Rarely do I write a provocative blog post, but today I will. This will make some of you mad, but it is my personal opinion. Many of you will write comments of offense and that is okay. I like hearing what you think, the flip side of the conversation – yes, comments make it a conversation.
I do not believe in Project Semicolon. I do believe in what they are getting at, “My story isn’t over yet,” but it stops there. Founder Amy Bleuel had an extremely tough upbringing filled with bullying, rejection, suicide attempts, self-injury, addiction, abuse. Early in her life she was abused by her father’s new wife and and eventually she became a ward of the state. She was raped two times.
There were times she lost her faith in God, thinking “Why me?” I have had that feeling before and I am sure many of you with bipolar disorder can relate. It can be shit sometimes, specifically when we are in a depressive state. It can be shit when we are manic. But there is also goodness and it is that goodness we must hang onto. Every now and then we feel “normal.” I believe it is amazing that people without mental illness do not realize how lucky they are – to wake up “normal” everyday. At my last therapy session I went in happy, became anxious, then right back into depression. My therapist commented, “You definitely are a rapid cycler.”
Amy wrote, “God wants us to love one another despite the label we wear. I do pray my story inspires others. Please remember there is hope for a better tomorrow.”
At the age of thirty one Amy Bleuel died by suicide.
To me, that goes against everything that Project Semicolon stands for – “My story isn’t over yet.” But she chose to end her story. The mission does not make a lot of sense to me. Today there a tons of tattoos of semicolons. My Facebook feed shows my tee-shirt after tee-shirt of butterflies and sunflowers and loads of other images incorporating the semicolon.
Come on, people. Why are we celebrating a suicide? If you had your tattoo done before her death, then that is fine, I don’t blame you. But there is no way on God’s green Earth that I am getting anything with the semicolon to signify Project Semicolon’s mission on my body.
Had Amy not chosen death by suicide, I would celebrate Project Semicolon’s mission. Hey, I might even buy a tee-shirt. But to hope for a better tomorrow and then die by your own hand is ironic in the worst way. One should not advocate a life of love for others when they do not have love enough love for oneself!
Amy was thirty one, seven years younger than I will be next month. I keep fretting over my birthday. My life is not what I imagined or hoped for myself and is dictated by my mental illnesses. I told both my mom and dad that on separate occasions and their answer to my whining was that I had made it through another year and that I was here and alive. I have tried to kill myself on several occasions. Maybe I am no better than Amy, encouraging you, dear reader, to hang in there. The difference is I am still here. I am still fighting my mind each and every day.
If you believe in Project Semicolon that is cool, but do not do it because of Amy. Do not celebrate another loss to our mental illnesses.