You may have heard of Keep Collective, it is a mix and match jewelry company with a gabillion different “charms” that you select from and then attach to a necklace or bracelet. If you would like to make your very own customized jewelry item my good friend Stacy would be more than happy to assist you at https://www.keepcollective.com/with/stacyg
The photo attached to this post is the bracelet that I recently created. It’s not as “blingy” as some, but it’s really me to a T. The music notes and the paw are pretty self-explanatory. But what’s that thing on the right? It’s a semicolon. Why on Earth would I have a punctuation mark on my wrist? Because it means a lot, maybe more than either of the other charms I chose.
Project Semicolon started out as a day for people who have survived suicidal or self-harm periods in their life to post a photo of themselves on social media with a semicolon drawn on themselves. It symbolizes a life paused, not stopped. As someone who has been suicidal in the past and was made to feel shameful about it this project really spoke to me, but I was too self conscious to ever actually post a photo of myself. Now millions of people have made it permanent by getting a semicolon tattooed on themselves. I am a big baby, so I’m not likely to get a tattoo anytime soon. I hadn’t even really thought of wearing one until I saw this “keep” (charm) was available. So I bought it.
The first time I wore the bracelet out of the house I was a little nervous. But after glancing at it more times than I care to admit over the course of a day it started having an effect on me. I starting thinking about all the things I’ve had to overcome to get to where I am today. Mental illness. Being actively suicidal. Getting laid off. Being a caretaker of someone mentally ill. Divorce. Financial struggles.a Multiple surgeries. The list goes on. Then I starting thinking “Damn, I’m strong!”. And yes, I am! I’ve been through a lot but I’m still an optimist (most of the time anyway). I may have depression and anxiety disorders, but they don’t have me. I’m winning that fight every day.
And then the moment I was nervous about happened. A clerk in a clothing store noticed my bracelet and asked to see it closer. After looking at it for longer than was comfortable for either of us it was clear she didn’t know why I had a punctuation mark on my arm either. So I told her. And it made me feel like even stronger.
So thank you to Keep Collective and Stacy G for helping to remind me that I am a survivor and a badass!