Rating: 3.5 Stars ★★★★☆
“You’re not crazy. STOP CALLING YOURSELF CRAZY,” my mom says for the eleventy billionth time.”You’re just sensitive. And… a little… odd.”
Jenny Lawson’s first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened told the story of how she grew up as the daughter of a taxidermist in a house full of animals. Furiously Happy, her second book, is about her life with mental illness.
Furiously happy is different from Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, not just because it deals with the somewhat darker topics of depression and anxiety, but also because, unlike the first it doesn’t follow a certain timeframe (growing up, college, marriage etc.).
For me, this book was strongest when it tackled depression and anxiety head on. There were so many great pieces it’s difficult to choose only one.
Lots of concerned friends and family felt that the first medication’s failure was a clear sign that drugs were not the answer; if they were I would have been fixed. Clearly I wasn’t as sick as I said I was if the medication didn’t work for me. And that sort of makes sense, because when you have cancer the doctor gives you the best medicine and if it doesn’t shrink the tumor immediately then that’s a pretty clear sign you were just faking it for attention.
But there were also a lot of other great chapters that consisted of Jenny Lawson telling anecdotes of her life or just musing on certain topics, like the prevalence of assholes in airports that had me in stitches.
It’s such a strange phenomenon. People who (outside of airports) might normally hold open doors or stop cars for crossing ducklings will suddenly be fine with plowing down elderly women and kicking small children out of the way in order to get to their preassigned, horrifically cramped seats.
My only complaint is that the chapters sometimes felt a bit disconnected. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened had the element of time to tie everything together. Here there were some chapters that, while great, felt a bit out of place.
A humourous book full of amazing stories and sober truths about mental illness.