Leaving the Seclusion Room: A Journey to the Far Side of Sanity and Back Again

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month y’all. Help stop the stigma!

Kathryn M. McCullough

I will forever associate spring with an up-close-and-personal encounter with crazy, with losing my mind in an over-the-top kind of way.   And, indeed, my March Madness of 1990 ended life as I knew it.

Spring brings many forms of madness. Spring brings many forms of madness.

A university writing instructor, I was suffering through what should have been a relaxing spring break, when I began to crumble. In Oklahoma the branches were barely budding, when I started obsessing over trees and their ability to lead me elsewhere, wherever there was. I imagined it was a dimension parallel to the world around me.

A parallel place-- A parallel place–

I wanted desperately to go there, and it was that longing that ached me into action. It muscled me forward, compelling me to bring bare branches indoors and decorate my walls with them. (I kid you not.)  It seemed I was suddenly and acutely aware, as the sculptural quality of those limbs stunned and…

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