In sincerity, each of you reading this article is greatly appreciated and valued. The intent of this article is one of a deepening relationship between you and me; a deepening relationship between reader and writer. As a typical writer, it’s an honor to be face-to-face with whom find these articles a blessing. I hope we cross paths one day. I hope we meet in person. And in every way, I hope these articles always afford you the value that you desire.
If we ever meet face to face, I hope you notice two things about me. Yes, I like to wear flat caps. And yes, it’s weird (LOL). But no, this article is not about flat caps. It’s neither principles nor values. And not (necessarily) even about personal characteristics. It’s more important. If we meet, I hope you see the two worn-down and damaged rings I wear. Most importantly, I hope you see the meanings they possess.
It’s not a fashion statement. Far from it. Each ring is a message from the heart. It’s a message both to myself of what I went through and to others in what they endure. A harsh reminder of the pain that this world carries — and the reassurance to follow… To follow Christ isn’t a joke. To follow Christ is sincerity. Authenticity. A mission. I’ve talked with many other brothers and sisters in Christ about mental illness. We’re all like a family. A church family. And we all have common similarities in the heavenly father who cares for us. Saying that, may God bless each one of you — whatever your situation may be.
Please excuse me for the first ring’s appearance. Over time, it has worn out and partly erased. Nonetheless, its symbolism remains strong as ever. This ring represents a grassroots movement called “Project Semicolon.” It brings attention to suicide awareness and its effect on each family. The outside of the ring has a single semicolon. The inside has the engraving, “My Story Isn’t Over Yet;” An idea that a sentence is not over; the sentence goes on. It is stronger than a comma; yet less final than a period. It is something that helps me remember both my darkest days as well as the friends who have stood by me.
The other ring is similar. It has an inside engraving that says, “BPD Survivor.” The abbreviation ‘BPD’ represents the diagnosis of ‘Borderline Personality Disorder.’ The term is debatable as many think the name enforces stigma — so it’s also referred to as EUPD (Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder). The seriousness of BPD reflects by the unfortunate statistic of 10% being successful in their suicide attempts. Suicidal ideation and self-harm are common symptoms of this disorder, which lead to grievous statistics.
Life can get in such a space of having a loss of control — both external and internal. It can drive a person mad. It’s as if a storm is around us, and our raft begins to fall apart… Who could survive? But it’s this lesson that the Millennial Spark thrives on… Because it’s a real question. It touches each one of our lives. The last I’ve always held from the memory of these two rings is that life is a tumult. But if you look deep within yourself among the storm, you can find the one thing that you have control over. And it’s convenient because it’s the one thing that matters. You have the potential to be great. You have the potential to help others amazingly. And it might take a storm for you to look — but know it’ll always be there. Your potential never leaves. I hope you use this lesson to grow closer to Christ — He will never leave you.