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I’m not afraid of your pain: The Jason Cartwright Memorial Foundation

I stumbled upon To Write Love On Her Arms one day on the web.  I was awestruck by the sheer awesomeness of what this virtual stranger had created for someone.  One person. He felt that her story mattered, and aimed for it to be heard by others.

I also stumbled upon Hopeline while pursing post secret one day.   It saddened me greatly to read these stories, to read  about other people’s pain.  However, it drove them to make a difference.

I was inspired.

Although I thought to myself could I truly make that much of a difference?  Could I and I alone as one person make that much of an impact on someone’s, anyone’s life?  At the time I didn’t know if I could and I am ashamed to say that it didn’t even cross my mind to really even try.  Perhaps it was because I thought I needed a reason, something to create a driving force behind my need, want and desire to do this.

On September 3rd 2009, tragically I had one.

That was the day that my best friend, my confidant and business partner took his own life.  His name is Jason Cartwright and he was brilliant.  Jason was one of the most selfless people I have ever had the privilege to know.  I felt as if I failed him, that I and I alone could have saved him.   Jason was a diagnosed bio-polar, manic depressive, suffered from an anxiety disorder and he was also an addict.   He was only 29.  His suicide made headlines, yet awareness on suicide prevention and mental illness does not.

In fact, I don’t think it ever has.

We aim to change that.

With the support of Jason’s mother Julie, I have created this foundation to not only honour the memory of my friend; to bring forth awareness that it is OK to talk about suicide, addiction and depression.  I was reading an article on TWLOHA one day and I seen a quote by Jaime Tworkowski that said “ One of the most powerful things that a friend said to me while I was going through a difficult time was ’I want you to know that I’m not afraid of your pain’ “. That has stuck with me since I read that years ago.
Which became the inspiration behind I’m not afraid of your pain: The Jason Cartwright memorial foundation.

I also want to honour the memory of those that we have all loved and lost to suicide, depression and/or addiction; even if I didn’t know them, their life mattered.  Their stories matter.  They need to be told.  We all need to be able to say: “I’m not afraid of your pain, please tell me your story so I can share the burden of your hurt.  You are not alone.”  Reaching out to help can be a scary thing for anyone, however it can make all the difference in the world if you’re not afraid of someone Else’s pain.

Stephanie Keobel
June 13th 2010

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