In case you have missed reading Jenny Lawson, she has a blog with a huge following (the Bloggress) and wrote the bestselling book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Her second book was released two weeks ago.
Her first book was very funny. It was the kind of book where it is hard not to laugh out loud. It was evident that her thought process differed from the norm and she did not have a filter when it came to speaking her thoughts.
The first book did talk about her medical issues but was far more centered on the funny episodes from her life. In her new book, she talks frankly about her medical issues (hence the subtitle “A Funny Book About Horrible Things”)
“I’ve struggled with mental illness since I was a kid but clinical depression is a semi-regular visitor and anxiety disorder is my long-term abusive boyfriend. Sometimes the depression is mild enough that I mistake it for the flu or mono, but this instance was one of the extreme cases. One where I didn’t necessarily want my life to end, I just wanted it to stop being such a bastard…
So I took to my blog and wrote a post that would change the way that I would look at life from then on…
I’m fucking done with sadness, and I don’t know what’s up the ass of the universe lately but I’ve HAD IT. I AM GOING TO BE FURIOUSLY HAPPY, OUT OF SHEER SPITE!
I’M STARTING A WHOLE MOVEMENT RIGHT NOW. The FURIOUSLY HAPPY movement. And it is going to be awesome because first of all, we’re all going to be VEHEMENTLY happy”
In the second book, there is much more about her depression, anxiety disorder, rheumatoid arthritis and other mental illnesses and the battles she faces with those diseases. The book still has laugh out loud sections but there is more reflexion about what it is like to live with mental illness. She writes to help the others she knows are out there because they have contacted her. She writes to tell the File of 24 and others that have come up to her in person that they are not alone. (The File of 24 is the file with 24 letters from people telling her that they were going to kill themselves but her writing and the reaction to it stopped them)
By using her platform, she wants to help others like her and that is evident from the book and the stories in the book. While not funny all the time, there is great humor. There are times that you almost feel guilty laughing at things because you can see better that what you are finding funny is partially her illnesses.
This is not an outrageously funny sequel to Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. This book is an explanation of what it is like to live mental illness and try and come out alive. It is written in a humorous fashion but is very serious.
Would I recommend it? I would. I think that if you do not suffer from mental health issues that it can help you understand what it is like to live with these diseases. If you have some mental health issues , the book does what it was meant to do – show you that you are not alone.
The only proviso on the recommendation is that if you are upset by the use of foul language, this is probably not your book. (Yes, some people are and I think it is fair to warn them) The language is definitely not “G” rated.
Thanks for reading.