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Theme: Invisible Illness/Disability

“An invisible illness is an umbrella term for any medical condition that isn't easily visible to others. This includes chronic physical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and others — but also mental illnesses.” 


Common invisible illnesses:

  • Allergies and food intolerances

  • Arthritis, especially rheumatoid

  • Cancer

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Depression and mental illness

  • Diabetes

  • Digestive disorders such as Celiac, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Migraine and headache sufferers

  • Heart conditions

  • Lupus

  • Lyme Disease

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Infertility

  • Eating Disorders


I will be accepting short stories (1.5 pages max), thoughts, poetry, digital art, drawings, photography, as well as advice. This theme is a huge part of my life and I have found it incredibly therapeutic to create art through my experience with invisible illness/disability. I know so many others experience the daily difficulties of invisible illness/disability and I believe this zine would be helpful to process the emotions surrounding this as well as provide a physical representation of how it feels to be a stranger, friend, coworker, partner, or family member with an ailment that is not visible to the naked eye. 


Below are some questions to spark your contribution. Please feel free to go beyond this prompt and share whatever feels authentic to you!


What would you like people to know about your illness/disability?

How do you want people to care for you? How would you like to be treated?

How does it affect your life daily?

How does it affect your relationships?

How does it affect dating/first dates?

How does it affect your relationship with your body?

How have you found a balance between taking care of yourself and being social/existing in the world?

How does it affect your sex life? What would you like your sexual partners to know?

How do you deal with lack of empathy from people who don’t understand?

How has it affected your work life? Career path?

How do you communicate your needs surrounding your illness/disability?

How has your illness/disability made you a stronger person? How has it made you a more empathetic person?

Do your ailments create financial anxiety? If so, how do you deal with this?

What is your relationship with our healthcare system?

How do you cope with the common diagnosis, "it's all in your head?" 

To those who have yet to receive a diagnosis- how do you cope with feelings of hopelessness?

Have you discovered a way to manage your symptoms? What perspective can you share to those who are still struggling to find a balance?

Do feelings of shame come up surrounding your invisible illness/disability?

I will be taking submissions until May 31st. Please email with your submission. Anonymity is absolutely acceptable as well. Thank you and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions!


All the best,

Gabi <3

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