1: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Michelle and Im 36 years old living in Philadelphia with my wife and two cats. Im originally from Jersey so yes I am a true Jersey girl. Right now for work I am a full time Nanny to 4 beautiful children which the eldest is on the autism spectrum. When I am not working you can usually find me listening to all kinds of music, seeing the latest horror movie, watching my favorite comedians on Netflix, working on my artwork, hitting up the gym or just spending time with family and friends.
2: How has mental illness affected your life?
Its hard having a mental illness sometimes. I sometimes wish I was born what they say “normal”. It has given my a sense of self hatred I would not wish on my worst enemy. I have suffered from depression and anxiety my whole life and I believe its one of the reasons why I didn’t do that well in school. Or do as well as I could have done. Its affected me in ways where I sometimes find it hard to find joy in anything or motivation to do anything. It hinders me from opening up to people in fear I will get hurt or that everyone eventually will leave me. It’s a struggle everyday but I a lot stronger than I was.
3: Why did you want to be part of This is My brave.
My wife actually is the one who found out about it and auditioned. I went with her for moral support and as I sat there listening to her story it inspired me. I felt like I was finally comfortable enough in myself to tell my story. Growing up I didn’t have anyone to look up to or talk to about my depression or anxiety so I wanted my story to be something someone could relate to and feel they are not alone in what they are going through. To know it gets better as you age if you put in the hard work to try to overcome anything that stands in your way.
4: What inspires you to get or stay mentally healthy?
I have dealt with my mental illness for so long that I have finally accepted that this is a part of me and its not my fault how my brain works. I don’t wish to be sad or crippled with anxiety my whole life. I want to have a life that is filled with joy, adventure and love. Its all about what you want out of life. I choose to do things that I know will benefit myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I want to one day be mentally healthy enough to be able to raise a family and be the best wife I can be to my spouse.
5: What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?
I hope the audience see’s that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of. Also to know that mental illness is a real life disease. Millions of people deal with this and it needs to be brought to the light. I want people to see they are not alone. We all go through hardships in our lives. Some go through trauma, or hurt, or sadness. They shouldn’t hide what they have gone through. To speak up and tell your story cause it could help someone else.
Tickets are on sale NOW! Click the button below to order your tickets to meet Michelle 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 Elkins Park 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.