Self Help 2
Self Help 2 is a zine about perfectionism, finding the right self-care, defending your needs, and having hope for the future. It’s also a zine that I found was enhanced by the zine that came before it…
Part of the reason that I decided to put this review up so quickly after my review of the first one is the experience I had in reading them one after the other. They certainly work completely well as standalone zines, but I got some added enjoyment out of reading them together like I did.
The perspective that I liked in Self-Help 1 of looking back on the teenage years with the gaze of someone in their late twenties is echoed in a way in this zine. Instead of the usual jump of a couple months to a year or so in most perzines I’ve read, the jump from the first to the second in this series is a jump from 26/27 years old to 31 years old. Not huge, but certainly significant when it comes to looking back.
One particular topic touched on in this zine that I found interesting is the stigma that exists even within ‘open’ communities when it comes to using ‘traditional’ approaches to mental illness treatment like medication and seeing psychologists/psychiatrists. I like reading about people finding success with those things just as much as I like reading about people who find success in other ways. I think it’s important for people to call out hypocritical behaviour that deters people from finding success in whatever way they can.
This zine still has the ‘scrapbook’ type feel with ‘outside’ pieces included, but this one had a bit more writing and reflection, which I like. There’s also still a focus on perfectionism. As the author writes, “Changing things is a slow, slow, slow process”. Something I feel is reflected in the jump of time between zines but more of a noticeable point when you read the zines one after the other.
I hope anyone who reads this zine can get Self Help 1 at the same time and read them both. I found it inspirational to see someone learning and growing so much in the space of two zines.
A PS for readers outside Australia: This zine comes with seeds, so you may need to request that they are removed before it’s sent.