Message of Hope
Hi, my name is Jo and I have attempted to take my own life; this is my message of hope.
Weird way to start a conversation about recovery, right? In order to get to grips with such an important subject like suicide I believe we need to embrace how uncomfortable it is and be honest with each other.
In all my interactions with people, be it professionals in health or my peers, not a single person has ever asked me why I wanted to die. Isn’t that astounding? I’m often given a teary look and told that I am ‘inspirational’ or the ever popular ‘you’ve got so much to give to this world’ – please don’t misunderstand me, I appreciate the sentiment of every person that has shown me compassion on my journey – I’m simply trying to highlight how the topic of suicide is never truly addressed within communities.
A good example of this disconnect is a movement like Project; (often referred to as the semicolon project) The movement was born out of remembrance by someone who eventually lost their own fight with their mental health battles, the simple yet powerful premise is this –
“a semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life”
Many of those who have attempted to end their life, or have been impacted by suicide in some way, have chosen to use the symbol as the basis of a tattoo. This permanent reminder of why you are still here, the power of your choice and defiance against the invisible villain that is mental health…well it’s more than a tattoo, it is an unapologetic middle finger to the trauma you’ve endured, a promise to yourself to show up to your own life.
I have a semi colon tattoo, mine is surrounded in watercolour as a nod to creativity’s role in my recovery, my husband calls it my splodge.
I never used to like that nickname, but I see how relevant it is now.
Life, like art, is messy.
Just like art we can choose to focus on the brilliance and beauty while acknowledging the mistakes and patience it takes to create.
You may never know why I wanted to go, but now you know why I stay.
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