This ‘Unofficial Guide’ to chronic illness finds the humour in bad health

The Unofficial Guide to My Failing Health
Perzine, 20 pgs, Rachel McCormick, @ayoitsrachelo

Chronic illness is a bitch. At a certain point, amidst countless faulty diagnoses and discouraging doctors, it can help to find humour in it.

The Unofficial Guide to My Failing Health by Rachel McCormick catalogues experiences with expressive doodles that lay bare the exhausting and often ridiculous realities of chronic illness. She writes, “have you tried yoga?” — referring to the well-meaning but mostly insulting advice that often comes from healthy folks. She illustrates herself in bed, covers up to her ears and captions it, “I live here now,’’ — a sentiment that many chronic pain sufferers can relate to with a chuckle.

The final illustration finds McCormick clutching an armful of test tubes, throwing her arm up in rebellion. Is it rebellion against doctors without answers? Perhaps against a body that seems determined in your destruction? Either way, it is deeply relatable.