My name is Kevin Conn. I'm 43 years old. I have lived up and down the East Coast, but I was raised in the D.C. Metro Area. I currently live in Arlington, VA. While I love my full-time job, my dreams include: releasing my all-ages sci-fi graphic novel, CAPTAIN TOMORROW: Space Adventurer, speaking all around the world about the stigma of mental illness, and owning a dog so that I may spoil it with love and affection.
My mental illness has affected me greatly over the years. Suffering from depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety is a film trilogy no one ever wants to watch, let alone live through.
A typical day might include a struggle to get out of bed, not from physical exhaustion but from either migraines or, more often, feeling depressed and scared to face the day. I feel so positive and alive on some days but something, anything, can change the mood to one of utter failure and sadness. These are hard enough to deal with on their own, but when I try to reach out or interact with others, anxiety begins and I can shut down. I can't tell you the number of times in my life where I may have looked normal on the outside, but was freaking out on the inside and afraid of looking “like an idiot” to those around me. Finally, in 2015, it came to a boiling point and I attempted suicide. Luckily for me, I failed. With assistance from therapy, medicine, and other outreach programs, I have learned tools to help control and move forward from my illness
This is why I want to be a part of This Is My Brave and other NAMI events. I want to help others who have struggled and shine a light on those who may think unkindly of mental illness in general and show them people who live with it aren’t so different. I want to show and prove to people that I have learned ways to help me stay mentally healthy, instead of feeling ashamed and running from my illness. Simple breathing techniques and eating healthier are just a few of the coping skills I have used to get better. Love, support, and understanding from my therapist, family and friends also helped.
Ultimately, what I hope the audience takes away from this performance is hope. Hope for those on stage, hope for those they know are suffering, and hope for themselves.
Tickets are on sale NOW! Click the button below to order your tickets to meet Kevin 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 Northern Virginia 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.