Recently I had the privilege of appearing on the Our Fractured Minds podcast with Jeff Renoe to discuss my new book, To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity as well as my diagnoses of C-PTSD, Depression and Mild Dissociative Disorder. Together, Jeff and I discussed the stigma attached to mental illness and how those who suffer from mental illness can define themselves beyond their diagnosis.

From Jeff about why he founded the podcast:

The first time I opened up about my mental health, I did it in a blog post that went as follows.

“Hi. I’m Jeff Renoe and I suffer from bi-polar disorder.

It’s amazing how such a small phrase can frighten us so much. As I sit here and write these words it’s as if an elephant is sitting on my chest. Since I was officially diagnosed in 2008, I’ve carried around a fear of my secret reaching the ears of others. How would it affect my present? How would it affect my future? How would it affect those around me? Even as I continue to open myself up before you, I cannot know the answers. I do have hopes for what they may be.”

As a writer, I’ve always been more comfortable behind a keyboard, putting my thoughts to page for others to read. It lets me be more thoughtful in what I say. Otherwise, my thoughts often become unfiltered, and as someone that struggles to balance himself, that can be dangerously raw to hear. Maybe, though, that rawness is what we all need to hear.

That’s why this podcast came into existence. If it can touch one person, and allow them to know that they aren’t alone in the battles they wage daily within themselves–if it can teach one person that people who suffer from issues related to their mental health aren’t weak or crazy–then this whole project will have been worth the effort.

Follow along as we work to #EndTheStigma related to mental illness and redefine life with the same. Only together can we we truly drive change. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this podcast.

Listen to my episode below:

Stream on the website for Our Fractured Minds

To Lose the Madness blurb website

In this career-defining work, Browning explores the breaking point every mind has after finding her own limit during a gauntlet of traumatic events. Pulled out of this blast-crater moment in her life by a friend, she is brought away from the insanity and deep into the snowy Sangre de Cristo Mountains where, standing in front of a herd of wild buffalo, she comes face to face with the terms we all must come to surrounding the loss we face in this life. Offering no answers and seeking no pity, Browning lays herself bare in this radically authentic offering. She carries restricted subjects such as miscarriage, mental illness, and suicide out of the silence by offering her own private journey as an example of the power of transcendence.

Early Praise for To Lose the Madness

“In this spellbinding book, poet and novelist Browning spares no detail in telling the story of her descent into profound grief as one loss piled upon another. Though small, this effective and plainspoken memoir is densely packed with tales of harrowing experiences that require emotional, intellectual, and spiritual investments on the part of the reader. Browning’s journey of recovery will be of help to anyone looking for courage in difficult times.” Publishers Weekly

“A laconic, beautiful, and deeply insightful account about coping with loss.” Kirkus Reviews

“Browning’s essay explores the confluence of natural and interior landscapes in a manner both beautiful and searing.”Foreword Reviews, {5 Stars}

“Impressively candid and articulate, extraordinarily honest and insightful, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss and Radical Authenticity is an inherently compelling read from cover to cover. Thoughtful and thought-provoking from first page to last, To Lose the Madness is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library collections.” Midwest Book Review, *Reviewer’s Choice

“Browning brings us inside the disoriented unfolding of a life taking new shape after trauma. This is not a ‘tie a neat bow around it’ trauma and recovery story with a too-simple happy ending, but a messy, honest look at a life that will never be the same.” –Lilly Dancyger, Deputy Editor of Narratively

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