According to data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, at least 19% of people in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Yet, despite this high incidence, this illness is frequently under-explored and misunderstood. Because it is an invisible condition, pain often goes without treatment or validation. Further, dominant white western patriarchal attitudes deny the complexity of chronic pain, including its connection to trauma and emotional health, identity, social institutions, attitudes towards disability, history and many other factors.
Since 2008, When Language Runs Dry: a Zine for People with Chronic Pain and Their Allies has attempted to fill in some of the gaps in our understanding of chronic pain. Throughout our first four issues, contributors explored this highly personal and deeply political subject through poetry, comics, essay and art. Now, in 2015, we are excited to be seeking submissions for a 5th issue of WLRD. Our plan is that this issue will be new material for an anthology that will include the first four issues.
We want to hear your perspective on chronic pain. We are looking for anyone interested in submitting writing or easy-to-reproduce visual art/comics on the subject and experience of chronic pain.
We are not as interested in pain management (drugs, therapies, treatments) as in the social and emotional aspects of living with chronic pain. We want to hear about the way persistent pain impacts people’s lives, relationships, and the way that they inhabit their bodies and communities. How has the pain experience informed how you identify yourself, how you feel about your body, and how you ask for help? This zine is about support, sharing, and respecting what we’ve been through with pain. Below are some ideas we’ve brainstormed for pieces… anyone want to run with any of these topics?
- Access to resources, class and chronic pain
- Queerness and chronic pain
- Ancestry, history and chronic pain
- Chronic pain and relationship to the body
- Being young or old/age and chronic pain
- Sex and chronic pain
- Chronic pain and introspection/change
- Parenting and chronic pain
- Art/creativity and chronic pain
- Mental health, depression, trauma and the pain experience
- The invisibility of pain
- Chronic pain and intersecting identities/experiences
- Upbringing/how were you raised to approach pain
- Book reviews/chronic pain reading guide
- Activism and educating and chronic pain
- Chronic pain and disability justice
- Your fabulous ideas!
Additionally, are you a caregiver or support person to someone with chronic pain? Want to submit on:
- Self-care as a caregiver
- Communication around chronic pain
- Being an ally to people with chronic pain
- Being a healer and providing care to people with chronic pain
- Growing up in a house/family with chronic pain
- Etc etc etc!
We’d love to hear from interested participants. Our current deadline is October 15th. Please tell your friends, and pass this far and wide. You can contact us with comments, questions, or submissions: chronicpainzine<at>gmail.com
Claire and Meredith