How To Be Okay: a comic

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Comic by: Amelia A. J. Foy

Although Mental Health Awareness Month (#MHAM) has now passed, the issues that last month brought up are year-long for those who deal with mental illness(es) and/or low mental health. Actually, for many of us, these problems will never truly go away, and treatment is not so much about recovery as it is about learning to cope. However, many days coping is hard a thing to do.

This comic is about those days, but it’s also a reminder that so-called ‘recovery’ is not a straight line upwards, but has many ups and downs. It’s a reminder that those downs will pass, that you shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed of them, and that sometimes just pushing through them is enough.

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[Image description: "HOW TO BE OKAY" in pink block lettering.]

[Image description: 9 panels in 3 rows. First row: A girl writing “Step 1” then dragging the pen line down the page. Second row: The same girl staring down, then scrunching up the paper and throwing it in the bin, accompanied by the words “Sometimes… You can’t be.” Third row: Same girl under blue bedsheets, a gravestone on the left and items such as a book, laptop and paper on the right, with the words: “Your duvet will feel like a straitjacket. You’ll know you could do stuff to help, but you just won’t.”]
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[Image description: 6 panels in 2 rows. First row: Two panels with a gradient of blue to black lead to the third depicting the girl’s chest to chin, her throat and chest covered in a black cloud; accompanied with the sentence: “You might want to hurt yourself and it’ll feel bottomless.” Second row: Girl turns off light switch, lays in bed, and the final panel is a close-up of her sleeping with the words: “Sometimes… It’s enough just to live.”]

If you’re struggling with your mental health, please reach out to someone, whether it is a GP, a friend, a teacher, your family or an online support group. Risen’s DMs (@risenzine on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr) are always open to those who need someone to talk to.