So I have several sobriety dates for different things; I choose to keep track of them separately. Not too long ago, I hit six months sober from alcohol. I haven’t smoked a cigarette in over a month, and on April 8th of this year, I hit one year suicide attempt free. I am a dual-diagnosed person in recovery (someone with a substance use disorder and also a mental health diagnosis). My substance use disorder is happily considered in remission, and I have not touched heroin or any street drugs in over three years.
The thing is, despite all the really good things happening in my life right now, I have soul-crushing depression dogging my every step. My three mental health diagnoses are PTSD, major depression with psychotic features, and substance use disorder. But I’m determined to fight and survive and try my best with God’s help to create a life I love, and that is why I want to get a semicolon tattoo.
Because every day is a fight to survive for me, and I have to choose life every day. I get suicidal thoughts regularly and have had them since I was thirteen. Life can be miserable for me, on a regular basis. I have everything going for me, and I have a ridiculously blessed life. I honestly I cannot tell you why I get so depressed. I am starting to think it really has more to do with mental habits and brain chemistry than any real problem.
If there isn’t something to be sad about, I’ll create something in my mind. I’ve been this way since forever. In my own defense, I’ve been through a lot of trauma, like way too much for my 27 years of life. Addiction, jail, sexual assault, a couple psychotic breaks, and abuse are part of my story.
Anyway, after all this trauma and guilt, I find myself having suicidal thoughts a lot and feeling miserably depressed. I get feelings of worthlessness and guilt and shame and sorrow on a daily basis. But I’m determined to survive and have a good life, which is why I’m planning on getting a small semicolon tattoo as soon as I can afford one. Because I need a daily reminder to keep fighting.
I actually have two self-harm scars from when I was fourteen on my left inner forearm, and I am thinking that’s the perfect place to get the tattoo. I’m both nervous and excited; I’ve wanted a tattoo for a while but I don’t want to regret it later in life. I figure something small and simple like a little semicolon will be perfect.
I’m hoping that every time I feel like dying, I’ll look down at it and be reminded that fighting is worth it. Because it is. Not just for me, but for my loved ones and everyone who would be hurt if I took my own life. Most of all, I know Jesus wants me to live for Him, and that is reason enough in itself to keep fighting.
The last thing I want to say right now is this:
If you get suicidal thoughts too, you’re not alone, and life is worth living. Jesus loves you, and you are NOT worthless. No matter what you’ve done. Every day you wake up breathing is a chance to create a life you love, and suicide would end the possibility of life ever getting better. Decide what you want from life and go for it! You only get one life, and if you have a dream in life and if chasing it would make you feel happy, then why the heck not? Write down everything you want, pray for it, go for it, and leave the result up to God. Most importantly of all, delight yourself in God. Because if you do, this promise from His Word will come true for you:
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.