You may not know the name, Amy Bleuel. She was the leader behind the “Project Semicolon” movement- a non-profit meant to help those dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts, bipolar, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses. The focus on suicide prevention, with the tattoo of a semicolon- Reminding the world, my story is not over yet.
She was a social media phenomenon that took the message to a completely new level. She encouraged, uplifted, and was nothing but raw authenticity. I began following Amy a while back as I began my own personal journey to share hope and love as a believer living with bipolar disorder.
This past week, Amy took her own life, and the community is heartbroken.
As someone who has fought suicidal thoughts my entire life, something that I am not very sure I have said aloud too often, or even on paper or a screen, I am saddened of the news. Saddened because I know exactly where she must have been in her mind, and what she felt, and of the black hole she was in. I am saddened that many will be confused by her decision, but never really understand what it is like to be there, in that moment. Too often, all that is left behind is what will define you forever.
I will not allow it.
Amy tried with every ounce of love in her soul to bring awareness to a difficult subject. She wanted to help, in any way possible, for that someone out there, who saw no out, to know their story was not finished, and to applaud survivors dealing with this torment for having the courage to keep on going. That love for life is what will forever define her.
Let us face it; it is the taboo subject even in the year 2017. There is more compassion for mental awareness than I have ever seen in my lifetime, but there is still the stigma, the jokes, the inappropriate comments, the fear, the lack of research and understanding.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I know where my hope comes from. God himself has seen me through some of the darkest days. Having done that, he is very aware of my where my mind and my heart meander. It’s God who holds me as I cry, it’s God who shares his Word with me when I’m lost, and it’s God alone that carries me when the wall of life erects itself around me, with a large sign that says ‘hopeless’- so don’t be fooled. I will never allow someone to define me based on bipolar, depression or anxiety- because I know, with every fiber of my being, that I am first HIS child, loved beyond my pain, and loved into wholeness. That relationship is what will always define me, and it will always define Amy.
RIP. Rest in peace….
“Despite the wounds of a dark past I was able to rise from the ashes, proving that the best is yet to come. When my life was filled with the pain of rejection, bullying, suicide, self-injury, addiction, abuse and even rape, I kept on fighting. I didn’t have a lot of people in my corner, but the ones I did have kept me going. In my 20 years of personally struggling with mental health I experienced many stigmas associated with it. Through the pain came inspiration and a deeper love for others. 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.” –Amy Bleuel