WIR: The Rest Of Us Just Live Here

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Patrick Ness has written the perfect response to every teen paranormal trilogy out there. The elevator pitch of this book is that it is about the regular kids living in the town where all the paranormal YA prophecy chosen one shit goes down. It’s about not being special and being awesome anyway. I wish I’d had this book in high school. I’m really glad I have this book now.

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How To Cope

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This is care of the Perkins Psych blog. if you’re going through a bad time remember it’s ok to feel shitty. It’s normal. It’s human. It’s how you deal with those feelings that matters. Avoid the green, shoot for the purple. Ask for help and if you don’t get it the first or the fifth time keep asking. There are people in the world that will help you, they can be hard to find sometimes but they are real. Keep going. Things will change. Trust yourself to survive your troubles.

Brenna Twohy “In Which I Do Not Fear Harvey Dent”

You probably don’t know that you know Brenna Twohy. She got some attention earlier in the year with her amazing poem Fantastic Breast and Where to Find Them. Which if you haven’t seen go fix that now. After watching that for the hundredth time I went looking for more from Mrs. Twohy and found this epic gem of slam poetry.

Poetry gets a bad rap. It’s been painted by every bad poem that we’ve heard in our 9th grade english class but good poetry is magic and Twohy is a brilliant magician. I’ve known a lot of nerds and a lot of them have panic disorders and/or anxiety disorders, it’s so empowering to see someone use my language, the language of super heroes to say look this is hard and unfair but we’re fighting. The best thing about poetry is that in 3 minutes you can give someone something to hold on to. Something that might make the next three minutes just a little bit easier. I sincerely hope Brenna puts out a book soon because I want something to hand people when they are invisible. I want to give them something real that says look, someone sees you.

Mental Health With Comics

Depression is hard to explain. Not the concept but what it’s actually like when you just cant. I seek out comics about depression partially because when I’m down in the pit they’re about all I can read but also because comics are uniquely able to capture what enui feel like.

Jane Mai’s Sorry I Can’t Come in on Monday I’m Really Really Sick, is a mini comic that captures fully every mental health day I’ve ever taken. It’s a handful of pages that touches on everything from suicide, abuse, self harm and the banality of having only the internet to keep you company on those days when you’re not sick but you still need help.

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The art and the words are spares but this is truly a case of less is more. It allows readers to fill in the blanks with their own experiance. It shows how universal but also deeply personal mental illness is.

Mai’s mini comic is avaliable at Bergen Comics for all my local reader but also online at Jane Mai’s Garbage site. If you have a spare three dollars this book is a Band aide for your soul.

Everyone Needs Robot Hugs

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Robot Hugs has been one of my favorites for a while now. When it started it was just you’re usual webcomic adorableness but somewhere along the way Robot Hugs became an advocate for mental health, feminism and queer issues and I couldn’t be happier. Today’s comic about Mental Health Harm Reduction¬†advocates for something I rarely see in the mental health community, the understanding that our bad coping skills are still coping skills. Comics like this have become the norm on Robot Hugs which had lead to mean situations where I’m attempting to explain something like the reason many men don’t notice street harassment¬†and all I want to do is go “Here why don’t you read this comic.” It will be faster and we’ll both hate each other less at the end.

RH’s commentary is concise and on the mark. They do a better job of explaining the nuances of these issues that I ever could in a Facebook debate. I have long thought that comics are a great educational tool. Especially when they’re actually entertaining the way RH is. Not every comic deals with serious issues, I’d say for every long form awareness raising comic there’s an adorable cat or relationship comic. I find the subject matter to be pretty balanced between the serious and the not-so serious which really is a pretty accurate representation of life at times.

If you’re looking for a new webcomic to add to your RSS feed Robot Hugs should be at the top of that list.