Physical Health

Chronic Pain zine

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists for more than six months. It is often mysterious and goes undiagnosed, but can stem from injury, illness, surgical complications, or can be an inherited condition. Because it is a condition that is invisible, pain often goes without treatment or validation. The chronic pain experience is not just about the physical sensations, but also has serious emotional and social implications.

Finding good information and meaningful dialog about chronic pain can be challenging. Many of the resources out there are very clinical, too general, or are written from outside the pain experience. There are few voices by folks with chronic pain about their struggles and how they keep living as full of a life as possible. This zine attempts to begin to fill the empty space with a diversity of voices telling their stories. We hope that by publishing these essays people will feel a greater sense of permission to speak out. Further, we hope to create more community for those with chronic pain and their allies.


Issue #1

Issue one contains essays on identity, invisibility, capitalism, bravery and hopefulness as they relate to the experience of chronic pain. Additional essays on caregiving and care in activist communities. 48 pages.


Issue #2

The second issue of this edited collection includes 4 new essays, a beautiful 16 page comic, a workshop piece on communication and support, contributor bios and reading/resource list. Themes include self acceptance, and sustaining self-care, support, and motivation over the long term. 48 pages.

il_170x135.181626223Issue #3

includes 4 new essays, a 15 page comic essay, contributor bios and reading/resource list. Themes include parenting with chronic pain, invisibility and chronic pain, and some ways we’ve found to survive and thrive in the face of ongoing illness. 48 pages.

il_170x135.306613456Issue #4

Hot off the presses, the fourth issue includes two prose pieces exploring chronic pain as it intersects with mental illness and identity, a workshop piece about self care, and a number of pieces of poetry. 44 pages.

Each zine is offset printed, with a beautiful two color cover.


Gentle Reminders About Care Postcard by When Language Runs Dry contributor Karen Hixson

These are 5 x 7 laminated cards created in the spirit of her ‘Beyond the Bubble Bath’ self care article from issue #4 of When Language Runs Dry.

The front (color) includes care reminders and the back (black & white) contains an area for using a dry erase marker to make notes on your care plan intentions (wipe clean with dry tissue). An awesome gift or training tool for social workers, activists, mental health professionals, peer support folks, volunteers and anyone who is interested in harm reduction oriented self & community care.