We're excited to introduce the first cast member of This Is My Brave Northern VA: Meet Lisa Andrews!

I'm originally from Pennsylvania and have lived all over the country. I’ve been a career coach for over 20 years. I also enjoy scuba diving, traveling, and crafting. I met my husband Mike in 1993 and we’ve been married for 15 years.

Mental illness has dramatically changed my life and the life of my husband and family. I've had to alter my lifestyle significantly to make living in recovery a reality. I've had a few relapses, but currently I have a solid treatment team and plan. I'm doing well. While having bipolar disorder has had negative effects on my life (including keeping it a secret from many), it's also made me a more empathetic person. Through my involvement with NAMI, I've had the amazing opportunity to bring my story to others. Sharing my story allows me to impact those living with mental illness in a very positive way through education and advocacy.

I want to be a part of This Is My Brave because I enjoy sharing my story with others in a humorous way to humanize mental illness. I also have a long history of theater performance in my background, so it's great to be back on stage again!

What inspires me to stay mentally healthy is that - for me - when I'm mentally healthy, my life is more harmonious, happy, and stable. I'm able to work and contribute to the world. Staying healthy also impacts my husband and family, my main support systems. Staying healthy also allows me to continue my work with NAMI, leading Peer-to-Peer recovery education classes and being an In Our Own Voice presenter.

I hope the audience enjoys the many perspectives they will hear about mental illness, and that mental illness affects each person in different ways - both positively and negatively. In the end, I hope they realize mental illness has many faces and can be effectively managed.

Tickets are on sale NOW! Click the button below to order your tickets to meet Lisa 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.