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National Semicolon Day: Why I Stand in Solidarity

It's surprising to me that #NationalSemicolonDay has existed for only 7 years. This day was established after Amy Bleuel started #ProjectSemicolon, and it serves as a day to remind those battling mental illness that life can continue and there's an entire community to lean on for support. Amy Bleuel started this project because she understood, firsthand, the effects of depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. Because of her, we have a day to be reminded that #MentalHealth is an important and necessary topic that needs to be continuously addressed and discussed.

A semicolon is used when an author could’ve ended a sentence but chose not to.  You are the author and the sentence is your life.

As of the end of 2018 and the year of 2019, it's been documented that nearly 264 million are affected by #depression. Approximately 2.3 million are affected by #bipolardisorder. Approximately 3.5 million are diagnosed with #schizophrenia. 40 million adults in the U.S. age 18 or older are affected by #anxietydisorders. We need to talk about it. We need to band together as a society and community to acknowledge the seriousness and importance of discussing a topic that is deemed taboo. We are not so different, after all. We should not allow our neighbors to continue to struggle in silence.

If you've followed my story, you know that I acknowledge my life anniversary on August 23rd every year. This day holds significance for me because it was the day my life was saved from my own hands. I know what it feels like to have weight on your heart that is indescribable. I know what it feels like to have a hug that suffocates you constantly, a hug that is not comforting, but heavy. I know what it feels like to have a soundtrack on loop that repeatedly asks you, "What is the point?" I know what it feels like to feel empty. You ask me why I stand in solidarity today. It is simply because I know what it feels like to not want life anymore. And it is one of the scariest and most numbing feelings to exist.

I ask that you continue the conversation surrounding #MentalHealth. I ask that you approach others with an open and kind heart, for you never know what they are experiencing. I ask that if you do not understand nor empathize, that you do not dismiss the person. I ask that instead you attempt to find a solution to help. I ask that if you or anyone you know are struggling with a mental disorder, that you speak up and ask for help. There is no shame in saying you are not strong enough to carry on on your own right now. If anything, there is strength in knowing when you need assistance in carrying your plate.

We must acknowledge that mental disorders exist always, but we must acknowledge it especially today and continue to support #projectsemicolon. Today, we honor & stand in solidarity with those who are struggling with mental illnesses. Today, we honor & stand in solidarity with those who are struggling with wanting to continue their lives. Please, stand in solidarity with me.

Your story is not over yet;

You are important;

You are loved;

You are necessary;

You deserve life;

For more information about #projectsemicolon, please visit:

If you or someone you know is contemplating their life, please call the suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255 & visit for more information.

For more information about #mentalhealth and how to assist others, please visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (#NAMI) webpage:

we are all in this together;

May your day be ever filled with love, light, and of course, an abundance of chicken tenders💜🌻✨

Cheyenne Pajardo

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