If you’ve never heard of The Bloggess, it is about to go down. A short while back, Jenny Lawson sat down and wrote the hilarious book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Emblazoned with a picture of a taxidermy mouse dressed as Hamlet, the book skyrocketed to a New York Times Best Seller. This is, in short, because Jenny Lawson is one of the funniest people on the internet. Her new book, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
, takes one of the saddest subjects and makes it hilarious; mental illness. While traditionally, mental illness is no laughing matter, Jenny Lawson takes her own experiences with depression, anxiety and sleep disorders and gives the reader a look at what happens when you’re painfully honest about something we as a people rarely are honest about.
Furiously Happy has a taxidermy raccoon on the front cover that appears as if he is in true ecstasy. Glitter ensures the happy vibe on the cover and inside we have illustrations of this jovial raccoon riding Lawson’s real life cat, Hunter S. Thomcat. Jenny Lawson has suffered from crippling depression and anxiety for much of her adult life. She doesn’t shy away from this, but rather offers up her experiences with therapists and her husband as hilarious anecdotes. She discusses her sleep trials, what happens when she sends herself messages after she’s taken a sleeping pill and what it feels like when your anxiety goes out of control. Lawson discusses what it’s like to travel when you’re anxious and above all, what it’s like to tell your mental illness to buzz off and decide to live despite its often crippling grip; in short, what it means to be furiously happy.
First of all, Jenny Lawson, thank you. You are a national freaking treasure and I adore you. Second of all, thank you for showing what mental illness is and what it isn’t. Thank you for showing the funny side, and not the creepy side that television news stations have decided will be the scare tactic for the 5pm news hour.
I found myself laughing out loud while reading the book, but also having those pangs of recognition. Fans of The Bloggess are a tight knit group for a group of anxious weirdos (myself included) and it’s nice to be able to realize you are in good company when you read this book. As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, it was great to read that someone I deeply admire has been there too. There is no judgement. There is no criticism. There is laughter and there are experiences.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things is now available. You should order it and read it immediately.