When I launched this project, I was the only author, publishing articles every week until 2012, and every month until 2015, until I began to experience burnout from this project and my career in mental health. In an attempt to fix this, I recruited Anicka as another staff writer, and while we had plans for this project, I am sad to announce that these plans won't see fruition in this project.
Unfortunately, all projects must come to an eventual end, and despite returning from our hiatus last year and our intention to return to our original publishing frequency, this is the end of the Unholy American project.
Last month, my younger brother took his own life at 21 years of age. My brother didn't have any profound physical or mental disabilities; in fact, he was a wicked smart music historian and producer. But he was bipolar, PDD-NOS (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and likely schizophrenic.
We never received a consensus among doctors and mental health experts regarding his diagnosis on anything other than his bipolar and ASD, but he was found by the state to be disabled, unable to work, later qualifying and entering residential care in the form of a group home and then, until his passing, in independent supported living. My brother was also an addict; whenever his mental health would turn into a downward spiral as it often did, he would seek drugs in order to self-medicate. Whenever his mental health was being taken care of, he wouldn't seek drugs, and until his death, he was open about his addition, active in the movement against heroin, and both participated in and volunteered for Narcotics Anonymous in the area.
For the past 7 years, I have been a mental health activist, becoming president of an advocacy organisation in 2014 and a board member of another later that same year. In all of my efforts, I have been fighting for people both like and unlike my brother, demanding that individuals with disabilities receive the quality care they deserve. With my brother's sudden passing, it's time for me to step away from The Unholy American and focus on my own recovery and the needs of my family instead of worrying about decreasing readership and our infrequent updates.
"But wait!", you ask, "Why don't you just take another hiatus and come back later?" Yes, this is something that has been considered, but ultimately it would be better to end the blog entirely. Long periods of inactivity harm the SEO of a blog, and reviving a dead blog is no easy task. I still consider it luck that I had 40,000 people reading my articles per month in 2014, but those aren't levels we can achieve again for a long time if we go on a hiatus, and certainly not when our preferred marketing method for the entirety of this blogs existence has been exclusively organic and word-of-mouth.
So, this is where The Unholy American comes to an end. I'll still be working in mental health and within the secular movement, and hopefully within the next year I'll launch my project, but for now? Well, I guess I'll keep it at "see ya later".