What We're Reminded of After Amy Bleuel's Passing
I write this article with a heavy heart.
I’ve never heard of Amy until this week, in which I read the news of her passing. With confusion, I started to research about her, about her history, and there it hit me: the mental health community had lost an amazing activist. I had heard about Project Semicolon before, and every time I saw someone with the “;” tattoo, and listened to their story, every single one of them were absolutely inspiring. Finding symbolism in something so simple, a semicolon, is just pure poetry.
And she came up with that. She has inspired many, and will still in future years. I, personally, am eternally grateful for that.
But Amy’s life reminds us of something we don’t talk about enough: Even though we may be mental health activists, even though we put our stories out there hoping to inspire other, even though we are comforted by being a part of a community where we share common struggles, we are still battling.
And I can say that many of us, who chose the path of educating and raising awareness, found this passion in our personal struggles. In our own pain. In our constant battle with certain conditions. It’s beautiful, but contradictory at the same time, for one to tell others it’ll get better, when there are days in which we feel like a burden, like nothing will ever be better, like wanting to die. It makes you wonder.
I have no answers, because I’m still processing all of these. But the only thing I can say is that people like Amy, people who write about mental health, people who create awareness, people who help others, are as human as those on the other side of the screen. We, as writers, are no different from the readers. The activists are no different from those they help. We are all part of the same
community, we share common struggles, we share pain and glory, and we are in this together. Some choose to talk about it, some make of their pain a global movement. Amy not only did that, but she inspired a lot of people along the way by recognizing her humanity.
May she finally be in peace, and may we all be reminded that even those who help us, who inspire us, who we admire, are human too. And they struggle, just as us or even more.
I just want to end this article sending immense love to every single member of this and other mental health awareness communities. May we mourn, may we learn, may we keep fighting side by side with love and support from others who share our pain. Our story, just like Amy’s, isn’t over yet.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Lead image via Project Semicolon