self care: a love story

 

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This is one of my newer zines on self-care/community care. In some ways, this is a relatively straight forward concept. Again, the struggle of taking a lot of thoughts and ideas and long-winded ramblings, the perspectives of my badass heroes, and art/collage into two pages…Did I succeed? You be the judge!

In this issue you will find:

-Various examples of self care

-Some of my personal story on why i think self care is rad and important

-Thoughts from some really smart and thoughtful people about the importance of self care and healing in community

 

For a long time, thinking about self-care just made me feel super guilty– I got hung up on what I should be doing/wasn’t doing well enough. As time goes on, I’ve been able to recognize a lot of things I do that are self-care that aren’t necessarily the best, healthiest, safest things to do (i.e. overloading on internet TV, self-mutilation, totally isolating myself from other people, etc. Many of us who are using drugs and alcohol, struggling with eating disorders, filling every second of our time with social activities or totally hermitting away from others are dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, trauma, and ultimately oppression in the best/only ways we know how. I want to stop limiting myself to “good” self-care, and being gentle and non-judgmental of myself when I can’t treat myself with love and respect. It’s ultimately my goal to re-work these habits,which is why I don’t use drugs or drink or smoke cigarettes anymore. I want to encourage other people to do the same, to observe what works and doesn’t work and move towards change when they can.

I think there is some really rad social justice activism happening that really centers healing and health as a key part of social change, especially disability justice activists, communities of color, queer folks, etc. Another self-care myth is that caring for ourselves is something we do alone–hence the “self” part of “self-care”. While it may be a key part of our healing to take time for personal mindfulness, alone time, solo dates, etc. what is keeping us from sharing our healing with others? Why do we need to take “time out” from our movements, to dissapear into our cocoons to heal and grow, when the process of witnessing and encouraging each other’s personal work can lend so much motivation and inspiration? When there’s healing work that can’t be done alone? When there’s trauma that is affecting our whole communities, our relationships, our families? For more thoughts on this, and to check out the writers who I reference in this zine, hit these links:

[some context: these blog posts all came up in response to a different writer’s post that was criticizing self-care in radical communities, so a lot of these writers were directly responding to that]

from pg 8: http://adriennemareebrown.net/blog/2012/10/15/how-about-a-beginning-of-self-determined-care/ adrienne maree

pgs 13-14 http://nayamaya.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/communities-of-care-organizations-for-liberation/ yashna padamsee

and just all of this: http://www.brownstargirl.org/blog/for-badass-disability-justice-working-class-and-poor-lead-models-of-sustainable-hustling-for-liberation leah lakshmi

Some closing thoughts….

How do you do you? Who helps you do your best self-care? Who do you share your self-care practice with? How do we start opening our vulnerable processes to others? What healing traditions do our communities/families/identity groups historically practice? What parts of our self-care practice are borrowed from other cultures and identity groups? What are some new things you want to add to your self-care practice?

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