Meet Denver cast member Chrysta Bairre

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I love my life, and I'm grateful for every minute of it! I'm a career coach and founder of Live Love Work. Through my work I get to help other survivors do what I've done - overcome personal challenges to create successful and happy careers. 

I live life on two wheels- I ride a Schwinn Cream 2 bicycle and a Buddy 125 scooter. I have 13 tattoos and counting, and gave an Ignite speech titled, "Tattooed Goody Two Shoes". I dress up for the Colorado Renaissance Festival every year. I attend sci-fi conventions. I'm a little odd and I have a lot of fun.

I'm a Colorado native, living in Fort Collins with my husband, dogs, cats, and bunnies. I volunteer with Larimer Humane Society, and I serve on the board of directors for Dance Express, a local dance troupe for persons with and without disabilities.   

I'm a 2015 Top 20 Classy Career Girl, and a 2016 participant in the Larimer County Women of the Year program. 

How had mental illness affected your life? 

The first time I remember wanting to attempt suicide I was 6 years old. I was given anti-depressants at age 8, and was hospitalized at age 14. I struggled with anxiety, depression, and PTSD for much of my life. 

I am a survivor, I am strong, and I am beautiful, not despite mental illness, but because of it.

Why did you want to be part of This Is My Brave? 

Each and every one of us is valuable and important. You are valuable and important. I want everyone to hear me - you are valuable and important.

What inspires you to get (or stay) mentally healthy? 

Many times over I made the conscious decision not to die, and if I wasn't going to die, I was going to live and live well. 

Today I am inspired by the connections and stories of women I meet who've overcome significant personal challenges to create a life they love.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

I hope to reach just one person in the audience - that person who needs to hear the stories that are shared, that person who is about to make a decision about their life. 

Join us on May 19th at the Oriental Theater in Denver as we shine a light on mental illness to end stigma. Chrysta will be sharing her story, along with her fellow cast members performing original music, personal essays and poetry.

We hope to see you there!