Liz and Things

@lizargall / lizargall.tumblr.com

It's Suicide Awareness Week, so I thought I'd share some extra Things comics on this topic Comic transcript Boot: When I was younger, anger and sadness kept me alive. Love was too impossible and made feelings too intense anyway. When I got older that embarrassed me ... and now that I am older I say “you smart young boot, you stayed alive. You worked to be responsible with your anger and you lived... There is no shame in your sadness and anger.
 No shame staying alive out of spite. You survived.
You held on. And got us here. And I am glad. https://www.thingswithout.com/583-boot-on-the-topic-of-survival/ #comics #mental health #illustration #mental illness #depression #suicidepreventionweek #tt

Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders are massively under diagnosed and it can be difficult to get an actual formal diagnosis (though even an informal diagnosis can be massively empowering). Sussex EDS Society lists the common signs and symptoms of EDS and HSD as: Acute and persistent pain syndromes, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E, osteoarthritis, eating issues, Gastrointestinal Issues,  gastroparesis, bowel and bladder issues, Raynaud's phenomenon, anxiety, allergies (different types can be severe such as anaphylaxis) and autism.  Plus separate symptoms in EDS/HSD of multiple dislocations, tendon and ligament ruptures, muscle rigidity, spasms, myofascial pain, macro and micro tears. Some people have rarer types that affect the vascular system, heart or brain. Often people with EDS/HSD can have very smooth, thick skin that is young looking or very fragile, thin skin that bruises and tears easily.  More info, transcript and links at https://www.thingswithout.com/642-hypermobility/ # ThrowbackThursday #HSD #hypermobile #chronicpain #spoonie #ehlersdanlossyndrome #EDS

Here's to friendship :-) Full transcript and more comics at https://www.thingswithout.com/496-how-how/

Easier to read transcript and more comics at https://www.thingswithout.com/shoe-still-fits/ If the Shoe Still Fits – Lifestyle Advice from a Small Pink Bunny (Comic #680) A little bit more lifestyle advice from a small pink bunny! Shoe Still Fits Comic Transcript Bunson: If the shoe fits. Bunson Hoppydew is wearing a blue shoe with white spots on one of his back feet. Bunson puts his hand over his mouth and looks a little shocked and surprised. Bunson looks down at a pair of blue shoes with white spots. He's not wearing any shoes anymore. Bunson: It might still belong to someone else. Bunson dances and frolics around (for he is Bunson). Bunson sits down next to the shoes. Bunson: Oops! Thanks to all my patrons and a special big extra thanks to Kate Webb, Erik Owomoyela and Sandra M. Odell.

It's ok to say what you emotionally need. And it's great it ask. Easier to read transcript, links and more comics at https://www.thingswithout.com/311-a-sad/ It’s been many years since I created A Sad and I’m honored and humbled by the stories folks have shared with me about this comic. I love that it’s been used as a tool for folks to express their emotional needs. I love that folks can pull this out and say this! This is how I want to be treated when I have a sad. I treasure all the stories I’ve heard and it’s so amazing to think of the secret life the Things have out in the world. It’s nice to have these reminders that sometimes just being present is enough. Asking what a person needs is often better than diving in with a solution. It’s such an easy habit to fall into, and I need a reminder from my own comics sometimes. A Sad Support Checkpoint (a non-profit providing mental health resources for gamers) has a great looking list of resources and helplines around the globe. It’s better to reach out for help than suffer alone. I also love how Checkpoint’s mental health guides (handy for anyone, not just gamers) come with fun monster illustrations and the writing is so down to earth and approachable. The Depression monster looks so cute and is a grumpy jerk! https://checkpointorg.com/global/ Lifeline 13 11 14, is a fantastic general support line in Australia. The Creator of the Things called them once because she had a really rough day at work (police stations were involved, and she held someone’s hand while they were brave). It felt a bit silly to call, she wasn’t in massive crisis, but she reminded herself they said nothing to small and not to self censor yourself out of accessing support. It was nice to be able to talk through some stuff in a confidential anonymous way that respected the privacy of the person she had helped. Calling definitely pushed her comfort zone, but it was also really empowering. She went and got the help that felt best for her needs, not the oughts society tells you (especially the you ought to just deal with it). The Australian Institute of Family Studies maintains a much larger list of help lines for specific issues and specific regions. https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/cfca-resource-sheet/helplines-and-telephone-counselling-services-children-young-people We Need to Talk About Mental Health talks about stuff that’s much bigger than sadness. But is a handy resource in these complex and crazy making (literally crazy making) time. I hope it helps folks navigate some of the bigger issues and have a resource to share to make certain conversations easier. https://lizargall.com/comics/mental-health/ What are your favorite resources for folks when they are sad? I’d love to hear in the comments (on the website or on this post https://www.thingswithout.com/311-a-sad/). Do you know about Patreon? It’s a place where everyday folks can become patrons of the arts. One of your favorite artists might be there right now, creating exclusive content and supported by a community of patrons. The Patreon that supports the Things is https://www.patreon.com/lizargall Transcript Thing 2: I have a sad Thing 1: Are you looking for solutions or comfort? Thing 2: I would like to be angry, then sad, then comforted, then adventure for solutions, then giggles Thing 1: Let’s start! Thing 2: Raar

