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About Semicolons

Depression is being colorblind and told how colorful the world is.”
-Atticus

Last week was a special week. Not for me on a personal level. I could probably consider it a week like any other, bearing the usual routine of going to class, going out with friends, partying, listening to some music, playing football, watching Netflix and so on. No big deal about it. Based on the person, the definition of a normal week can vary, but I believe it is safe to say that for most of us, last week was a routine. Nothing exceptional happened.

If so, then why do I consider it to be special? Last week was special and should not be forgotten. Last week is known to be a special week for people suffering of a strong illness. Sadly, this illness has always been belittled by society and other people who have not experienced it. We do not always pay attention to it, because it is easy to hide its symptoms. Statistically, one person in 6 has developed this sickness in the last week.

Sometimes, it is the people who seem the healthiest and most successful, who can be the ones in the most advanced stages of that problem. For them, everyday is a struggle, a battle they are afraid of because they feel like their body is weakening, giving way for the virus to take over. For the patient, it often feels like a ticking bomb ready to explode at any moment. A bomb that seems impossible to stop.

Worldwide, last week was known to be National Suicide Prevention Week.

“Suicide isn’t cowardly. I will tell you what’s cowardly: treating people so bad that they want to end their lives.”
Ashley Purdy

Depression, anxiety, self-hate, insecurity, they all contribute to developing suicidal thoughts and actually reaching the stage where one cannot take the pain anymore. Suicide, just like sleep, becomes an escape of everything one endures during the day.

There are many factors that can lead to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. It can go from something very obvious, such as bullying, tragic loss, war and rejection, to something that we usually do not see as a source of depression like social norms, stress and work-related fatigue.

I do not like the term ‘disorder’, because it means that there is something wrong within the person concerned, in their system. People with suicidal thoughts are not aliens.

Depression can strike anyone, even the ones who seem the happiest and are able to keep everyone around them happy and cheer them up in their lowest moments. When actor Robin Williams died, my mother summed up his life in one very simple yet heartbreaking sentence:

“He [Robin Willams] made the world laugh, but he was never happy.”

One thing that is often observed is that depressed people tend to keep a fake smile and cheer others around them because they do not want others to go through the same pain they are. However, it is often because of social norms that people do not feel at ease talking about depression. In the UK, an average of 84 men die every week because of depression.

We are often shocked when we find out that a man is depressed. The main reason is that in most countries, it is socially perceived as a weakness for a man to talk about his feelings and problems. Being a boy, I can assure you that this is how I personally feel, because I was always told that it makes me “less of a man”.

The same can also be taken for women when talking about their physical and what this actually means in today’s society. Beauty advertisements all around the globe keep on telling women that they are not good enough, not skinny enough, not sexy enough, that they need to work on their smiles. That they need to perform plastic surgery in order to be beautiful.

Social norms and stereotypes have a stronger effect on our thoughts than we give them credit. They are the primary cause of special type of phobia called atelophobia: the fear of not being good enough.

“It is scary to know how many girls have eating disorders.
It is scary to know how many people are just angry at life, because of their situations at home. And angry at others.
It is scary to know how many people feel like they are worth nothing.”
Nick Vujicic

Last week was National Suicide Prevention Week, and here is my story with depression.

I started my battle with depression ten years, ever since my brother died.

It started as light depression, but as the years went by, and especially after my best friend lost his battle to cancer, and two other friends died in car accidents, the heaviness started to grow on me. Today, I am diagnosed with severe depression. Mainly because I hold myself guilty for their passing. 

I constantly believe that I will never be enough. Not strong enough, not supportive enough, not handsome enough, not smart enough. I feel trapped in a constant battle with a monster within me. I manage sometimes to keep it away from the ones I love but,  in the end, the monster inside of me always finds a way to come out, and people close to me get hurt.

Until today, I do everything in my power so no one feels the same way I do, but that does not mean that I do not think about ending my life. I still do and always will. The only difference is the semicolon tattooed on my rib.

Nowadays, the semicolon is considered a sign of hope for people with mental illness. The reason is that when a semicolon is used in literature, it means that the author could have ended his sentence there, but he decided not to.

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words that were never said and deeds that were never done.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

It is never too late. The situation you are in is your beginning, but it does not have to be your end. Find the right people and open up, tell them you need help, tell them how they can help you. Sometimes, it is the small things we do that can make an entire difference.

Act now, before you lose or someone you love loses to depression.

Sometimes the sunlight we find makes the day worthwhile, and all I heard was “Hallelujah” in your eyes.
-Noah Kahan’s Hallelujah

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3 thoughts on “About Semicolons

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    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a topic that’s near to my heart… Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Glad to hear that you relate to this topic. If you wish to contact us, you can fill up the form on the “Contact Us” page. Can’t wait to hear from you!

      Like

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