Sunday, March 12, 2017

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

I love Jenny Lawson. Her first book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened, made me laugh so hard I was sore. Her second book, Furiously Happy, did not have any trouble living up to its predecessor. Jenny makes no secret of the fact that she struggles with mental illness.

I am a high-functioning depressive with severe anxiety disorder, moderate clinical depression, and mild self-harm issues that stem from an impulse-control disorder.

Jenny is far from normal, by her own admission. She is also far from boring. She is hilarious and smart and not afraid to be who she is.

If you don't like the book then maybe you're just not crazy enough to enjoy it. Either way, you win.

In her first book, Jenny mostly tells funny stories. In her second book, she still shares plenty of funny anecdotes, but she also shares a lot more of her experience with mental illness. Is some of that bit still funny? Of course it is, because Jenny intends to see the humor in it as much as she can. She also takes it very seriously in an effort to hopefully help her readers understand their own struggles. 

The title of the book comes from Jenny's decision to fight her mental illness as best she can, to be furiously happy as much as she can be.

I am furiously happy. It is not a cure for mental's a weapon, designed to counter it. It's a way to take back some of the joy that's robbed from you when you're happy.

Jenny explains her struggles with mental illness in a way that I've never heard before and that really helps the reader understand her. I think a lot of what she says can be helpful to many of her readers that see themselves in her. 

Imagine having a disease so overwhelming that your mind causes you to want to murder yourself.

I remind myself that depression lies and that I can't trust my own critical judgement when I'm sick.

Sure, there were bits that I wish had been edited more. Sometimes it seems like Jenny goes a little overboard trying to be funny and it doesn't always work, but overall, I really love her. I highly recommend her books and also the audio versions of her books. She reads them herself and I think that really enhances the experience. Be aware that Jenny does not hold back on foul language. She's rather generous with it. 

No comments: