I have often seen people with a semicolon tattoo, usually on their wrist or somewhere they can see it easily. However, I only recently heard about the significance of the semicolon as it relates to those struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. It serves as a pause to reflect and remember that there is hope and love for those who struggle with these things. Project Semicolon is a source of information and help available for those who need it.
When my friend, Justin, started showing me his art projects I noticed a common theme of pain and also hope. Many of his works contain a semicolon in an abstract way. He was the one who explained the significance to me. As someone who has struggled with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, the message of the semicolon fits into my life as well. My source of hope during difficult circumstances comes from my faith in Jesus, but it also comes from those around me who have made it through to the other side of the circumstances they have faced.
Being a former military spouse for so long, it was not uncommon to hear of suicide within the military. Many would assume that suicide would be most common among lower ranking and single military members…and maybe that is true but it is also common among higher ranking members and those with families as well. The constant TDYs and deployments take a toll on the military family. The front lines of war in all branches affect the military member’s mind and heart. They see and do things most will never see and do…and no matter if they are coming home, retiring, or an elderly veteran their lives are forever altered. There are many other career fields that also have high suicide rates. Not to mention the younger generation of kids who have lost all hope.
The idea behind the roses in this painting (and the painting that I posted a few weeks ago) is that we can grow from our circumstances and become stronger. The thorns of the past are still there as a reminder of the pain, sorrow, hardship that we endured but they are no longer the focus of our lives. As we grow and bloom, the beauty of who we are now is what people see. Asking for help is strength… not weakness.
Art used with permission from artist. Prints and other gifts can be purchased on his website HERE