Head clearing: Mental illness and the outdoors

SHARE Head clearing: Mental illness and the outdoors
SHARE Head clearing: Mental illness and the outdoors

The outdoors is a place big enough for many things, most important for me is finding a small niche of calmness.

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Such as this scene after a flood with waterfalls cascading down inside Metthiessen State Park. A sight which caused then fisheries chief for Illinois Mike Conlin to whisper it was like being in a church.

To me that’s the single most important point of being in the outdoors, or in my case doing the outdoors–finding and celebrating those places.

Since my mom died more than three years ago, I have been trying to figure a way to write about the experience of growing up in a family impacted greatly by her path to living with mental illness.

On Sunday, I explained, as well as I can, how that led me to where I am now in my Sunday outdoors column in the Sun-Times.

May it help some others.

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