01/08/20 #SameHere Hero: Jason Shapiro

“In 1998 my younger brother who I mistreated growing up was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia. In 2006 I unexpectedly found out my childhood best friend took his life. Then in 2013 my father was killed in car accident down the street from his house.


Even though years separated each devastating instance, it felt like a barrage of uppercuts to my soul. The feeling of guilt, pain, and regret began to take over and manifest in my heart.


Through the years I was searching for answers as to ‘why’ these tragic events happened. Once I had insight as to what caused each tragedy, I figured I could stop blaming myself and slowly start to move forward with my life.


In 2017 I decided to tell my story within the pages of a book. My therapy method was to tell the world how the loss of these three people reshaped my entire existence. I was going attempt to outline the crossroads of my own life and map out exactly how I became the person I am today…who I was, who I am, and who I will become. I knew that I was going to have to go to a place of vulnerability and truth. I found out that self-awareness is the road to self-acceptance. With each stroke on the key board, I slowly started to see the crossroads of my life appear before my eyes. A map of how I became the person I am today arose. I had created the blueprint of me. The tears that covered the keys on my computer had provided me the therapy I was searching for.


Going public with my memoir titled ‘The Magic of Mayfair’ has been one of the most frightening yet rewarding experiences of my life. My book’s message is simple: Embrace those we love struggling with mental health issues and never feel that it is something that should be hidden. I have many people who have read my book tell me they have loved ones (or even themselves) suffering with mental health, but never felt comfortable talking about it outside the immediately family unit. My story made them feel it was ok to speak about it openly. The greatest feeling in the world is when someone can positively benefit from my own personal #SameHere Story!”

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