“Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson is the best non-fiction book I have ever read. I’m not sure whether to call this book a memoir or a collection of essays, but whatever genre it falls under, it was captivating, hilarious, and heartwarming. Lawson skillfully writes episodes from her day-to-day life and brings the reader into her innermost thoughts. What makes her thoughts and daily stories so interesting is that they are fueled by her crazy antics with her cats, her silly fights with her husband, and her obsession with ethically-sourced taxidermy. And all of these stories are influenced by her battle with mental illness and insomnia.
Lawson is honest about her struggle with depression and social anxiety in a way that is rarely documented. She details her battle so you get a clear picture of how someone with these issues survives each day. Yet even though she describes her raw moments and offers words of encouragement to fellow battlers, this book is filled with laughter on each page as she reveals the humour in her craziness. This book shows that even though living with mental illness is hard, joy and love and laughter can still exist in your life. For Lawson, the way that mental illness has shaped her personality and her story seems to be the reason for the humour in her life.
As someone who also struggles with depression and anxiety, I was encouraged to read an honest account of someone living with mental illness and still thriving by the world’s standards-marriage, family, house, career. I was constantly laughing out loud at Lawson’s description of her various sleep disorders, her attempt to introduce her cats to water beds, and her adventures with her beloved stuffed raccoons (one is featured on the cover). I’m not giving away more than that, because you need to read these stories in her own words. The shock value of them is part of their hilarity. I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to laugh at people’s crazy antics and to anyone who struggles with mental illness. You are not alone and there can still be bright moments in life as we seek to be “Furiously Happy”!
5/5 bacon strips