Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Project Semicolon: Sharing My Story in Honor of Amy's Legacy

I am so very sad to hear that Amy Bleuel, founder of Project Semicolon, died last week. Project Semicolon is a global non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love for those who are struggling with mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire.
Amy saved lives with her work. People were inspired and encouraged by her and the symbol of the semicolon, but more than that, through Project Semicolon, people realized they weren't alone.
From the moment I discovered Project Semicolon, I knew I needed a semicolon tattoo. I knew I needed this physical, visible, daily reminder that no matter what I was facing this wasn't the end of my story. I needed this symbol to tell me, without words, that no matter how hard it seemed, the pain wouldn't last forever. I needed to be able to look at it and know that I wasn't alone, that others all over the world were fighting the battles of depression and anxiety alongside me.
A friend reached out asking if I wanted to get one with her, and it was a done deal, another strong reminder that we are not alone. She worked her semicolon into waves inspired by her love of and connection to the water, a constant in her life, a place of strength and peace.
I put mine between the two words that anchor me daily. Love and grace. The things I both aspire to but also find solace in. Each day I want to give love, live love, embody love - for myself, my family, and the world. Love is the only thing that makes sense to me in the face of hate and suffering. When I have no idea how to respond, what else to do, how to push through, love is what calls me forward. Love is expansive and light. Love heals. It is a comfort, a gift, and a calling. It is messy and real.
Love and grace. Grace because we are human and our world is broken. Without grace, I can never measure up. Grace tells me, shows me, time and time again that no matter what I do, no matter how I mess up, I AM loved. Grace will save me every time. Grace means that I can stop fighting to earn my right to exist. Grace says I am enough, right here, right now, exactly as I am. And grace frees me from deciding who else is worthy, compelling me to focus entirely on loving them, just as they are, in all their mess and beauty, in all their humanity.
Every day I'm thankful for this tattoo. Things still get hard. Sometimes the darkness settles in, and I don't know how long it will stay. But every day I'm thankful to know I'm not alone, and that this is not the end of my story. Today I'm especially thankful for Amy and her work in this world. In her honor, I will keep sharing my story,
I will keep telling people that the pain is real, but depression lies. This is the truth. You are not alone. Your story isn't over. You matter.
If you are struggling, please reach out. To someone, anyone. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline '1-800-273-TALK (8255)'

1 comment:

  1. I have also supported project semicolon I have one on my wrist also at a very young age I have been fighting depression and have also tried to commit suicide also number of times starting at a young age also I have people asked me what the semicolon was for and have explained to them thanks for writing this and will keep your family in my prayers while your daughter is going through her transformation


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