https://www.thingswithout.com/if-the-shoe-fits/ Hooray! More lifestyle advice from a small pink bunny, where Bunson Hoppydew (a little boy bunny who likes dancing, friendship and cake) has a good hard think about aphorisms and sayings. This series is so much fun to draw! I remember how cross many of those saying made me as a kid and I'd argue with my parents (what about the sticks that do have two ends? What is sucking eggs anyway? You can blow eggs to decorate, but why would you suck them? Does it mean sucking out the caramel filling of an easter egg? If the shoe fits, do you have to wear it? That was a very serious concern and consideration as a kid! How well should a shoe fit before you wear it? If the Shoe Fits Comic Transcript Bunson Hoppydew (a pink little boy bunny who likes dancing, friendship and cake) has put one of his front paws in a blue shoe with spots. He is smiling at the shoe. Bunson: If the shoe fits. Bunson is standing up and holding the shoe in the air. 
Bunson: It still might give you blisters! Bunson is frolicing and dancing around, he has flung the shoe off his paw as he zooms through the air. Bunson is sitting down with a pair of shoes next to him. He is smiling.
 Bunson: Hello shoes

https://www.thingswithout.com/573-beauty/ This comic is inspired by Aikido and the desire to celebrate beauty more diversely. I told someone at my dojo how beautiful his sword work was. I think platonic beauty is not a compliment men get often, which is a bit sad. I tried to explain it, I don't think I did a great job, though I added "it's so pretty!" to my explanation. There is a beauty in focus, attention and purpose. A beauty being absolutely present to the thingness of things, the strength, wisdom and skill to attend to it. It's pretty! And exciting! We should celebrate beauty more in all its forms and for all genders.  And so, when it came to embodying that ideal in a comic, who better than Bunson and Boot? Celebrate Beauty Comic Transcript Bunson Hoppydew (a little boy bunny who likes dancing, friendship and cake) and Boot (a brown workboot) are having a conversation Bunson: I think you're beautiful
 Boot: What? Why would you say that?
 Bunson: Because it's true!
 Boot: What does beauty mean to you? 
Bunson: I like how you focus on stuff and do stuff. When you zoom you zoom. When you spend time with me you spend time with me.
 Bunson: It's lovely and pretty. 
Bunson: Boop! Bunson frolics away Boot: Beautiful... lovely ... pretty... #celebratebeauty #joy #comics #throwbackthursday

It's ok to take breaks, it's ok to have naps. It's OK to Take Breaks Comic Transcript Boot is a brown work boot. Boot: If you always give 100%. Boot: Eventually, there will be nothing left of you. Boot: Enjoy the flow. Throw yourself into things. Boot: But it's not just ok to take breaks, it's necessary. #selfcare #mentalhealth #comics

Behold! My Perfect Story! I've been workshopping a new play with the Pulp Stage. It's always so interesting when you turn in a story/play that is as good as you can make it, and then you get feedback that allows you to make it even better. Then you turn in that perfect story and get more notes and improve it even further. Rinse and repeat for the last few weeks, I think I'm up to draft number 12! It feels exciting to have created a new play with the Pulp Stage and it's helped add some creative fuel to my process. Perfect Story Comic Transcript Thing 1 and Thing 2 are in conversation. Thing 1 has presented to Thing 2 a stack of handwritten pages. Thing 2 is looking at the pages. 
Thing 1: Behold my story! It is perfect. Thing 2: You write about cheese so well.
Thing 1 looks a little forlorn.
Thing 2: This one isn't about cheese. Thing 1 and Thing 2 stare at each other. Thing 1 has a pencil in their mouth and they're writing extra pages. 
Thing 2 looks on and smiles. https://www.thingswithout.com/behold-my-perfect-story-comic-678/

I'm notoriously bad at not modifying my environment! Both steps can be challenging. My office can get quite hot and sometimes I have to sweat quite a bit before I get to the noticing part. Then getting to the opening the window part can be quite hard as well, especially if I'm in the zone! Who wants to open a window when you can sweat and keep working? I'm getting better at it as I get older, and feel so proud of myself when I do. Possibly more proud than I ought to be, but I say, take the wins where you can get them! Modify Your Environment Comic Transcript Thing 1 and Thing 2 are in conversation. They're both smiling.
Thing 1: In the morning, I opened the curtains. Thing 1: And then later, at night, I closed the curtains. Thing 1 has a huge grin on their face.
Thing 1: I NOTICED my environment.
Thing 1: AND I modified it. Thing 2: I'm very proud of you.
Thing 1: ME TOO!

