what sort of issues people overcome that have made them want to end their lives. Find out what help is available. Don’t end your life. Pause, find solutions, continue, and thrive. Read on.
What Does the Semicolon Symbolize?
A semicolon is a punctuation mark that pauses a sentence, but the sentence continues afterwards. For life, the semicolon means, as the founder of Project Semicolon, Amy Bluet says “ A semicolon 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.” She founded the project in 2013 after her father took his life. Project Semicolon is an anti-suicide project designed to give support to those considering suicide and those who have survived it. To show solidarity, some people will get the semicolon tattooed onto themselves, and share their stories to try and help other people. To read more about love, see here: What is the Spiritual Meaning of Love? (spiritualblossom.com)
Not everybody who gets the semicolon tattoo joins a group, but when you see the semicolon tattoo, it is a symbol of hope. Not everybody who attempts suicide dies from it. Of the 1.7 million people who attempted suicide in 2021, only 48,000 died. That means more than half survived. Each person who lived got to move forward to hope for a better future than what was going on before they almost died. The semicolon tattoo symbolizes what almost ended your life, but it didn’t. Ti9mes might be tough, but sometimes, you are tougher. When times are tough, you can read what the tarot cards have to say during those times here: Tarot Readings for Bad Times (spiritualblossom.com)
What Do We Have to Overcome?
Each of us struggles with something, and nobody’s struggles are any more or less difficult than somebody else’s. The longer you live, the more chances you will suffer, and the older you get, the more loved ones you have who suffer. It would be wonderful if none of us ever hurt, or were afraid, but there is a lot in life we can overcome. You might suffer from a mental health issue or addiction, which some people assume are the only things that would make someone consider suicide. However, enduring abuse or trauma has pushed some people to consider suicide as well.
Mental Health Issues
When you struggle with your mental health, you might feel alone and that nobody could understand, but that’s not true. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about one in five American adults dealt with mental health problems in 2021. They also estimate that about half that many people got mental health help that year. Mental Illness - National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) (nih.gov) Imagine how much good it would do if more people got supportive services for mental health issues? There is a stigma associated with mental health problems, but if roughly 1 in 5 adults has such a problem, it is a bigger problem if it remains untreated than if it gets the attention it needs. There is no shame in getting help for mental health issues. One sign that is a great listener when you are struggling is Libra, and you can read about them here: Libra Traits and Love Compatibility (spiritualblossom.com)
The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics writes that 50% of people age 12 and up have used illicit substances at least one time. NCDAS: Substance Abuse and Addiction Statistics  (drugabusestatistics.org) The Centers for Disease Control estimates that between 2015 and 2019, alcohol was related to 380 deaths per day in the United States alone. Deaths from Excessive Alcohol Use in the United States | CDC Addiction to drugs and alcohol is very widespread and it is not rare. If you are struggling with addiction, don’t think you are alone. Communities have programs in place, many of which are free of cost, to help people combat addictions. Giving up an addictive substance can make you healthier, and it can decrease your risk of early death.
Abuse and Trauma
Abuse and trauma victims are not always considered to be people at risk for suicide, but life shattering or painful events can push people to consider suicide. Statistics show that about 600,000 kids in the United States alone are abused per year and protective services assures the safety of over 7 million kids. National Statistics on Child Abuse - National Children's Alliance (nationalchildrensalliance.org) Kids are not the only ones abused. Intimate partners abuse about 10 million adults per year. Statistics (ncadv.org) dealing with the Even if nobody ever abused you, about 70% of people experience trauma at one point in their lives and 90% of patients in mental health treatment are trauma survivors. Trauma-infographic.pdf (thenationalcouncil.org) Considering all these facts, it is no wonder that so many who survive abuse or trauma think about suicide. One resilient sign that seems to naturally know how to tough out tragedy is Aries and you can read about them here: Aries Zodiac Traits and Love Compatibility (spiritualblossom.com)
What Help is There?
The statistics are sobering. Most people at some point in their lives will experience loss, pain, illness, addiction, or a catastrophic event that makes them wonder if it is worth it to stay alive at all. If you feel this way, don’t think that all is lost. Reach out to other people immediately. Doctors and members of the clergy are trained to help immediately in these situations, so pick up the phone and call them right away. You can reach out for a crisis hotline, or a program like The Trevor Project to speak with other professionals. Never, ever, underestimate the valuable wisdom that other survivors have. They may have the perfect resource or bit of advice to help you recover your desire to live.
