HERE’S WHAT I’VE HIDDEN UNDER MY TONGUE #2, free, 4¼” x 5½”, copied, 30pgs.

Aug 11, 2020

In the second installment of Here’s What I’ve Hidden under My Tongue, the anonymous author talks more in-depth about the numerous psychiatric hospitalizations they alluded to having in the first issue. Having been hospitalized eight times between the ages of fourteen and seventeen, the author relates that these periods were not just small parts that shaped their youth. “This was my growing up,” they write. They briefly talk about the stigma of mental health, and how hospitalization specifically, and mental health struggles in general are a secret people are taught to be ashamed of. The time the author spent in mental health facilities “…helped shape every facet of who I am. And yet it’s something I rarely talk about,” noting the reason to not discuss it publicly is because “There is too much stigma.” What follows is a series of scenes from the author’s personal experiences, contrasted with the depictions of mental illness and psychiatric hospitals in American pop culture. The author talks about the fascination we have for these institutions, our desires to understand and experience what goes on inside, and attempts to shed light on it from their own personal experiences. “The answers are interesting. They’re just not sexy,” they write. They then describe at length their first hospitalization, the experience closest to “the Hollywood madhouse,” depicted in pop culture. In a ward of all teens, the narrator struggles to fit in as the new admission. Where Here’s What I’ve Hidden under My Tongue succeeds is in its blunt honesty, and this issue focusing on mental illness is no exception. –Paul J. Comeau (D.J.T., 103 N Bliss St, Apt B, Anchorage, AK 99508)