Functionally Ill, Issue #11
20pg. at quarter-letter size
$2 from the author on etsy
Man, I’m lucky. My friend Maxx was downsizing and gave me a stack of zines that she was done with, and it included tons of stuff I’d heard about but hadn’t gotten around to picking up yet, and still more things that were totally new to me. Zines + pals = best!
One of the splendid hand-me-downs was an issue of Functionally Ill.
In this issue, Laura-Marie talks about the concept of the recovery path, which she finds in some ways objectionable, because it assumes that everyone is on a trajectory from ‘sick’ to ‘well’, and in some ways, rhetorically useful. She also talks about feeling uneasy identifying as crazy at times in her life when she’s doing well, and shares her favourite self-care tips for both low-energy and overly-high-energy times, a little bit about mental health politics, and lots of other interesting stuff.
The issue that landed in my hands is an old one; Functionally Ill is now up to Issue #16. In the various issues of her zine, Laura-Marie talks about lots of different topics around mental health, in relation to things like friendship, spirituality, queerness, and accessing services.
Laura-Marie is involved with the Icarus Project, the movement that advances the notion that the phenomena characterized as mental illness would be better conceived of as “dangerous gifts”: that it can be amazing to have wax wings, if you have access to community wisdom to help you not to fly too close to the sun.
I thought this zine was going to be a pretty quick read, since it’s not very long, but I found myself spending a long time with it, because her perspectives on mental health are really unique and thought-provoking. I’d love to read more of Laura-Marie’s writing, and I highly recommend it.
- Lily Pepper