|Courtesy of goodreads.com|
Lawson is definitely a breath of fresh air in the area of self-help books. She has decided to address and tackle an extremely hot button topic with ease and confidence; mental illness is still a taboo topic, one that many books address in either a clinical, matter-of-fact way, or in a 'this is a fight and you need to do this to win' manner. Yet Lawson's book is more about having adventures and living life to the fullest, along with her mental illness, not despite it. The book is structured in a series of chapters, consisting of a mixture of conversations, short stories, anecdotes, lists, and musings. Lawson captures events in her life, whether the events are fueled by her mental illness or just by the quirks of life that everyone experiences. Despite the rumor, raunchiness, and eccentricities of life, there is the ever-present theme of the struggles with mental illness throughout. Lawson does not shy away from the darkness and pervasiveness of her illness; she does not mince words when describing the feelings of isolation, hopelessness, and despair she experiences in her 'down' times. Instead she uses them as inspiration to live life to the fullest during her 'up' times. Lawson stresses that, despite being successful and appearing to have everything she could want, she cannot stop the creeping anxiety caused by her illness. It is a startling realistic portrayal of personal suffering from mental illness, and an accurate depiction of how it can wreak havoc on your perspective and life.
|Author and The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson|
Courtesy of changinghands.com
Nevertheless, Lawson maintains a sense of humor and strength throughout the book. She embraces her 'crazy' side and stresses that mental illness does not take away from one's life, but enhances it in an unique way. Lawson reminds readers that they are not alone throughout the book; she says that there is a 'tribe' of people with similar struggles and that those experiencing the problems that come with mental illness must remember that they are not alone. This book is truly an uplifting and encouraging book for people who are struggling; this is not preachy, does not tell you what you should do or what you should have done to prevent problem. Instead, Lawson is comfort. She is the friend who makes you laugh, who brings you candy, who is there for you in the 'down' times. This book is for anyone and everyone; those who struggles with mental illness and those who have experienced sadness or self-doubt. It stresses that your dark times should be fuel to live furiously happy in the light times; furiously happy will also get you through the dark times.