I have several tattoos, but the one that is the most important to me isn't really even mine.
Project Semicolon promotes the semicolon tattoo as a way to present hope and love to those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. In writing, a semicolon is used when an author could have chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.
I was fairly young when my mom experienced most of her mental health struggles, so I don't know a lot of the details. I know she spent sometime in a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt. I know she went to a lot of doctors and it took a long time to find the right medication for her. By the time I was grown up, I feel she had things pretty well under control.
My mom had a lot of tattoos all over. Some had meaning, some were just for fun. When she found out about Project Semicolon, she was in love with the idea. I decided to get one as well, in support of her and her struggles. I designed a version of the semicolon tattoo that incorporated a flower sketch that I used to put in all my birthday and other cards to her. I took the design to a few different tattoo shops to get some quotes. We were pretty sure which place we were going to and just needed to set a date.
But then I got the call that mom was gone.
My mom never did get her semicolon tattoo because of the heart attack that took her away so suddenly. I have her tattoo on my wrist and I think of her every time I see it. I love you, Mom, and I'm so glad we got 31 years together instead of far fewer.
I've got one more shawl/post to do, but first I'd like to do a little wrap-up of my #shawleveryday2019 project. When I started out, I had no idea if I could write about mental health every day for 90+ days, but I did it. I learned a ton of things and I'm so glad that I got to share all this information with you. I hope you were able to gain some knowledge and reflect on your own mental health along the way.
Here are some of my favorite posts:
And here are some of my favorite shawls:
I've updated my Mental Health Resources page with almost all of the links from my posts, and if you have any questions or just need to talk, feel free to message me via social media or via email. Lastly, one more reminder that I am raising money for Independence Center, so please consider donating to my campaign or purchasing a shawl.
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Wavedeck shawl pattern
As you can tell, I like to knit a lot. I have over 260 projects cataloged in Ravelry and there are many more that I didn't even bother to document or that I knit before Ravelry even existed. I've been knitting for over 20 years and have no plans to stop.
Knitting is really good for mental health. Knitting lowers your heart rate, reduces anxiety, and relieves stress. The repetitive stitch making can be a form of meditation and relaxation that takes my mind off all the other stuff that's going on in my life. Plus, at the end, I get a cool thing to wear or use around the house!
Knitting can also be a great social activity that helps combat loneliness. Ravelry has tons of forums where you can chat with fellow knitters about everything under the sun. There are a bunch of social knitting groups and knit nights around the St. Louis area that get you out of the house and meeting new people.
If you want to learn to knit, hit me up for YouTube recommendations or stop by your Local Yarn Shop!
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Spiral cowl pattern
People with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) display some or all of the following symptoms:
People with NPD rarely seek treatment, since many of the symptoms can be seen as positive attributes in society. Additionally, the person may not have the insight to see that these symptoms are problems and that their behavior is inappropriate.
A person with NPD can be very charming and they are good at drawing us in to their fantasies and confidence. It's easy to get caught up in their web, so it's important to stay objective.
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Every Fibre of my Being shawl pattern
Sometimes people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders are unable to make decisions about their basic care, such as food, shelter, and medical care. Sometimes they are at risk of harming themselves or others. If a person is unable to understand sufficient information to make decisions about medical treatment, they can go through a process in Missouri called Civil Involuntary Detention.
This process allows for the detention, evaluation, and treatment of people who are believed to imminently harmful. You can call the Access Crisis Intervention (or Behavioral Health Response) hotline 24/7 at 1-800-811-4760 to talk to someone who can evaluate the situation and provide the appropriate response.
In Missouri, the initial detention, evaluation, and treatment period is 96 hours not including weekends or holidays. After that, the psychiatric team may release the person or recommend to a court additional time (typically 21 days, 90 days, or 1 year for mental health treatment or 30 or 60 days for substance use disorders).
You can find additional information at the Missouri Department of Mental Health.
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One Skein Scarf pattern