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Looking For Submissions - please read!!

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 squeak.tea@hiptop.com.au 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.

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Comment by riotgrrrlaz on July 7, 2010 at 3:41pm
Count me in! I have suffered with anxiety, panic, and depression my entire life...I too have my good days and bad days. I agree that all too often all we hear is "You are not alone" but how do we get to the part of our life where we don't feel alone and we actually feel like we are making progress...overcoming our ailmens??? I have found many creative outlets to curb my attacks ; zines, music, crafts, cooking, etc, but nothing that compltely dissolves me of them...but do I really want to be CURED of my attacks? I fear that I would not know how to function otherwise.
I will send an email to you in the next few days which captures my battles and victory.
Comment by mina boromand on July 7, 2010 at 11:20am
They washed up on the shore in the early spring morning unseen and uninvited. At first there were only four or five moving on the brisk waves. Riding the white water they landed on the level brown sand like massive shells from the ocean floor. Then each day the numbers increased, left in clusters on the sand by the ebb and flow of the sea. Soon people came from the nearby village to see.
The books came every day, sometimes embedded with starfish and seahorses or shells and glossy seas tones and pebbles dredged up by the tide. The words, blurred by the sea often slipped out of the hard covers and drifted across the sea’s surface into rock pools spelling out intricate new meanings.
The fishermen dragged the increasing piles of books in from the sea and stacked them along the beach and the rocks. The village priest came to inspect them for sacrilegious content but went away disappointed when he found none. A retired general dug a shallow trench near the books under a flapping national flag. However he couldn’t decide on any further military response. He persuaded two volunteers to stand sentry on the beach head to monitor the incursions.
Local politicians made committed speeches both in favour and against the crowding piles of books. As the numbers increased further the villagers noticed that the covers of the books were etched with strange symbols such as stars, moon crescents, sea snakes, spiders, keys, domes, ladders and random numbers and letters. When they opened the individual books the words poured from the pages and drained away before their eyes. One inventive villager requisitioned a great pile of the books and made a bonfire of them. He and his children watched the crackling words rise on the flames floating amongst white ash up into the night sky.
Comment by Keith L. on July 6, 2010 at 9:40am
I'm sending you an email.

Thanks,
Keith

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