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...



Congratulations, Ariane!
As of ideas for the future zine's numbers, it would be interesting if you'll share your experience in self-management care planning - I do believe you have much to say about it. And that data is precious literally for all people, who values their health and understand perspectives brought by emerging technologies for all of us.

Hey Renat -

By "self-management care planning" do you mean like planning what kind of self care to use and when/scheduling it?

Thanks for the comment!

Exactly. I'm especially interested in health self-monitoring. Modern devices allows us to measure so much body parameters, and that doesn't take too much time and money. And thanks to modern IT solutions you can easily store and analyze huge amounts of data, acquired through multiple years - to find causes of medical problems. I'm involved in creation of such IT system - Drupal-based, by the way. And, though it is not commercial, but rather for me and my friends, it is extremely interesting to know, how do other people solved the same problem not to reinvent the wheel.

As far as you working on your health so hard, I bet you have a huge experience in such monitoring, and it would be great, if you'll share that experience with us.

This sounds awesome; I have Crohn's and sometimes you just want people to "get it". I'll be signing up!!

I think just figuring out what you want to write about that you can actually fill up several pages with is the hardest and most important part.

Aside from that, I didn't really use any resources, just loosely structured it like other zines I've read. And the layout and stuff, I had some extremely basic skills I learned years ago and mostly just winged it!

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