For anyone who has ever struggled with anxiety, depression, or any mental illness, or who has known or loved someone who does, this book is a must read.
Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson (released on September 22nd, currently #3 on the New York Times Bestseller List) is a sort of hilariously dark memoir wherein Lawson recounts her life as someone who struggles with a mental illness. Something she’s in a sense almost made peace with.
I first came to love Jenny Lawson through her blog, the Bloggess, which she’s been writing for almost ten years. Her blog, as well as her books (her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, was also a New York Times Bestseller), are not for the easily offended.
Lawson is nothing if not completely transparent, and refreshingly authentic. This is something I talk about a lot here on my blog, the need for us to be more real, more ourselves, less perfect.
Jenny Lawson really bares her soul when talking about not just the embarrassing things most of us are too afraid to share, but the deeply wounded, broken parts of herself that have the potential to alienate people, but instead, have gathered people together unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
Furiously Happy is one of those rare books that starts to crack the door open to a safe place where we can talk about something previously not discussed, in this case, mental illness.
I found myself saying, “oh my gosh, that’s me!” or “me too, I feel like that too, a lot of the time!” throughout most of this book. I’ve struggled with anxiety issues most of my life, but never really understood that there were a lot of other people out there who do as well. This book made me feel less ashamed about it, and more relieved.
It’s also, in true Jenny Lawson form, hysterical. As I did with her last book, and with almost every blog post, I found myself laughing out loud (ironically enough, like a crazy person…).
Lawson is on book tour right now promoting Furiously Happy, so I made a point to attend her reading and book signing when she stopped in Nashville a couple of weeks ago.
If you’ve never been to a book signing before, the book store typically has someone give you a sticky note where you mark the page you want the author to sign, and write down what you want the author to write on that page (who the book is for, etc.), in an effort to make the process go more quickly.
I may have ruined that process going forward…
If you’ve ever felt like you were alone with depression or anxiety, or know someone for whom that struggle is ongoing (and you can handle some colorful language), this book is a hilarious but remarkable look at what it’s really like to feel irretrievably broken.