Reading this book was certainly an interesting experience. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson is indeed, as the title suggests, a funny book about horrible things. The author suffers from a range of mental illnesses and other health-related issues. I’m not sure I could name every one of them, so you will have to read it to find out, but included are depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The most important thing this book does, in my opinion, is point out that everyone experiences mental illness differently, even if they have the same diagnosis. This is why I chose the book’s quote “My mental illness is not your mental illness” for the feature in this post.
If you suffer from a mental illness, I think you might be able to get a lot out of this book, even if it is only some mild comfort that you are not alone. I also feel as if some could get a laugh out of some of the things Jenny writes (I know I did), but of course some may not if it hits too close for them. If you do not suffer from a mental illness, I still think you can get something from reading Furiously Happy. Even though everyone experiences mental illness differently, I think you can learn some fundamental things about what a loved one might be going through and how you can help (ask them).
I definitely enjoyed this book, though it reinforced things I felt I already knew rather than changed my way of thinking. For instance, the story about the sleep clinic was something I had already thought about. How in the world are they supposed to get an accurate idea of someone’s typical night of sleep with all those wires, interruptions, and other, potentially disruptive, patients? I really do not think it is possible at all. But then again, I am not a professional here.
While I certainly found this book very funny at many different points while I was reading, sometimes I felt as if things were just so out there and bizarre that they could not actually be real. Some of my reading was cut with disbelief that the author was this way, and I will admit part of me wonders if some bits were exaggerated for the book. I have no idea if they were, and it is certainly possible that everything is true, but that is how I read it. It probably did not help that the book jumped around in certain parts, a little too much for my tastes even though nothing is inherently wrong with that choice (it is simply style). I wish my mind did not question parts, because then my enjoyment would likely have been even higher.
With all of this said now, I would still highly recommend reading Furiously Happy. Even though it is not perfect, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. If you have read it, or will plan to as a result of reading this post, I want to know what you think! Do you agree with the feature quote of this post? Would you add anything to how people might be able to help a loved one who is suffering? Did you connect with anything in the book? If so, what was it? I would also like to hear if you enjoyed reading this book or not (and why)!
Title: Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
Author: Jenny Lawson
Publisher: Flatiron Books