Review: Anxious

Litzine, Issue #14, 18 pgs, Feels,, $8

Anxious is a wonderfully uplifting mini-zine from an assortment of writers and poets who come together under the mental health banner of that annoying, nibbling feeling of being anxious. I’m not talking about the kind of anxiety that one gets when worried about an upcoming test or that second job interview but rather the type of anxiety that can render a person completely incapacitated. It’s more like drowning in a sea of quicksand and unable to scream for help. As Alexia Dalla Rosa writes in the opening pages, “Awake the entire night just to see proof of the sun. Isn’t it exhausting? As if every thought has a solution.” A fucking understatement.

Anxiety, while a sometimes terrifying experience, can also be a place of self-discovery as it forces some into periods of self-reflection, often in the form of intense therapy. And there’s also something wonderful that lurks in that space between our ears, and something deeply connecting in reading about the experiences of others who are battling the same condition.

Throughout Anxious are insightful glimpses into the human condition and poignant moments in the day-to-day struggles of the writers, who choose to use words as a form of medication. The written works in Anxious are paired with beautiful blue and purple illustrations by Morgane Guedj. Anxious leaves the reader with these, somewhat comical, words from Frightened Rabbit’s State Hospital, “Her heart beats like a breeze brick thrown down the stairs.”