Back in May, I took down the website and told you all that I was moving across the country and that I would be back. I think this is it – I think that I am finally back.
But back from where? I didn’t go anywhere. The first thing I did was put out a call for submissions for a new compilation zine. I drove down to DC Zinefest at the very last minute for a table, and the memory of driving down I-95 with my windows down and music up on a July morning will always be sweet to me. I sleepily drove down to Richmond for their zine fest in October, after getting lost and hitting traffic and getting lost some more. I even pulled into the tail end of Philly Zine Fest but was so enamored with every one of the tablers that I didn’t get to meet everyone before closing.
Anyway. I have to remind myself of these things because May is almost upon us again and honestly, that scares the shit out of me. Since last May, I have experienced the most blissful highs and the most devastating lows. I spent weeks meeting new people and even more weeks refusing to leave bed. Sometimes it feels as if life is in a standstill and nothing has been accomplished. That is why I write. It isn’t always easy, but I write to remind myself that this is all okay.
To everyone who was there while I was “away,” thank you. You remind me about how important this distro is to me. Honestly, I get more out of running this distro than you get by reading the zines or exploring the resources. Fluxxii has led me to more places and people than I ever could have imagined and I appreciate everyone who is a part of it.
So, let’s welcome ourselves back.
Here is a piece that John, aka The Force of Nature, wrote for Fluxxii back in 2011. I just wanted to post it here before it got lost in the cracks of the internet!
I have been receiving treatment for mental health since around middle school. I couldn’t tell you exactly when because apparently bipolar disorder fucks with your memory. I know for sure that it’s been over a decade now, and I am only 26. Whenever I consider it like that, it seems like such a long time. I’ve been spending almost half my life trying to get better, and in that time all the progress I made was incredibly slow going.
The reason I bring this up is because I want to illustrate the point that recovering from a mental illness takes time. It’s also hard work. There were so many times that I thought it would never get better. That I’d always be an emotional roller coaster, that I’d always have racing thoughts, and that the burden of my illness would always weigh upon me: and even now I feel these things at times.
Getting diagnosed is the first step, but they’ve got to get the diagnosis right. I think it’s important for people with mental illness to be knowledgeable about their symptoms and conditions. Finding the right kind of therapy or medication to treat your illness can be difficult for your psychiatrists or therapists. Sometime you’ve just got to keep trying new stuff until you find what’s right for you. It is definitely helpful to be a bit knowledgeable on your treatment options. Aside from that there is the potential for a significant amount of stress to cause a relapse in your symptoms. These are all things that can make progress seem painfully slow.
If you have a mental illness and are just starting to get treatment, know that it is a long process. If you’re in treatment and not seeing results, be patient, it’s a long process. If you’ve been through therapy, found the drug or combination of drugs that works for you and have a relapse, remember that it’s a long process. Probably lifelong, but as long as you keep at it you will see results.
There is so much that comes with having a mental illness. Even now, after over ten years of living through the experience I still realize new things about the way my condition effects me. I hope to be of some use in this blog on helping people get educated about mental illness and treatment options. I will try to write an educational article once a week and if anyone has any topics they would like me to cover feel free to contact me or Miss Fluxxii.
John Bobst aka The Force of Nature