September 21, 2020

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Fighting the Debilitating Worrywart with Jenn Woodall



With everything that’s going on in the world it’s nice to know that in whatever capacity you find your mental state to be in, you are not alone. Jenn Woodall’s Marie and Woorywart is a small, and short, collection of comics that illustrate living with and coping with anxiety. When you live with someone who has, or are someone who is unfortunate enough to struggle with endless losing battles of anxiety it often feels never-ending and hopeless. Isolation at best, and self-harm at the absolute worst, sometimes may seem to be the only solutions that slowly melt away from a series of very bad ideas. With this anthology booklet, the slice-of-life panic-driven moments one feels are given a short moment of tranquility, a fraction of hope that’ll take you into tomorrow, and some realization that no matter how ridiculous your state of existence may feel there is someone else out there sharing it with you.

Feeling as though you are a singular being in a crowded room can drive you into a place somewhere between a frenzied panic or manic depression, depending on the room that it may be. The people that share this space with you (whether they are aware of your worrywart or not) are probably not equipped or able to adequately devise themselves as the person to save you from such moments. A well-intended invitation, the most sincere act of compassion, or an ill-timed act of generosity will make it seem as though the walls all around you are caving in faster than you can run from them, while those very same walls are more than likely just coming in for a warm hug. Everything hurts, and sometimes no action of empathy will feel suitable for your needs. These are the things that inflate feelings of loss, panic, anxiety, self-deprecation, and hurt. These are the things that fuel our brain for those moments it uses to convince ourselves that we aren’t worth the moment of trying, and this is where it makes us into our own worst enemy.

Jenn Woodall, self-described as diagnosed with an anxiety-disorder, captures perfectly the troubled moments one has when all they can feel is an overwhelming sense of panic; a thought that becomes a worry that then transforms into a debilitating pain that all you desire to do is avoid. With her handful of short-form comics here she tells the same story through different circumstance, and in the process it allows her readership to gain access to a momentum toward recovery, even if in just the slightest. The final pages of the pamphlet list several tools to be used to help improve one’s life who might suffer similarly with these pains. Her transparency is appreciated as honestly tells us which ones she has used and prefers, which she has used and dislikes, and which ones she has only heard of but hasn’t yet tried. As always, during moments within that deep pit of darkness that feels impossible to escape, seek professional, guided council to direct you toward recovery. Never keep loved ones at bay keeping them from knowing where your thoughts have taken you, even if you feel that they do not understand or cannot help. For a broken foundation is better than no foundation at all. The loved ones easily passed off as someone who “won’t care” or who “just won’t understand” will unmistakably be the ones who will hold you up and catch you when you fall giving you a shoulder to cry on. Why? Because they care.

No matter how painful. No matter how much you think things will never change; things will always get better if you try. Find hope. Find purpose. Go find yourself, without that pesky Worrywart. 

“You WILL get through this, but you have to be kind to yourself on the way, okay? If you do that, you’ll be okay. You are okay. YOU’VE GOT THIS you beautiful weirdo, you.”  - Laura Lee Gulledge's 'Dear Sad Me' pamphlet 


You can easily get Marie and Worrywart digitally online for free, but for the sake of supporting the conversation I’d highly recommend sparing the five bucks asked in support of her art and making the purchase from her shop on Silver Sprocket.

Created, Written, Drawn, Colored & Lettered
by Jenn Woodall

Jenn Woodall’s website, Instagram, Twitter.
Make purchases from gumroad or Silver Sprocket.