Did you hear about this new project I’m semi-immersing myself in, aside from kicking butt at earning money and school? I’m really psyched about it because I love Bethany’s ideas and writings and I’m so enthused by her enthusiasm and, also!, we really want you to join us!
The project is basically this: a printed journal of sorts dealing with mental health. We are looking for essays, stories, poems, art, comics, illustrations dealing with your issues, your thoughts, your ideas! Aside from that illustration artists, typography nerds, graphic designers and the like are also welcome to help shape this into a thing of beauty! We’d also love to hear from anyone with general thoughts or ideas. But, Bethany says it much better than me:
It will prioritise beautiful art, literature, personal and philosophical essays, short stories and poetry, whilst not being too lofty or pretentious: in the sense that the personal musings of a teenage girl’s experience with anxiety is just as welcome as say an Oxford university academic writing on a super interesting art movement surrounding, I dunno, the unconscious or something.
It needs to be intersectional!! The history of mental health is closely tied in with the history of race, class, colonialism and disability and I am keen to emphasise this. Like my depression, ocd and anxiety is connected to my neurovariance and to my status as a survivor, and the way these things are perceived, and how they are dealt with, are shaped by my class and race. Whilst my disability stuff lives in perpetual conversation with everything, and I know Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (which I have) is linked to depression and anxiety so I think it’s all kinda mushed up together, y’kno?!
One thing I am especially interested in is to move beyond the two archetypes of ‘mental illness’: the tortured white man genius (see the canonisation/Cobainification of David Foster Wallace) and the fragile, skinny, white girl, loved not despite of, but because of, her ‘illness’ (ick). White girls riding around on unicorns (no offence Kirsten Dunst). Thinspo. My tumblr circa 2010. You get the idea. Let’s go beyond on that. Challenge that. We can do better. We need to do better.
Read all her words about this here, and while you’re at it go read her wonderful blog and essays too! Because they’re great, but also to get a scope of who you’re writing too, to get a feel for what we might want or like (I am assuming those reading now have been avid fans of my own blog, of course).
For a budding idea we’d also like to hear if you’ve had any experiences with condescending doctors who are generally unwilling to understand or epathise with you and your situation!
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go get thinking and pitching STAT, okay?