THIS IS MY BRAVE IS SHINING A LIGHT ON MENTAL ILLNESS TO END STIGMA, ONE PERSON AND ONE STORY AT A TIME. JOIN US AT A LIVE STORYTELLING SHOW NEAR YOU. VISIT THISISMYBRAVE.ORG/EVENTS TO FIND A SHOW NEAR YOU.
A couple weeks ago, I auditioned for a “This is my Brave” stage show. While I did not make the show, I still want to share the audition script I used to tell my story.
THIS IS MY BRAVE: GREGGA-JOY JOHNN
Mental illness as we call it, is a façade. All the labels and classifications (like bipolar, PTSD, depression, anxiety, etc.), are just a way of categorizing the various outward symptoms of the same malady: which is a soul breaking. The reason there are so many different labels and manifestations of this soul breaking is because humanity is a glorious collection of diversity. We all have different personalities, varying experiences, and each of us makes different life choices, and have others making different life choices over us. So, we manifest our same soul breaking differently, too.
Yet, beneath all that… we are of the same make-up. Everyone suffers from depression on some level, at some point in our lives. It is only that some of us live through this depression (or whatever other mental illness label you wish to apply there) at deeper and more intense levels, for a longer period of time. I call this our super-hero power that we’ve just not yet learned how to facilitate for health and well-being.
How do I know this? Who am I that I know and understand the make up of the soul and the mental illness expressions that manifest when a soul is broken? Well… I know because,
I am Lyndee. I am Trevel. I am Guinevere. And we are the Gregga-Joy Johnn collective.
You may think I’m crazy or just a very good storyteller; and you wouldn’t be wrong about that. I am. But, there is one thing that I know definitively that I am not. I am not insane. I know this because I know what insanity feels like. I’ve lived there for two decades. I’ve wandered the halls of Hell in my soul for so long that I know my way around. That’s my old stomping grounds. I could give you a tour of all the hellish torments of anxiety and swampy landscapes of despair… but, I chose to do something far more wonderful that just be a tour guide.
We are an Agent on Rescue missions.
My personal trauma and tragedy did not happen in one big event, nor a succession of dramatic moments. Rather, my soul was pressed upon for years in the “innocent evil” of secret keeping and soul crafting at the hand of another seeming-well-meaning, yet horrendously detrimental, energy. That energy poured through both an organization and community, but also through one other human whom I do not wish to defame, for we are now separate and walking our own healing, on restoration paths.
My Story is about finding peace in the war that raged within my own soul. That happened when I was brave enough to accept and address the distractions of my addictions, and I began to talk to myself. When I did this, I discovered my soul had been so shattered that there were three separate perspectives hidden within, and none of us were talking to each other, or even on the same page. Although I never “blacked out” or had one soul part take over so completely to the exclusion of the others… I certainly felt control being taken out of my balancing hands and pulled back and forth between the arguments of defense and attack within.
Don’t get me wrong, (Trevel here, by the way), everything I did was an effort to protect us. But, I admit in my first stages of self-awareness I was young and stupid. It wasn’t until I talked to all of me that I realized all my efforts of distraction and protection… and attack, were actually hurting me more. When I spoke to Gwennie for the first time, I found out that she carried all the pain that I was causing. And she was so young and so beautiful and so precious… and she had more grace for me than I had for myself.
Guinevere here, or Gwennie (but only if you know me really well, /giggle). I’m that inner child spirit, the eternal youthfulness of our soul. And I had been held captive in a gilded cage for many years, hidden away in secret. Then, when I was first release, I ran away.
Lyndee’s voice here… I don’t have time to tell the whole story, but we write about it as the collective of Gregga J. Johnn. We write fiction in fantasy/sci-fi and allegory, as well as some inspirational self-help books. You should read them. Google Gregga J. Johnn and Story-in-the-Wings [greggajjohnn.wixsite.com/writer-performer] and get to know us better. We’d love to share our Grace with you. Grace for soul healing: this is my brave.