Meet the Kennedys Who Are Thinking Bigger Than Politics

Patrick Kennedy pulls up to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, in a white golf cart, his three-year-old son Marshall next to him throwing his white-blond hair back in a fit of giggles. If you squint, it almost looks like those old photos of President John F. Kennedy ferrying laughing cousins around the Cape Cod compound in a crowded golf cart. The big white clapboard house where JFK grew up sits unchanged on Nantucket Sound. Patrick, nephew of JFK and son of Senator Ted Kennedy, and his wife Amy are spending the month of August with their five kids in the garage they converted into a summer home at the back of the property.

Patrick is coming from the gym. Every day he does a 12-step addiction recovery program, sometimes twice a day. He also does therapy—these days, virtually. He goes to bed early. He's got his routine. And he knows he's in a good place when he's sticking to it. He's more than 10 years sober. And it's been six years since he laid bare his addiction and experience with bipolar disorder in his 2015 book, A Common Struggle. In telling his story, he also examined his family's history of mental illness. Today he looks healthy, at peace.

"I just came from working out," Patrick says, settling into a white wicker chair next to Amy. "I was on the bike, and my cousins came up next to me and talked in a way they never would have before, because now they all tell me their mental health issues. I broke the family code of we don't talk about these things. That has created an intimacy for me and various members of my family that never existed before, because the only time we related to each other was in the usual chitchat, like all of us do in our lives.