To Lose the Madness: Field Notes on Trauma, Loss, and Radical Authenticity

L.M. Browning. Homebound, $12 trade paper (84p) ISBN 978-1-947003-90-3
In this spellbinding book, poet and novelist Browning (The Castoff Children) spares no detail in telling the story of her descent into profound grief as one loss piled upon another. The breakdown of her eight-year romantic relationship on the heels of her miscarriage is compounded by a tangle of health complications (abdominal surgery, a severely fractured leg) and a web of psychological disorders she waited years to have properly treated. Browning likens her attempt to heal after these events to “a search for God—something elusive, divine, and that may or may not exist.” Her sometimes-depressing observations will ring true to anyone who has suffered a trauma. Though she never gives up hope, she takes a realistic approach to recovery, and her depiction of how she made her way through reveals all she suffered. Though small, this effective and plainspoken memoir is densely packed with tales of harrowing experiences (particularly her diagnosis with C-PTSD and treatment using eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing) 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. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 04/10/2018
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