Project Semicolon
Sara Sargent at HarperCollins has bought Amy Bleuel's Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over. This book from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon chronicles the global phenomenon of the semicolon tattoo, combining photos of individuals' tattoos with their stories about struggling with suicide and mental illness.

Project Semicolon Details

TitleProject Semicolon
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 1st, 1970
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Short Stories, Health, Psychology

Project Semicolon Review

  • Christine Spoors
    January 1, 1970
    I feel bad for disliking this book but, despite the book saying it is spreading messages of hope, I found that it was the complete opposite. I feel so down and hopeless after reading this and would be far too worried to recommend this to anyone I know with mental health struggles.Trigger Warnings: Basically everything. Every kind of abuse, eating disorders, suicide, depression, anxiety, self-harm. This book is filled with sad stories about hardship and terrible things happening so I can't think I feel bad for disliking this book but, despite the book saying it is spreading messages of hope, I found that it was the complete opposite. I feel so down and hopeless after reading this and would be far too worried to recommend this to anyone I know with mental health struggles.Trigger Warnings: Basically everything. Every kind of abuse, eating disorders, suicide, depression, anxiety, self-harm. This book is filled with sad stories about hardship and terrible things happening so I can't think of all the triggers.I am sure for some people this book may be helpful. It's amazing to read an essay and see that someone is going through the same thing that you are. However, this book is 250+ essays about "hardship and hope" with the majority being about 80% hardship and 20% hope. In many stories the hopeful part was a sentence or two at the end, which just made me feel more and more down as the book progressed.Project Semicolon has helped so many people, so I feel guilty for giving this a bad review, but I must be honest. It made me miserable, if I'd been in a bad space mentally I hate to think how I would have felt after reading it. I am not sure if Project Semicolon is a Christian organisation, but a lot of the stories talked about God as what helped them, so if you are not religious (like me) you read about these heartbreaking stories and then get no message of hope at the end.Researching this book I see that Amy Bleuel, the person who started Project Semicolon, committed suicide earlier this year, which is so heartbreaking. She touched so many lives and this book is proof of that, it's filled with semicolon tattoo's which was wonderful to see.I wish I could say that this reading experience filled me with hope and love but I just feel tired and upset.
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  • Schizanthus
    January 1, 1970
    If you don't take anything else away from this review, please know:* You are not alone* There is help available* You deserve it. Yep, even you! 😃If you need immediate help and you live in Australia, please contact Lifeline at 13 11 14 or online at www.lifeline.org.au. If your life is in danger, please call 000.If you're reading this and you're from another country, I'd appreciate it if you would please include in the comments section the details of the suicide hotline and emergency number in you If you don't take anything else away from this review, please know:* You are not alone* There is help available* You deserve it. Yep, even you! 😃If you need immediate help and you live in Australia, please contact Lifeline at 13 11 14 or online at www.lifeline.org.au. If your life is in danger, please call 000.If you're reading this and you're from another country, I'd appreciate it if you would please include in the comments section the details of the suicide hotline and emergency number in your country.The note at the beginning of Project Semicolon says it much better than I could ..."WARNING: If you suffer from suicidal ideation or mental illness, some of the stories that follow may trigger an adverse reaction. If you feel this kind of content may be triggering, we advise that you consider not reading this book. And if you do read and a story is beginning to upset you, please stop reading immediately."There are a multitude of potential triggers in this book. They include suicide, grief, mental illness, self harm, bullying, abuse, addiction, eating disorders, and plenty of family dysfunction. If you're looking for a hopeful, lovely read, this is not the book for you. If you want to gain understanding about what leads to someone wanting to take their own life or what life is like for the friends and family members of those who have, this is the one. This is a super duper important book.Whoever you are and whatever your background, please be safe while reading this book. It's full of people courageously sharing some of the most difficult life experiences anyone can go through. There is hope but there's more pain. This is an upsetting book. There's no way it can't be. I would have personally preferred for there to be fewer stories but more detail in this book. Often I felt like the stories were written with a focus on the pain and ended with either the writer saying things have or haven't improved but I would have liked for there to have been a greater focus on the steps in the journeys that helped each individual. While no book is a substitute for medical advice or counselling, I feel it would have been useful for people looking for hope in their own lives to be able to clearly identify what worked for each writer so they could implement the tools that they feel may be beneficial to them in their own lives.If you need support after reading any part of it, please reach out for it. The best first contact I can