Nicole MacDowell Staff Writer
In the English language, a semicolon “ ; “ is used when an author decided not to end a sentence but to create a longer pause than a regular comma. Today, the semicolon takes on a new meaning. Today, it shows that even though you could have ended your life, you chose not to.
The Semicolon Project started as an idea on Instagram. The goal was to create a supportive network for people who have dealt with or are dealing with depression, suicide and self harm. If you have scars from self harm, or you feel as though you’re life isn’t worth living, you draw a semicolon on your wrist and share it using “#semicolonproject416” and you tell your story. People who may not be suffering can also join and support those of us trying to heal.
I have a semicolon drawn above my scars because I’m dealing with suicide. This is my story.
I grew up in the inner city, and life was rough. People weren’t very nice and you didn’t go outside after dark. I never felt like I was in danger until high school when I experienced what bullying was.
I had heard of bullying and knew what it was but I had no idea how badly the victim could be affected until I was the victim. I was bullied for my size, and later for my sexuality. There was nowhere for me to go, nobody I could talk to. My parents shut me out, my friends abandoned me, I was lost and alone in a world that was only building walls around me and burning my bridges to safety.
I eventually reached the point where I was convinced that suicide was the only escape. It was freeing but also painful. I didn’t care about getting caught until it happened and I was locked away and labeled “dangerous”. After that, I realized that I needed to stop bottling up my feelings and I needed to realize that there are people who care and who want me to succeed. I eventually recovered, even though the cars still haunt me every day.
The Semicolon Project is here for people like me who just need to know that there is someone willing to listen. I am willing to listen, and I will not judge you. You have your reasons for the semicolon; whether it’s because of depression or maybe you’re an ally who wants to show that you support us in our battle.
Remember, if you or someone you know is suffering from suicide or self-harm, please support them and call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. It’s toll-free and 24/7 help. Remember, you are the author of your life and you choose when it ends. Don’t end it too soon; just use a semicolon.