Zine Review: Self Help #1

Self Help #1

This zine is an exercise in self-therapy. It’s not about wallowing in self-pity, or blaming anyone, or trying to dwell unnecessarily on the past… it is necessary. I want to write this zine to help me figure out where I am now.

With a first page like that, you know where you’re going with a zine.

Self Help #1 is not only an exercise in self-therapy but also self-examination. The author examines their teenage years through their adult eyes. You might read that and think that it sounds cliche, but I found it really engaging. I think there’s something validations about looking back and realiseing that it’s not always “just teenage angst”. It’s ‘what we’ve learned’ without the sticky sweet high-horsing morals of an after-school special. These are real things learned by a real person.

I say ‘the author’ because I don’t think a name is mentioned at any point. It’s entirely possible that I missed it, but it also didn’t distract me as much as I thought it would.

I was surprised to see the articles that were included in the zine, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I feel like it might be a ‘meh’ point for people who read perzines purely for the personal stories. On the other hand, it could be the best of both worlds for other people with most of the articles credited so you could check out more info if you wanted.

The author touches a lot on the subject of perfectionism and how it can drive anxiety. While I’m very familiar with anxiety and perfectionist thinking, perfectionism as its own entity to deal with was new to me and interesting to read about.

The combination of subjects makes it into a zine that I think would hit the mark well with teens as well as those struggling with perfectionism.

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