As most of you know, I suffer from mental illnesses, something I have been battling for most of my life. In 2010 I did the chest tattoo as a reminder that my life is worth living no matter how hard I struggle. I put it there, so every morning I was reminded to keep going. The piece is a combination of song lyrics that helped me get through some dark depression and suicidal thoughts.
That was the 1st half of my life. Now that I am in my 40s, and still battling, I felt it was time to start connecting the chest in to a sleeve with another set of lyrics to remind me that the second half of my life is worth looking forward to. Before I get started on that, I wanted to get a Project Semicolon tattoo. It is something I have been wanting to do for a while.
The week before I went to Electric Chair Tattoo (Flint, MI) to get Medusa piercing. It has been a while since I have gotten a new piercing and I just knew it was time. There is a side to my mental health where I just need to feel alive. Tattoos and piercings remind me of that. Having a creative, artistic soul, it only seems natural that I use my body as a canvas. There is some therapy there for me.
September is National Suicide Prevention Month and a lot of the tattoos give out free or low-cost Project Semicolon tattoos. I had plans to do it last September, but just never got around to it. This was probably for the best as I was really indecisive for the longest time about how I wanted to do it. I had made a list of words that I could replace a letter with the semicolon but no matter what I did, my tattoo was going to look like others. I didn’t want that. I had to make it original somehow. I needed a word that had more in-depth meaning to me than what I was writing on the surface.
Then, began the process of finding words that fit my life this year. I took those words and started to play with fonts and drew a few things out here and there. There were even a few Shinedown quotes I tossed in there thinking I could make those work since I had plans to start connecting my chest piece in to a sleeve.
My chest tattoo is a collection of Shinedown song lyrics turned in to art. A story of my life; where I have been, what I have survived. A tale to remind me that my life is worth fighting for.
After a while, I had decided I wanted the word ‘Warrior’ to put on my left arm. I felt this word went along with my Shinedown tat, the whole survivor and fighter theme. I had it jotted down on this notebook paper and it kept calling to me. I just knew I had to make it different somehow.
That was a bit of a battle for a while. Then, one day while doing laundry, I was folding one of my viking shieldmaiden shirts. That is when it hit me. I started looking up rune style fonts and had decided the O should be a shieldmaiden shield.
The idea was born.
When I finally got in to see my artist he turned it into something even more personalize. Chad made the lettering have more of an etched in feel, like it would look if it were carved into stones. And a bit of a paint splatter from the blue.
I couldn’t be happier.
Thank you Chad for being the amazing artist and listener that you are !
Sadly, Amy Bleuel, founder of Project Semicolon passed away May 2017 at the age of 31.
If you or someone you know needs support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
Visit Project Semi Colons website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Visit Electric Chair in Clio website, Facebook, and Chad’s portfolio.
Disclosure: I am not being compensated for this post. These are not affiliate links. All opinions and photographs are my own.
Robin Rue says
I absolutely LOVE it and what it stands for! I am sooooo ready for another tat.
I am a huge tattoo lover. I have 6 myself. I love the meaning behind this one and I love the style and placement.
Sarah Bailey says
Oh wow I adore your tattoo I have Love on my wrist in my handwriting which was inspired by the TWLOHA campaign. I was a self harmer and in my teens carved hate into the upside of my arm so it felt only right to balance it out and have it as a reminder when times are hard.
I LOVE that campaign as well and have a done fundraising for them. I self-harmed so I know that struggle, too.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
Oh, cool! That is some amazingly cool ink. You have some of the coolest tattoos.
Liz Mays says
Incorporating the semicolon into the word “Warrior” was such a clever idea. I like how the tattoo turned out and it’s great that you’ll be able to build around it for your sleeve!
Pam Wattenbarger says
I know a lot of people who have gotten semi-colon tattoos. It is a great message.
Jen Rattie says
You have the absolute COOLEST tattoos! Every time you show us some new stuff, I want to go out and get inked up.
Thank you ! I actually have another one coming that I just recently had done. Need to get that post finished up !
I love what it stands for and think the artist did a fantastic job! A great reminder that you ARE a warrior every time you look at your arm ♥
YES ! Thank you so much.
Wow this is really wonderful, wishing you continued health and happiness.
Thank you so much !
Wow what a cool tattoo! I just love the story behind it!
Shannon Gurnee says
I love that you incorporate the semicolon into your tattoo. I’ve been saying I would get a small one someday, but I haven’t because I’m so afraid of the pain.
I am going to be straight with you, it really is mind over matter. If you focus on how much you think it will hurt, its going to hurt. They really don’t hurt. It’s more annoying than anything. The noise and vibration of the gun. I was always told the top of the foot and chest are the worst. I have both. Didn’t flinch at either of them.
Seattle Travel Blogger says
I have seen before the use of tattoos to help one with his or her struggles, as well as indicate life’s victories and so forth.
They do appear to be quite good at this.
Yours look great.
They really can be therapy for many. I have shared my story of my chest tattoo so many times over the years, and I am glad to have another to share with a story now, too.
Dawn McAlexander says
These are some cool tattoos! I have been wanting to get a new tattoo for a while but my husband isn’t a fan of tattoos, so I don’t. I wish I could get him over to the tattoo side.
Hahhahahah I’d get one anyway. LOL .. You could always get something really small. They are really cute.
Loving the message behind your semicolon tattoo and your willingness to share it. It’s a great reminder for you and for all of us to continue, to keep fighting.
You are so right. It can get hard, but it’s worth it.
Carol Cassara says
That’s so amazing! I never experienced getting a tattoo before although it’s always been on my mind. I think you chose the perfect design for you! Love it!
Thank you ! And you should totally get one !
Our Family World says
I wanted to get a tattoo when I was younger, but never did get the chance. I love the symbolism of the semi colon on your tattoo. That is really nice! Thank you for sharing your story and wish you health and happiness always.
Thank you for reading my story 🙂
Annemarie LeBlanc says
Thank you for giving a new meaning to the semi-colon. Your tattoo’s design is really unique. Thank you for sharing your story. Sending you virtual hugs and wishes of good health always.
Thank you and thanks for the virtual hugs.
What a wonderful tattoo
Thank you, it is one of my faves.