Monday, April 23, 2018

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

I listened to the audiobook for Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson through Lawson reads the book herself, which in this case is a good thing. I cannot imagine anyone else reading this book and doing it justice.  The same is true for her first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. You may have heard of Jenny Lawson; she has been a blogger for a long time as The Bloggess. Some parts of the book are things she’s written about on her blog. Furiously Happy is about Lawson’s struggle with mental illness, specifically depression and anxiety with a few other things thrown in for good measure.

I have struggled some with depression and imposter syndrome, so there are a lot of parts of this book that I can identify with. One of my favorite parts of the book is Lawson talking about doing the recording for her first book. The first day went badly, and she realized just how important to her it was to read her book in her own voice. She got in touch with Neil Gaiman, who she had made friends with and who is a terrific reader. He told her to just “pretend you’re good at it.” Kind of the old “fake it till you make it,” I guess, but the story was powerful to me. One of the other things I love from this book is her mention of Spoon Theory, which wasn’t her invention, and she credits Christine Miserandino with its creation. But if you aren’t familiar it’s a great way to explain to people in your life who don’t deal with chronic illness or pain how you feel. And why sometimes you can do all the things and other times you can’t even get out of bed.

You don’t expect a book about dealing with depression and anxiety to be funny, but this is. Be prepared for some rambling stories that get off topic, but that is part of what makes this book feel like talking to a friend. There are some references to things from her first book or references to posts on her blog that aren’t reprinted here. I do wish they could include the pictures with the audiobook though. I would highly recommend Furiously Happy, and Let's Pretend This Never Happened, and her blog. 

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