1. I was born and raised in New Jersey just twenty minutes outside of Philadelphia. So I come from a long line of Phillies, Sixers and Eagles fans. I'm incredibly close to my family, which includes my mom, my dad, my brother, Joshua and my Jack Russell, "Fancy." I have three other family dogs that I grew up with- TeeBone, Roxie and Biggie so it's safe to say I'm a dog lover. And when I'm NOT petting someone's random dog, you can find me writing, reading or getting active. I recently started Boxing and have begun training for my first half marathon.
2. Mental Illness has NOT made things easy for me. Because I make my living as a public speaker, it can be really detrimental to my job and frustrating to me as a creator to always feel trapped inside of my own head. Constant fears loom overhead; And saying too much, not saying enough, sounding "crazy" and feeling "crazy" have kept me exhausted which can send me plummeting into a depression. Mental Illness has made me work; HARD. It has forced me to prioritize everything that helps me remain in control; not limited to, but including my medication, physical activity, eating habits and faith background. Maintenance has been key. And open dialogue and communication with my support system remains paramount so that I can continue to thrive.
3. I wanted to be apart of 'This Is My Brave' because community matters. And the SEEING the big picture is only the first step to making a change in any community; you have to become apart of the picture. There is another little girl somewhere who constantly wonders what is wrong with her and why no matter how hard she tries she can't seem to get her thoughts together; that the only way out of turmoil could be to take her own life. And I want her to know that she has been wonderfully made. That she can thrive and not be a victim to a common health issue that she didn't ask for.
4. Purpose is what inspires me to stay mentally healthy. God has given me SO much to do. So much to achieve... so much to learn... so many places to go. So much love to give and to receive. And I will do what I can to not allow my mental illness to get in the way of it. I'm BUSY!
5. I hope the audience understands that there is no shame in hurting. There is no shame in pain, in needing to reach out and that the best thing we can do is rally around one another and uphold each other. I want any parents to in the audience to understand the importance of not giving up on their struggling like my parents never gave up on me. And I want us to come together to open the dialogue- to break the stigma.
Tickets are on sale NOW! Click the button below to order your tickets to meet Jhas and more brave storytellers. This is one mental health performance you won't want to miss!
Please share this post with friends and family in the Philadelphia area. We're all affected by mental health and addiction issues, and the more we can support each other, the easier it will be for people to seek help. This Is My Brave is proof that Storytelling Saves Lives.