By David Levy
To start, a story – in 1996, I went to see a band called Lush play at Camden Town’s Electric Ballroom in London. I’d never heard of them before that night, but as I spent the evening transfixed by lead singer and guitarist Miki Berenyi and inhaling an incomprehensible amount of second-hand cigarette (etc) smoke, I decided that whatever image I’d be trying to cultivate to this point (probably best described as tragedy meets Dawson’s Creek meets the Gap) was now out, and the indescribably cool indie/punk aesthetic of this crowd was now who I was going to be.
As the band headed off stage and we hustled our way into the cool spring evening and the streets outside, I bought myself a t-shirt and what I now know to be called a ‘fanzine’ – an independent magazine populated by writers, artists and people with apparently very strong opinions on the disastrous decline of rock music. I think I read it back to front and back again a hundred times, and I suspect my very sudden disinterest in Nirvana and very sudden fanaticism of Pearl Jam may be in large part attributable to whoever wrote the article ‘Eddie vs. Kurt: Real Music vs MTV Angst’.
In the time since, I’ve made some questionable hair and life choices – unfortunately none of which involved going grey very gradually, as seems to be happening to me now – and was diagnosed with ADHD well into middle age. My training as a counsellor took in books written by psychotherapists, theorists and psychologists and I’ve been lucky enough to train alongside some brilliant minds, and learned from some brilliant people. But what I’ve learned from these experiences, more than anything, is that the gap between mental health experience and mental health treatment is absolutely cavernous, and that the shared experience and the human voice is where much of the cure lies.
Seeing you are not alone.
Knowing are not uniquely condemned.
Discovering there is a way out.
And so, the idea of the magazine you’re reading right now was born.
The Frame is intended to be a platform for you; a mental health fanzine for the digital age, featuring whatever expression of sadness and success and everything in-between is your experience. I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the responses to my calls for submissions – the level of talent and expression out there in the world is extraordinary, and the articles contained in this issue are presented in (mostly) unedited form, for better or for worse, to respect the efforts, talents and cadence of those who have contributed.
So please enjoy this first issue. It’s been painstakingly put together during a time I was also training for a 24-mile charity hike which included climbing three mountains, running three websites, chairing two charity ADHD support groups, and then… you know… my full-time job. There’ll likely be formatting issues and spelling mistakes and probably a whole lot of other stuff wrong with it. Please accept my apologies that I’m not going to apologise for them.
If you have any thoughts or comments about the fanzine, or anything you’d like to contribute, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s a number of features that didn’t make it into this edition and there’s always room for voices of value.
Thanks for reading!
I am a counsellor specialising in the treatment of ADHD, anxiety, depression, stress, addiction, issues with self-esteem or relationships, and repeating patterns of behaviour you’d like to change. I am also diagnosed combined-type ADHD.