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Mental Health

Thoughts On My Semicolon Tattoo

I’ve always known that I wanted a tattoo. Up until I turned 18, I brainstormed ideas on what I wanted my first tattoo to be. I didn’t officially decide until I was almost 20, though. I was determined to get two tattoos. One would be on my hip, fully concealed. The other would be on my wrist.


I knew I wanted song lyrics. I’d decided that long ago. I also knew they’d be on my hip. My semicolon, though, was my tough decision. I wasn’t sure I really wanted one; I wasn’t sure I deserved it.


I’ve suffered with anxiety and depression. I have sought help at different times. I have experience with self-harm and suicidal thoughts and actions. Still, I felt like getting this tattoo was a confirmation of this darker side of myself.


I pushed through, though. I got the tattoo, and I watched as the artist made two tiny dots on my wrist. Immediately after my tattoo was done, it was covered with a bandage, and I couldn’t see it at all.


I got to take it off four hours later, and the first thing I did was check if it was straight. It was, and my fears were put to rest. After driving an hour to the tattoo parlor and an hour back, it was all over. I washed it and took proper care for the night, and I went to bed. My tattoo on my hip was wildly red and was sore for days. My semicolon tattoo healed almost immediately. Since it was so small, it didn’t require a lot of recovery time.


At first, I was nervous to show people my tattoo. It was so deeply personal that I felt it shouldn’t be exposed to absolutely everyone. However, I quickly found that one of two things happened when I interacted with someone with my wrist exposed: they still didn’t notice the new ink, or they listened to me when I explained what it meant and found it very interesting.


I am so proud to have the tattoo I have. I have a friend that I met because she also has the same tattoo. It’s not meant to be unique. It’s meant to represent something that only some can understand and relate to.


I have no regrets for this tattoo, and when I see it, I remember what I’ve been through and how strong I am.


I am a sophomore broadcast communications major and theatre minor at the University of Tennessee at Martin. When I’m not in class or participating in events on campus, I spend my time reading, doing yoga, working out, or petting my cats.
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