Dangerous Compassions

Emotional Healing by Breaking Open the Truth: Zine Making as Shared Authenticity

Hello, how are you doing?  I’m good.  But I had a bad dream last night.  I’m still feeling it leave my body.

I wanted to tell you–I’m presenting about functionally ill at this free zine event overseas.  My presentation is called Emotional Healing by Breaking Open the Truth: Zine Making as Shared Authenticity.

Please consider joining us online!  Here’s where you can sign up.

Here’s their graphic and a paragraph of their promotional text.

zines healing

Zines ASSEMBLE is a two day event on Fri 9th and Sat 10th September 2022 exploring zines, zine making, zine research and zine cultures. Join us for a one-day online symposium with talks, presentations and sharing around zines, zine making, zine librarianship and zine research, followed by a day of zine making at the zines ASSEMBLE zine jam.

back to me

Ok, here’s Laura-Marie’s words again.  Here is my blurb for the Emotional Healing by Breaking Open the Truth: Zine Making as Shared Authenticity presentation.  In case you’d like to hear me talk about my projects in third person.

Laura-Marie has made the autobiographical radical mental health zine functionally ill for 16 years, when she was first diagnosed bipolar 1 with psychotic features.  Making this zine has helped her find unconditional self-love, community, and deep emotional healing.  She explains how functionally ill began, details of physical production and sharing, how zine creation has helped her make sense of her experiences and heal, and how her zines have affected other people.

Functionally ill shares her process through diagnosis, rediagnosis, disability, disability justice, navigating mainstream medicine including medication, power imbalances in medical contexts, and creating wellness plans.  Topics are trauma, therapy, sexuality, self-care, community care, and autism’s complexifying role.

Many related zines made by Laura-Marie such as How Not to Domestic Violence Anyone, Love Is a Skill We Can Strengthen, Sexuality as Hidden, A Special Treehouse for Fat People, and Trike Diaries have spun off from functionally ill.  Laura-Marie’s transformation from scared self-loathing in the first issue, to stable, clear, and unconditionally self-loving can serve as an example to anyone with mental health struggles who needs similar emotional healing.  This community nestled, disability justice self-love stance repeated individually can contribute to a shared emotional healing of culture.


And here is a bio.  Felt great to write a new one.  So much has changed.

Laura-Marie River Victor Peace Nopales is a queer traveler. She enjoys ecstatic dance, art making, learning, ritual, and prayer. She’s been making zines for 32 years. She enjoys fat liberation, singing, plant life, guttermancy, and lives at the intersection of disability and sex. Pleasure is her favorite way of experiencing God. Laura-Marie is a lifelong hearer of voices and experiences extreme states. She has sensory sensitivities and social differences. She’s working toward a world of deep respect, where emotional skills help form justice, and love is more important than money.


I feel excited to contribute to this overseas zine event in a way that’s safer for me.  It’s safer like not increasing my germ load, and it’s safer like finite and won’t stir me up too much, harming my health.

Tabling all day at a zine event is not very possible.  I’ve tried!  It’s exciting and fun, but I lose my mind real quick.  I think the last zine event I sold at was Dear Diary in the Bay Area.  I loved the venue, the people, the emphasis.  But I can’t do it past noon.  Adrenaline only takes me so far.  I’m recovering for days afterward from doing what I couldn’t really do.

We did the East Bay one also long ago.  Back when I was young.  Did we do the San Francisco Zine Fest once too?  Definitely we did Portland.

Thank you for supporting zines and creative works that break open truth and enrich life.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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