This past week I decided, kind of spur at the moment like, to get a new tattoo. A business here in town was holding a special sale on suicide awareness tattoos and I decided I wanted something with the semicolon symbol that represents suicide and mental health awareness.
Usually the choosing of a tattoo isn’t something I would take lightly, but when I heard of the sale going on I knew instantly that I wanted to take part. I picked a small tattoo off of a big sheet of paper knowing there was a good chance that other people would very possibly get the same one. Normally that too would be a big “heck no” for me, but again this time it was different. In fact, since getting it I have had people ask me if I would mind if they got something like it and I said not at all.
You see this tiny little tattoo that is the word life written in cursive with the “i” replaced by a semicolon on my wrist means way more then me trying to be an individual by decorating my skin.
I got this tattoo so that every time I look at it and anyone else takes the time to really look at it they will remember one thing: we never truly know what someone is going through.
Unfortunately suicide is not something I am a stranger with, I have lost friends and I have worried about friends and family members. It seems like over the past few years very few people I know have been left untouched by suicide. In fact Idaho has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation.
I don’t know if the statistics on it are really changing that much over the years and it’s happening more often or if family and friends are more open with what happened. Maybe by being honest with what caused someone’s death they are hoping to help shine a light on that darkness and keeping someone else from going through the same pain.
I also don’t really understand what causes someone to make that decision, but I do know that if you are thinking about it there are people out there who want to help you. There are people out there that love you very much and couldn’t imagine this world without you. If you or someone you love is having suicidal ideations please take them seriously. Make a phone call, bring in help, just whatever you do don’t brush it off, don’t down play how that person feels or the reasons why. For you it might seem silly, but for them it could literally be earth shattering.
If you or a loved one needs help call the Idaho Crisis Line at 1-800-273-talk.