Chronically Yours: A zine about living with chronic illness

#8 on my Life to-do list: Make a zine. Check!

Chronically Yours 1

You heard me right. After wanting to make a zine since my teen years, and never getting up the guts to fully write and publish one, I've done it!

Issue #1 of Chronically Yours is up for sale in my new Etsy shop as of this morning!

I've started writing "my zine" so many times over the years, but always felt like the content was fluffy, or that it wasn't interesting enough. I finally decided this summer I really wanted to make this a reality, and thought long and hard about what I really know well enough to write about. There are tons of crafty zines and food zines out there, but I could only find a couple others about living with chronic illnesses. And that's something I know really well!

What I didn't know then was how much I actually had to say about it. I think I've had a lot to vent about built up... In this first issue I talk a lot about how living with chronic illness affects socializing, and my identity and self-esteem. There is a lot of frustration towards the healthcare system and also towards a society that isn't very accepting or accommodating to people who aren't healthy.

I do talk about frustrating situations I've had in my social life, and it doesn't mean that I don't love you, my friends and loved ones, or know that you love and support me. Just sometimes things happen or are said that really bother me deep down, and I don't know how to deal with them at the time. Or sometimes I just feel really isolated and alone coping with things that I don't feel are socially acceptable to speak really honestly about.

In a way I feel really nervous about putting all this out in the world, and in another way I almost feel like I didn't go deep enough or get personal enough about it. But it's my first issue, and I'm still working out how to do this whole zine thing. It's a learning experience.

Anyway, I hope that you (those who order a copy) enjoy reading it! And I'd love to hear from you about what you'd like to hear more about, and also welcome contributions to future issues.

I wrote the initial text on my computer, printed it out, and cut and pasted it by hand to do the layout. I added some strips of washi-tape and drawings to make it pretty, and then scanned it all into black and white. Then off to the printer, and a long date with a long arm stapler!

I held back 10 copies from the stapler and spent some time trying out some fancier hand stitched binding with embroidery floss and beads. They took longer than expected to finish but are soooo pretty! These special 10 copies will go to the first 10 people to order Chronically Yours, along with a special surprise to say thanks for your support!

Big thank yous to everyone who's encouraged and supported me while I worked on this. It's been really awesome pouring my energy into a creative project like this, and I'm already looking forward to working on the next issue. 

Order your copy of Chronically Yours here! 

Here are a shots of the zine at various stages...