A semicolon is a pause in the sentence, not the end of one.
The semicolon tattoos have taken the world by storm as of late. Two tiny symbols but with a large meaning behind them.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide, in the last 45 years. Suicide is the leading cause of death among ages 15-44. Mental health disorders (particularly depression) are linked with more than 90% of suicide cases. Most young adults today are battling anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts on a daily basis. Yet, nobody speaks of them, and it often goes unnoticed. It is the shame associated with depression, and the title of mental illness that discourages many people from seeking help. But depression is a very serious matter. Amy Bleuel, who has battled against mental illness herself, began Project Semicolon in 2013 for the very same reason.
Amy Bleuel endured the hurls and throws of life from the tender of age of 6. By the time she was a teenager, she had faced physical, mental and emotional abuse, rape, rejection, bullying, addiction, and worst of all, the lack of support from loved ones. She succumbed to self-injuring behavior, and even attempted to take her life on multiple occasions. When at the age of 18 she lost her father to suicide, she also lost herself to the darkness of depression, and was always on the verge of giving up. Meeting her husband was the turning point of her life, when she finally began to heal. It was then that she decided to begin the initiative of The Semicolon Project.
“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life,” – Amy Bleuel. The aim of the project is to raise awareness against depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. To openly address the struggles associated with mental illness, and to encourage those struggling to get the help they need. To start a conversation about suicide, mental illness and addiction that can’t be stopped. It is a faith-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing love, support and hope to those who are struggling.
The Semicolon Project has led to inspire a powerful movement throughout the world, known as The Semicolon Tattoo Project (the two are not associated). Depression is a lifelong battle, where the darkness can creep back up any time until you feel like you’ve lost control of life and you can’t even drag yourself out of bed any longer. These tattoos honor those who have dealt with mental illness as well as those struggling through it. The tattoos connect those who have been through similar circumstances, to let them know that they are not alone, and they need not feel ashamed. They have become a beautiful symbol of global strength.