a place for zinesters - writers and readers
So, I have suffered from anxiety and depression since I was…a lot younger than I am now. And what I’ve noticed in terms of zines that address this issue is that the majority focus on ONE PERSON’S EXPERIENCE. There are the odd few that have other people’s stories as well, and I have found these to be the most helpful. Of course, all of the zines that focus on this issue are helpful in their own ways.
The problem with campaigns regarding mental illness is they tell you that you are not alone. They tell you basic things that you may experience and how you can get help. But they don’t tell the stories of those going through it very well. They’re all from the perspective of the survivor, and they aren’t always very detailed.
While I feel I am a survivor, I go through periods of regression, just like everybody else. And though in this instant I feel I will get through it, tomorrow might be different. I want a zine that reflects all sides of the story. I want one that goes into disturbing behaviours that make people feel alone, even though there are plenty of people going through similar things.
I apologise if I’m not articulating myself very well so far. I’m getting there.
I don’t want pre approved stories. I want everyone’s stories. Even people who have someone close to them that has or is experiencing it, and how this affected them. I want to know how you feel being on the other side of it, or still being trapped in it. I want to know why you got through it, or why you think you can’t. I want your thoughts on the therapy and medication process. I want to know if there were any physical repercussions as a result of your illness, including but not limited to addiction, self harm, self isolation etc.
I want to know if you remember how or why it started…even if you don’t. I want to know about your relationships at the time and whether or not what you were/are going through puts a strain on them. If you suffer from anxiety/panic attacks I want to know what identifiable triggers set these feelings off.
I want to know everything you’re willing to tell me. Even if you have any poetry or artwork or short stories or diary entries you’re willing to share - these can even be blog entries that are significant to you. Whether you have recovered, are recovering or still don’t know what to do, I want to know. Anything significant to your experience is significant to what I’m trying to do.
I have had some amazing responses so far, and these honestly hit home with me every time I read them. I know that anyone else who would read them will feel the same.
To me, this zine isn’t just about the experience itself. It’s about the similarities and differences from person to person while going through it. It’s about writing a story about mental illness from many different points of view.
What I’ll be doing is basically telling my own story - because it’s a big one - and weaving it in with other people’s stories/poems/art to build a collective product that is what 1 in 5 people go through at some point in their lives.
I understand if the idea of opening yourself up this way is scary. I have found since asking for submissions that depression, while widely spoken about, is still relatively taboo. I want to break it down.
Feel free to email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org or to comment this with your response if you aren’t afraid of other people knowing. Also, if you have any suggestions/ideas, I am open to these as well.
Your help in my project will be greatly, greatly appreciated, and thank you very much if you have read this far.