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Not the End, But a Pause

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life,” – Project Semicolon

I’m learning to embrace who I am. All of me. I realized recently that the struggles I’ve faced have made me who I am today. I’ve not always liked who I am, but running away from myself was an impossibility. People say we can change, but I feel like who we are is who we are. Sure we can modify our behavior, but the essence of who we are remains the same. We learn to adapt and move forward with the hope that the good part of who we are will dominate the bad. I think for many, that is the case; for others, every day is a battle of wills.

I speak to people on the edge more often than I’d like, people who feel like maybe their life needs an end, a period. They don’t see what others see in them. All they see are the clouds. All they feel is the pain. It’s a delicate task that takes more patience than I have sometimes, but somehow I always find a way to help. And if but for a bit longer, I try to encourage them that there’s more to be written, a semicolon instead of a period.

I have a semicolon tattoo on my left wrist. It reminds me that my life has more to be written. I struggle with anxiety and depression. I wish I didn’t, but it’s with me daily. Most days I’m good, I’m okay. I have days that I have to choose that no matter what, I will pull hard to get myself out of a pit. So far, I have always made it out. In return, I try to help others who are struggling much like myself. I’m a certified grief coach, and I’ve learned my role in helping people just like me. You may ask “what does grief have to do with depression and anxiety?”, but grief comes in so many forms and disguises and all of these things are related far more often than you might imagine. (I am not a doctor and of course, I know my limitations when it comes to helping others. I know when someone needs help beyond my capabilities.) For me, though, the people who have helped me the most are the ones who have lived it themselves, the ones who have learned coping mechanisms for everyday life. Yes I’ve spoken to professionals about my struggles. It’s hard to admit that in a public post, but the stigma has to be removed. Many people are more afraid of someone finding out they have a problem than the problem itself.

Keep writing your story, and I’ll keep writing mine. Don’t let what should be a semicolon in your story be a period. Let’s live this life as long as we can and as best we can. I believe that no matter what, there’s always hope. Keep looking for the sunshine on rainy days so on sunny days the light will be that much brighter.

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