My semicolon tattoo
So… I got a semicolon tattoo.
To me, it relates to some really personal and important things: depression and anxiety.
A while ago, I wrote about the real reason for my 30 day sleep challenge here on the blog.
I shared that the real reason to do this challenge was mainly fueled by my battle with fear and anxiety.
With this sleep challenge I wanted to consistently change, break or create new habits to help me get sufficient sleep and therefore deal with that fear better.
At the end of that blog post I also stated that I would dive even deeper into my story of mental health by writing about a tattoo that I just got.
So here we are.
To me, this is the next step in breaking into unknown territory and sharing more openly.
What does the semicolon mean?
So, first off: Let me tell you what the semicolon symbolises to me right now.
A semicolon is a punctuation mark that writers use to separate two major sentence elements.
More popularly stated: A semicolon is used when an author can end a sentence with a period but he chooses to continue it by adding a second part to the sentence.
This means that the sentence does not end there. It goes on. There is more to come.
An analogy for life
The sentence the author writes is an analogy for life.
Times where the sentence can be ended with a period represent times clouded by depression, when life seems over, and there seems to be nothing more and nothing better to come.
So, the use of a semicolon instead of a period signifies that life does not end at times of dispair and depression and that there is more life to come.
With that said: my semicolon tattoo serves as a symbol for hope, survival and awareness.
I almost did not write this blog
Yes, I almost did not write this blog.
As usual, fear crept in (or creeped in… for any grammar geeks: creeped vs crept)
Followed by procrastination.
All of which do not produce a blog post.
However, partly because of using the accountability method of announcing this blog in my last blog about the real reasons for my 30 day sleep challenge, I managed to type out these words that you are now reading.
Why this means a lot to me
It’s been hard for me to admit that I deal with things like depression and anxiety.
Since I have been on a journey of introspection for over 10 years now, I have A TON of thoughts and experiences in my head about these subjects.
But so far, only very rarely have I shared about this.
Having the courage and a space to share about mental health issues is not something that comes easy.
Especially when a lot of anxiety is based on the fear of being judged for “not being good enough”.
Long story short: I created mindgum. A website about depression and anxiety.
I believe that these issues deserve a dedicated place and should not exist on hanskolbeek.com.
My hope for the future is that mindgum can become a platform and community for people to read, share and find recognition in experiences and thoughts about depression and anxiety.
But at first, it will be a place where I will try to write about everything that comes up in my mind related to depression and anxiety. From lighthearted things to the really heavy stuff. No holds barred.
I will use my online marketing skills and knowledge to empower my efforts of sharing my stories and experiences with people who might find some recognition in it. Just as much for me as for those other people.
(I keep reminding myself that I am not writing from a place where I have conquered it all. Because that is far from the truth. But I really want this to be an authentic undertaking, where I am mostly focusing on the expression of my internal thoughts and feelings and less on trying to please others. Hopefully, a side effect will be that people will be touched or find recognition in my authentic writing, without me trying to come up with the perfect story up front.)
I’ll leave you with this quote by a famous American writer and scientist that is both a little geeky and representative of the symbolism of the semicolon:
I have grown fond of semicolons in recent years. . . . It is almost always a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period. The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, anyway you got all the writer intended to parcel out and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy; there is more to come; read on; it will get clearer.
__ Lewis Thomas