Sometimes you gotta take the wins where you can! More comics and full transcript at https://www.thingswithout.com/structure-comic-676/

Saying No is Hard, Comic Transcript Bunson Hoppydew, a pink little boy bunny who likes dancing friendship and cake, bounces up and down. Bunson: Oh please, oh please, oh please.
Thing 2: The answer is still no. Bunson: hrmmph. 
Bunson spoings off. Thing 1 goes up to Thing 2. Thing 2 looks a little bashful. Thing 2: I said no to Bunson. Thing 1: I'm so proud of you.
 Thing 2: Thank you, saying no is hard! The Things smile at each other. https://www.thingswithout.com/saying-no/

So much of life can feel like an act of forgetting and remembering and forgetting again. Of course, knowing what a me/self is can be such a complex and constructed thing, getting to a good place with what a me isn’t a whole other conversations… it’s the sort of thing that should be a lot of conversations! Society would often like us to shrink (Boot would like to remind us, Don’t Shrink). I’m often surprised by how often I need to remind myself that it’s ok to be me, and I’m often a much better person when I feel ok as me. Figuring out how to be a me and what a me is can be very tricky sometimes. I sometimes think of myself as a sincere robot that hasn’t quite got all her punch cards (don’t worry, I like robots, and I especially love their sincerity, it’s not a slander). I construct extra punch cards for myself, based on experience, analysis and the sort of me that might be a good idea, and I like that me… although sometimes I let my me down and sometimes I get overwhelmed by the decisions that go into construction and the bits of me that keep being not what I want. Having a me is a complex thing and I certainly haven’t transcended it either! But as I write this I see a little chickadee flitter up to my window, strike a magnificent pose on a bamboo stake (like a teeny tiny swashbuckler), grab a glossy black sunflower seed and flutter off. And I think to myself, the me in this moment, watching a chickadee be a chickadee, that’s a pretty good me. Ok to be me, comic transcript Thing 1 looks up at Thing 2. Thing 1: Sometimes I forget. Thing 1 looks down. Thing 1: That it’s ok to be me. Thing 2’s mouth is wide open with shock. The Things stand in silence. Thing 1 looks down, Thing 2 looks on with concern. Thing 1 has a big smile on their face. Thing 1: But then I remember again. Thing 2 is delighted. https://www.thingswithout.com/586-to-be-me/ #neurodiversity #acceptance #diversity #comic #comics #selfesteem #throwbackthursday #tt

"Good things come to those who wait" is a phrase my mum would use when we were impatiently waiting for something to cool. Some folks sayings really are defensive weapons to use when waiting is hard because it smells so good (and cake batter often does taste better than cake... until it gives you a stomach ache). In other contexts it's quite a bizarre bit of advice. More often good things come to people who don't wait, who assert themselves or work hard or actively put themselves in situations that allow them the chance to get lucky. It always struck me as a bizarre piece of advice, even if contextually accurate... and being an over thinker, perhaps it did it's purpose because I stopped focusing on the cake and instead dissected the phrase in my head and became quite irate (but generally quietly irate) about the stupidness of this advice. So on that level, it got the job done. I think for a fidgety person who NEEDS the chocolate cake NOW, waiting can build up anticipation, but it can also become quite unpleasant, full of how about now? or now? or now? Diversion is often the better part of valor and time often passes faster if you're not thinking about waiting, but dancing instead! Comic Transcript Lifestyle Advice from a small pink bunny. Bunson Hoppydew: Good things come to those who wait. Bunson looks up at a big clock. Bunson: But sometimes even better things come from dancing. Bunson dances and prances around to music and then he sits down happily, staring out at us.

It's Mental Health Awareness Month, so I thought I'd share some extra Things comics on this topic Comic transcript Boot: When I was younger, anger and sadness kept me alive. Love was too impossible and made feelings too intense anyway. When I got older that embarrassed me ... and now that I am older I say “you smart young boot, you stayed alive. You worked to be responsible with your anger and you lived... There is no shame in your sadness and anger.
No shame staying alive out of spite. You survived.
You held on. And got us here. And I am glad. https://www.thingswithout.com/583-boot-on-the-topic-of-survival/ #comics #mental health #illustration #mental illness #depression #mentalhealthawarenessmonth #tt

Lifestyle Advice Transcript Lifestyle Advice from a small pink bunny Bunson Hoppydew: I’m gonna teach my granma how I suck eggs. Bunson: It’s so nice when we share ideas with each other. Bunson: There’s seldom one way to do anything! Bunson dances and frolics around. Bunson happily sits amongst some dotted and striped Easter eggs. Especially when the eggs are chocolate. https://www.thingswithout.com/egg-advice/

Boot has a simple but important statement to make about its curves #webcomic 


Throwback Thursday (with a twist) - Bad 

All or nothing feelings are all too easy when often we've just lost track of all the good things we do #throwbackthursday #TT


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