Some people go straight to a doctor if they are considering suicide. Local emergency numbers like 911 can summon an ambulance to pick you up immediately to prevent self-harm, and after the immediate response, you can schedule a visit with your doctor. Not everybody who has considered or even attempted suicide goes on medication, but some people do, and say it has saved their lives. Some people prefer counseling and speaking with counselors will give you coping techniques, and counselors can help you to understand why you feel the way you do. It might feel scary to see a stranger at first when you consider suicide but remember that doctors went to school for years to learn good intervention strategies, and the right doctor might be all you need to recover. One sign that is empathic and is good at emotional healing is Pisces and you can read about them here: Pisces Zodiac Traits and Love Compatibility (spiritualblossom.com)
Priests, Mullahs, Deacons, Imams, Rabbis, Priestesses, Shamans, and clergy of all religions have different training than doctors. They will have gotten training in counseling, and while they are not psychiatrists, they will know how to listen to what is going on well enough to help point you in the right direction when you are considering ending your life. Don’t worry that you are taking up their time if you are considering suicide. Your clergy would rather you cry to them about your problems than to officiate your funeral. Your clergy can help you to be the best you can be. To read about being your best, see here: How to Be Your Best Self (spiritualblossom.com)
Not everybody is comfortable speaking with somebody in person when they are considering suicide. There are resources you can use by telephone or text, and you won’t have to see anybody. Psychology Today has a link for citizens in each Nation where you can get a hold of a crisis hotline. Don’t hesitate. Click this link, find your Nation, click that link and reach out to the agency recommended. People who care are waiting to talk to you. Suicide Hotlines and Prevention Resources Around the World | Psychology Today
988 Crisis Hotline
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration was established in the United States to help people. All you need to do is text 988 to connect to a professional. You can also dial the number 1-800- 662- 4357 to speak with someone. They have multiple resources to help and you can call anytime any day for help. You can click this link to chat online and get more information. 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline | SAMHSA
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project was established in 1988 to prevent suicide among LGBTQ+ youth. The Trevor Project reports that LGBTQ+ youth is four times more at risk for suicide than non LGBTQ+ youth. They also estimate that 41% of LGBTQ+ youth considered suicide in the past year. They report that being LGBTQ+ does not make people suicidal, but the way society marginalizes them makes them consider it more. You can chat online, text, or call a counselor at The Trevor Project. They have a hotline available 24/7 which can be reached here: 24/7 Suicide Hotline for LGBTQ Youth - We’re here for you Now (thetrevorproject.org)
Sometimes, people who have lived through something survive, and find ways to help other people who are going through it. A suicide survivor, or someone who seriously considered suicide, but did not attempt it, might be the most understanding person who you could talk to if you are thinking of taking your life. They know how it felt when they considered it, and they know how glad they are to be alive. They can share resources for doctors or counseling, and help give you reasons why they hope you stay alive. Wisdom is gained through experience, and your friend or family member who loves you and has survived considering suicide can help you. To read about saying “I love you” see here: When Should I Tell Him I Love Him? (spiritualblossom.com)
When life seems unbearable, what reasons could possibly exist to stay alive? For one thing, think about the things you have done in life. Have you ever helped people? If nothing else, stay alive just because you are one of the people who doesn’t make the world a difficult place to live and you can help people. For another thing, think of the people who you are involved with. What would they do if you were gone? Staying alive just for somebody you love is okay. Another reason to stay alive is for the hope things will get better.
Maybe times seem tough, and you think that you don’t have what it takes to tolerate the bad times. Remember that every day before today has been a day when you lived. You endured, and sometimes, you went through bad times, you wondered if you could survive, but you did. Maybe a relationship has ended, and you think you will never find love again. Yes, you will. Maybe an illness or catastrophe has you feeling pushed past the breaking point and you feel like you can’t take anymore. Take a breath, take a break, and start again tomorrow.
Life can be difficult, especially if your own mind feels like it wants to destroy you. Surviving abuse and trauma is only the first step to escaping it, and years after the events, you can find yourself still struggling. None of it is fair, and none of it is your fault. Thankfully there is help, and there is a way to stay alive and thrive despite it all. Your life is not over when you have mental health struggles, even if you tried to take your life. You made it. You lived. The events that almost took you down didn’t, they simply created a pause, and now, the only thing left to do is continue. You have so much love to give and you can bring great things into the world. Pause, catch your breath, recover, and continue. The world needs you.
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About the Author: Lady Saoirse has studied magic and lore for most of her life but started walking her own Magical Path after being spiritually reborn in the desert. Today she is a High Priestess for The Temple of the Goddess, she is a psychic advisor and spiritual counselor, she shares her gifts as a Psychic and Content Writer for Spiritual Blossom. She has written for Mysticsense and PaganPagesOrg emag.