Tag Archives: suicide awareness

The Semicolon

In terms of grammar, a semi-colon is used in place of a period when the sentence could have been ended… but was not.

In terms of my mission and life, I am the author, the sentence is my life and the Semicolon is the conscious decision not to let my mental illness dictate when that life ends. The Semicolon is a beautiful and simple motif for continuing to survive despite how difficult it is to live with mental illness. The Semicolon signifies that although I could have taken the choice to end my own life… I chose (and continue to choose) not to.

This simple idea comes from “The Semicolon Project“, a nonprofit organization started by Amy Bleuel after she lost her father to suicide. The following is taken directing from their Facebook page:

Through the semicolon symbol many related to the struggle of depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide and their will to continue on. The title, “Project Semicolon,” also represented a goal – to believe that this is not the end but a new beginning.

As the days passed and the project was developed further, it became clear that this symbol was not just about one person. We heard from people longing to continue their story and live a life that would inspire others to continue on as well.

Over the years Project Semicolon has become much more than just one person honoring a parent. Through musician support and social media, the message of hope and love has reached a big audience in many different countries, more than we could have ever anticipated.

Project Semicolon is honored to be a part of those continuing stories, and to be an inspiration to those who are struggling.

The path I tread is not an easy one. I recognize that. I have good and bad days. I am not always the best at staying on the prescribed treatment for my depression. I do not always want to recognize that I suffer from an illness. And even though I do my best to spread a message of hope despite depression, I am not always successful at believing my own words.

I have an indomitable will to survive. Through even the most difficult days, I refuse to give up.

The design featured at the top of this post is a new tattoo design (a rough one) I hope to have etched into my skin soon. It will be a permanent reminder that I am the author of my life… and I refuse to let it be ended prematurely. I refuse to be beaten. I will continue on. My message of hope will continue.

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The 22

Today is the start of a new year. I’m sure your Facebook feeds are riddled with posts about a “new year, new me” and about the new year’s resolutions. I’m sure that there are many fitness related ones – and we are all familiar with the humorous trope of gyms being filled to capacity with people that will eventually trickle off, their resolutions forgotten.

For the past few months, I have been mulling over what I want to change in my own life. I haven’t really been able to put my finger on any one individual thing. I’m happy with my fitness, I am lucky enough to have friends and family who love me and I am determined to greet the next year (and its challenges) with a positive and open mind.

More and more, I wanted to do *something* for society. I wanted to take my life and make something more of it. I racked my brain as I tried to find something that I could do to help make the world a better place. And then it occurred to me.

Every day, 22 veterans take their life. That comes out to over 8,000 men and women a year. These are men and women that have served our country in some capacity – some on the front lines in far off countries away from their families. These are men and women that need our help – and many of them are afraid or unable to get that help.

I want to offer that help. I want to help take a stand against the epidemic that is proliferating through our armed service members. I want to help in any way that I can.

I will spread the message at each race through some means – I’ll look for a race shirt talking about “The 22” and wear it at each race event. I’ll write across my body in sharpie. I’ll shout the message to the world. For those 22, I will run 22 miles in a month. I will run each mile in remembrance for those veterans that saw no way out but to take their own life. No matter what, I will run. And for each mile I run, I will donate money to Mission22 via their PayPal link. This may seem small, but know that I endeavor to run more than 22 miles and will round up the amount to the nearest “10” amount. I’ll post a tally each month of my miles. If you feel inclined, please match my donation. I don’t expect that of any of my readers – but I do want you to spread the word. Help me fight against this suicide epidemic!

These men and women served us admirably. Don’t they deserve more than to struggle alone against their own demons? I know what it is to feel the oppression of mental illness – I know what its like to look through the dark tunnel and not see an end in sight. I refuse to stand idly by while these demon takes someone’s friend, spouse, parent or child.

I’m standing with the 22 and taking a stand against veteran suicide. Who is with me?