A semicolon can be described as the place where a writer “could've chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to.”
Besides its utility as a punctuation mark, the semicolon has come to represent something deeper for many people struggling with their mental health. Project Semicolon, which describes itself as a “faith-based nonprofit,” has sparked a trend of people getting semicolon tattoos as a symbol of hope, redemption and recovery.
Amy Bleuel, who co-founded the project, told The Huffington Post she started the project after her father committed suicide."I set out to inspire others so they can know they are not alone, that their story matters," she explained.
The tattoos are also being used by friends and family members who know someone who is struggling. Jennifer McCarty wrote on the group’s Facebook page, “I lost my sister four years ago after her long battle with depression and drug addiction. This is for her.” Alongside a photo of a semicolon tattoo on her wrist.
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Francesca Sara, another inked member of the project, wrote: "I lost my husband last year, 38 years. I'm depressed and I think about suicide almost every day. My semicolon tattoo reminds me that, maybe, the story isn't over.”
Images via The Semicolon Tattoo Project/Facebook