suggest (besides your local suicide hotline or emergency number) is your local doctor. I personally have two GP's that are unsung heroes in my life. You local doctor knows your medical history (physical and psychological) and can offer support and guidance that's suitable for your situation. They can prescribe medication should you need it. They can refer you to the right service for you to get the help you deserve, whether that's a counsellor, support group or any number of other services that you probably aren't even aware of in your community. I'd recommend making a long appointment so your doctor and you have the time needed to spend on coming up with a plan that will help you in the short or long term. Your local doctor has likely heard it all before (many times) and you won't be telling them anything that will shock them. If you're too embarrassed to say what you need to then write it down and hand it to your doctor or read from it. In all likelihood they'll be supportive and proud of you for taking the first step in getting help. If your doctor isn't supportive then by all means try another and another until you find one that will help you.I accidentally came across Project Semicolon on social media several years ago. When I read that the semicolon was chosen because in literature a semicolon is used when an author continues a sentence rather than ending it, I loved the symbolism and it's stayed with me. I liked seeing all of the various semicolon inspired tattoos scattered through the book. While I don't have any permanent tattoos, I adore them and always have a variety of the temporary kind on hand whenever the whim comes to decorate or express myself. I do have a stack of semicolon tattoos and use them whenever I'm going through a difficult time to remind myself that I've gotten through difficult times before and I'll get through this one too. I find it's a subtle but effective visual reminder.When I'm struggling with whatever I'm facing, I remind myself that my story is not over yet and that simple reminder has never failed to provide me strength. In the midst of emotional or physical pain it can be difficult to see past it and remember that it hasn't always been like this. One of the things I've discovered over the years is that everything is temporary. I've had times where I was certain I'd never smile again and when I look back on those times now it hardly seems like I'm the same person who felt that way. I've had a number of the triggers in this book as my triggers over the years and some of those are no longer triggers, and those that are don't trigger me with the same intensity or frequency that they once did. I look back at 15 year old me who had already attempted suicide three times and I want to go back and tell her all of the things she'll miss out on in the future if she doesn't survive. Not wanting to sound facetious, but can you imagine the books I would have missed out on reading over the past 20 odd years and how many I plan to read in the future?! And that's just one thing I would've missed out on! I think of a primary school friend who seemed to have it all yet died by suicide in her early 20's. I want to give her a huge hug and say that one thing, whatever it would have been, that would have meant things would have turned out differently for her and her family.I promise you, nothing stays the same. Things can, and do, get better. There is someone who will understand you and your situation. You do have what it takes to recover, whatever that looks like to you.
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  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    I am really stumped on how to review this. First I will say a major trigger warning for suicide as well as depression, anxiety, self harm, eating disorders, and many more.Now I appreciate what this was trying to do but in my opinion the execution was poorly done. So, this is non-fiction filled with over 250+ stories of people who have attempted suicide and/or know someone who has attempted or committed suicide. Now this was repetitive and of course I do NOT mean to disrespect anyone and their st I am really stumped on how to review this. First I will say a major trigger warning for suicide as well as depression, anxiety, self harm, eating disorders, and many more.Now I appreciate what this was trying to do but in my opinion the execution was poorly done. So, this is non-fiction filled with over 250+ stories of people who have attempted suicide and/or know someone who has attempted or committed suicide. Now this was repetitive and of course I do NOT mean to disrespect anyone and their story. Each page was a very similar story with a photo with the same tattoo. It just got repetitive and I understand that everyones story is different but they were all written the same, with the same writing style, the same tattoo, etc. This book is super sad... obviously. I honestly don't know what they were trying to do by being so repetitive with each page. This book caused me a lot of anxiety and a lot of feelings and emotions to resurface, be aware of how triggering this book is. I just really don't know exactly how I feel about this, I think it could have really been done a lot better. I am glad that there is a trigger warning and the beginning of this book and a list of helplines and resources in the back.
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  • Madiw
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book so much and I plan on reading again in the future. It's such a great book and it help me with a lot of stuff in my life.
  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewing for professional magazine, see review there.
  • Marie Andrews
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars - Review to come shortly....
  • Jenny in Neverland
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come
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