Adulting: How to Be an Adultier Adult
Dr Faith G. Harper
Is it weird for me to be reading this when I’m 30? I’m going to go with ‘no’ because I liked it so much.
Adulting: How to Be an Adultier Adult may be the title, but this zine is about life and being a decent human being. It’s the ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ zine that I actually read – and I enjoyed it.
Just because ‘adulting’ has a cute-ish name doesn’t mean that adulting isn’t difficult, confusing, confronting, and a whole lot of different things. This zine does a great job of reminding you that, yeah, it’s bloody hard without giving you a bottle and throwing you a pity party.
Because adulting, in the end, is not just what we do. It’s who we are when we are our best and most mature selves in every situation.
Plus, how could a list that starts with ‘don’t be a dick’ be a bad thing?
When it comes to the list, though, I have to say that the ‘mind your language’ section is my favourite. It reminds you how just one word in a sentence can mean the difference between showing yourself or anyone else respect and showing disrespect.
Maybe you’re struggling with the whole adulting concept or maybe you’ve been adulting just fine for a long time. No matter where you are on the scale, I think this zine has a few things that we could all use being reminded of every now and then.
Defriending: Navigating the Friendship Breakup
Dr Faith G. Harper
Defriending: Navigating the Friendship Breakup is self-explanatory as far as titles go. This zine takes you not only through options on how to do it but why it’s so damn complicated.
As a general rule, relationships DON’T last until death do us part… And when they don’t last, we have no fucking clue how to deal.
The thing about the zine that I appreciated the most is that it acknowledges the muddled greyness of the ‘are we or aren’t we’ middle space of the defriending zone. It’s not pretty, and this zine doesn’t try to make it so. As someone who is trying to figure out the best way to do the whole ‘defriending’ thing, it’s nice to have the reassurance that it’s as messy as it seems to be.
Don’t think this zine is going to throw you a pity party. Friendships involve two people, and Dr Harper gets into your responsibilities – whether you’re the defriend-er or the defriend-ee. The real lightbulb moment in this happened for me when Dr Harper got into the difference between whether something is a one-off event or indicative of a person’s personality. (What they did vs who they are.)
This zine ended up being a lot more complicated and involved than I thought it would be but, having read it, I realise that’s a very good thing.
Coping Skills: Because Sometimes Life Is Some Serious Bullshit
Dr Faith G. harper
When Wanderer’s emergency happened, I found that I couldn’t tolerate TV, videos, or anything I’d usually do to distract myself. However, I did have this zine, and bit by bit, it did help…
This zine is one of a series called ‘Dr Faith’s Five Minute Therapy’ and just goes to show how effective a catchy title is. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into when I ordered this zine, but I couldn’t resist getting it with a title like that.
Lucky me, it was a bet that paid off.
Dr Harper has created a list (love a list) zine all about things you can do to cope with what’s happening in your life. There aren’t really specifics applied to this like ‘coping with a car crash’ or ‘coping with the fact someone ate the last doughnut’. It’s like the title says – because sometimes life is some serious bullshit.
Coping Skills is written in the voice of a friend rather than a doctor (or parent or ruling force in your universe). Coping Skills is all about coping, but it reads as something closer to a conversation you’d have while out for coffee rather than one you’d have in a psychologist’s office. When it comes to stuff like this, it’s so important to hit that point of telling someone what they can do rather than just telling them what to do.
I must say that I have to admire that Dr Harper was so ‘meh’ about prayer and meditation one one page but then turned the perspective to a whole new light (that I hadn’t thought of before) on the next page.
I really love that there are suggestions for things to do that you actually can do. I’ve read too many lists and articles that suggest things that require money or other means when ‘money’ or ‘other means’ can be things that add to the stress of the situations in the first place. The suggestions in this zines are general enough that you know what she means but can apply them as you please.
I read this zine during a time when I was incredibly stressed and not sure how to function, let alone cope. It wasn’t a miracle, but it did help. That being said, I think this zine is a great zine to read for any kind of coping, be it more or less stressful.
BDSM FAQ: Your Anitidote to Fifty Shades of Grey
Faith G Harper, PhD, LPC-S
There are so many things this zine represents for the zine community. Zines can be any topic (someone taking on what bad things 50 Shades did to the BDSM community), they can be educational, and zines can (and are) written by people from so many walks of life (even PhD walks of life!).
Talk about a good start.
While the heart-shaped handcuffs on the front and back covers may give you a giggle, BDSM FAQ is serious when it comes to educating people about the basics of BDSM. In the brief introduction, Dr Harper talks about the increase in people wanting to talk to her in a professional capacity about the whole ‘BDSM thing’. This zine was born of the questions most asked in a BDSM class she taught.
I was not in personal need of an FAQ or introduction to BDSM because I was fortunate enough to know a very kind D/s couple who taught me a lot about the lifestyle. I picked up this zine anyway because I was curious about how Dr Harper would handle the subject. The whole subject reminded me a little of 7th ‘reproductive studies’ class with a large smattering if misrepresentation thanks to one set of books.
BDSM FAQ is exactly what you would want as a resource to learn about the subject. Dr Harper gives it the seriousness that any lifestyle choice deserves and treats the reader like the adult they should be if they’re wanting to learn about this. The zine also includes the best simple representation I’ve seen about what the letters actually stand for:
While the title might suggest otherwise, time is not wasted venting about 50 Shades; it’s directed where it should be: answering questions. From the words of the lifestyle you should know to how to approach things no matter what kind of relationship dynamic you have.
I highly recommend this zine if you’re merely curious, if you’re looking to start, or anything in between. The zine even ends with a positive true-life experience of a submissive to let you know that there are positive things to be found in BDSM if that is what you are looking for. And not all of those things have to include sex.
If you’re interested, Dr Harper has an assortment of educational zines about all sorts of things including anxiety, anger, adulting, coping, and more. You can check them out here.
On another note not related to Dr Harper but related to 50 Shades of Grey, here is a video from Film Theory about how Christian Grey actually uses cult indoctrination tactics (rather than BDSM practices) on Anastasia.