Zine Reviews

Zine Review: A Visitor in Myself #1

A Visitor in Myself #1
Nichole
https://www.etsy.com/shop/collectingwords
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A Visitor in Myself #1 is a black and white ¼ sized stream of consciousness zine about therapy, therapists, antidepressants, and more.

I started this zine series with #2 – https://www.seagreenzines.com/mini-zine-review-a-visitor-in-myself-2/ – and being able to go back to start at the beginning is not only soothing for my completionist heart but also gives me a chance to learn about the motivations that had Nichole starting the series in the first place.

“I’m working on myself and my life every day. It isn’t so much having a positive outlook on life as it is the desire to make change. Evolve and live.”

A Visitor in Myself #1 opens with a handwritten note from Nichole about how this is a stream of consciousness zine, how Nichole is (at the time of writing) contemplating the idea of antidepressants and how big of a step that is for her. From there, we take a gentle slide into a stream of typewritten thoughts with handwritten notes interspersed throughout.

Nichole mentally wanders through self-examination, pointing out tendencies like pushing people away before they can leave her – and regretting it, unhelpful ways of coping, and things like knowing she shouldn’t feel afraid to ask for help… but struggling to do so anyway.

As per usual with Nichole’s zines, I found myself nodding along with the things I’d felt myself and even rolling my eyes at the therapist who didn’t think she was living with Borderline Personality Disorder because she didn’t lack empathy. I don’t think anyone would accuse me of lacking empathy, and I’ve had my diagnoses (including BPD) confirmed on multiple occasions. But I’m not a professional. Still, this is what Nichole’s writing does to me. It draws me in with its laid bare vulnerability and has me saying, “You’re not alone!”

Nichole also writes about anxiety and dissociation as well as her experiences and feelings around borderline behaviour. Her writing is a wonderful mixture of clarity while also still coming to grips with everything that being borderline encompasses.

Having ready many of Nichole’s Pieces zines, I couldn’t help but compare this zine to them. Would they stand out, or would they feel like Pieces under a different name? (I certainly wouldn’t complain either way, given how much I love Pieces.) The differences, I feel, are subtle. This zine has a bit more of a ‘wild’ element with a touch more cut and paste, more pictures, and definitely more handwriting. I feel a vulnerable curiosity coming through these zines that feels like a different angle of Nichole’s personality shining through. I like it.

Nichole is one of those zinemakers whose zines I will always read. I identify with so much and find the things I don’t identify with interesting. I’ve been looking around for more zines about Borderline Personality Disorder and, lo and behold, I had one in my zine stack already.

This zine is an interesting, open exploration of mental health/illness, and I recommend checking it out.

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