When they told me about my colon cancer I was ashamed and depressed for a few days (see the posts when I started this blog), but acceptance was the gift that freed me from melancholy. Acceptance allowed me to reaffirm my desire to stick around for many more years.
But I know that depression is horrible. I spent my childhood dejected, and never learned effective coping skills. It wasn't until I found drugs that I managed to cope with life. However, that wasn't really coping; That was slowly isolating myself from society, until I couldn't do anything unless I was high. I hated myself. I couldn't look myself in the eyes when I gazed at the mirror, and my self-talk included phrases like "I want to die".
I was slowly killing myself with drugs.
God am I grateful to have found recovery in Narcotics Anonymous!
During my nearly ten years of clean time I learned numerous coping skills; I’m dealing with my illness efficaciously, but many people are not fortunate like me. Rates of suicide among cancer victims is quite high.
So I will do what I've done throughout my recovery. I'll be vigilant over my thoughts; I'll keep in touch with friends in the support system I've built; I share about how I feel with others; I'll write about what's going on; I'll do service for others; I'll pray and meditate; and I will not isolate myself.
Suicide sucks. I knew too many people who killed themselves.
I titled this post "What's a semicolon?" because the semicolon has become a symbol of choosing life over suicide. This is from the website semicolontattoo.com
"The semicolon tattoo meaning: It states that the optional semicolon continues a sentence rather than ending one like an abrupt period.
Therefore, each human being is the author that chooses to keep the sentence (life) going on. Many individuals struggling with depression, self-harm and other ailments can embrace the semicolon."
People get typically get semicolons tattooed on their fingers, wrists, or other body parts that are easily seen as a reminder of their commitment to life. Advocates of suicide awareness get them too.
I want to live, and the inside of the ring finger on my right hand, near the palm, would be a good place tattoo a semicolon... just in case;