Thursday, August 4, 2016

THE STORY BEHIND THE SEMICOLON Blogger: Being Sane Takes Too Much Work

After her father took his own life when she was only 18 years of age, Amy Bleuel battled mental illness, addiction, self harm and suicidal thoughts. Amy got a tattoo of a semicolon to honor her father's memory. The meaning of the semicolon is "your story is not over." A semicolon is used when an author could have ended a sentence but choose not to. You are the author and the sentence is your life. This led to an organization and a global movement supporting anyone struggling with the same afflictions. Project Semicolon was a social media movement started in 2013. Originally created as a day where people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and photograph it, it quickly grew into something greater and more permanent. As a reminder of their struggle and victory, people all over the world are tattooing the mark. Amy explains, "We never suggested the tattoos. You don't have to get the tattoo to be part of Project Semicolon." She goes on to say, "Any and everybody is welcome to participate in the movement." Project Semicolon has transformed into a full-pledged movement. There are heartfelt stories, grassroots tattoo-a-thons and a charity organization. The Semicolon Tattoo Project was inspired by the Project Semicolon movement. The creators of the STP saw not only a way to help the community, but reduce the stigma around mental illness. Project Semicolon is both a social movement and a non-profit organization whose main focus is to open discussion about mental disorders. Its ultimate goal is to educate and spread awareness. Project Semicolon is a Christian organization but is quick to clarify that they do not exclude those who follow any other beliefs or religions. Since its beginning in 2013, this movement has gained worldwide support and attention, with semicolon tattoo spreading in solidarity. Project Semicolon does not offer a direct helpline but instead brings those battling mental illness together through their inspirational messages, blogs and other resources. Along with suicidal thoughts, self injury,and addiction, Amy has overcome other obstacles in her life. She was bullied and even raped. She struggled with mental illness for over 20 years and has experienced stigmas that are associated with it. Even with all she has been through, Amy has found strength and love for others. She now shares her stories giving hope to others struggling with mental illness. Email Website http:/ Project Semicolon-Facebook

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