“The tattoo is a semicolon, which means that the story is not over yet. When you see someone with that tattoo, most likely you’re seeing a person who either has attempted to end their life or continuously struggles with suicide ideation. In my case, it’s both. Seeing my own tattoo at all times reminds me to keep fighting. That’s why I chose not to hide it, but keep it visible on the wrist, which is the typical area that people associate with dying by suicide.
Mental health problems, like depression, anxiety, and bipolar, are brain disorders. Sometimes I’m afraid to say I have a mental health issue. I’m not coocoo—I just happen to have a brain disease! I wish people realized that there are indeed chemical imbalances, among other complications, that mess up big time how I interpret my surroundings. They produce distortions of reality that result in angst, sadness, anxiety, and confusion. From the perspective of someone whose brain isn’t working properly, suicide appears to be a logical and solid coping mechanism.
In times I’ve been dangerously close to dying by suicide, I wasn’t desperate or even anxious. At the time, it seemed to be a totally rational choice. That’s a huge distortion of reality. That’s what brain disease does to you. It is the malfunctioning brain that causes a person to end their own life. It is also a defective brain that causes certain types of cancer. Yet, we do not say that someone committed cancer! To be totally honest, I sometimes wish I had cancer. The stigma would be gone and I’d even be treated as a hero. Then I could die ‘in peace’ and everybody would be sad, but not judgmental.”