If you know me in real life (or virtually), you know that I am involved in something called This is My Brave. This is My Brave the show is a theater production in which people with mental illness get up and share their story before a live audience. I am a part of the debut cast of about 15 people.
It’s not that hard for me to sit here at my desk in my yellow room and type these blogs out, to share my secrets with you, dear reader – a complete stranger. I tell you about the cutting and the OCD and the anxiety and the bipolar disorder. I am honest with you. Why would I lie? I get your comments, and yes, sometimes they are unpleasant, but I don’t really worry about you judging me. If you don’t want to read my blog, you simply quit reading.
But to get up on a stage under the bright lights and tell a theater of over 300 people about the day I tried to kill myself, now that, that is daunting.
The piece I will be reading is from the final chapter of my memoir. The piece is titled “Anything is Possible.” I have practiced reading it so many times it is practically memorized. I’d recite it for you, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
It is going to take a lot of bravery for me to do this show. My anxiety will be at its peak. But I think it is important, because every time one of us stands up and tells our story someone else feels a little less alone. That is what I want – for you to not feel alone. You’re not. There are a lot of us. We come in all shapes and sizes and colors. We are anyone.
There is a quote by Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle, I keep on a purple sticky note adhered to my desk that reads, “Memoir is about handing over your life to someone and saying, this what I went through, this is who I am, and maybe you can learn something from it.”
That is what I will be doing this Sunday, the 18th, at 3pm at the Artisphere (Spectrum Theatre) in Arlington, Virginia – handing over my life. There are a few tickets left for the show if you are interested in hearing our stories.
For more information go to Thisismybrave.com.