Framing the Dialogue

Furiously Happy

Author Jenny Lawson “suffers” from a myriad of maladies including depression.  Rather than wallow (okay she does that too), she shines light on her life living with disorders.  I hesitate to use words like malady and disorders as I don’t know what the correct (or politically correct) terms to use.  Lawson would probably make fun of me for faux empathy.  She brings a great deal of humor in Furiously Happy, her second book.  Reading her explanation of the cover art is enough to make your day.  Other than to say that I’ve never read a book like this…and I liked it, there’s nothing really to add.  You’ll just have to read it and I recommend that you do.  It may be a cliché, but you will laugh and cry, though mostly laugh.

This excerpt from the very first page gives you a glimpse into what you are in store for:

“According to the many shrinks I’ve seen in the last two decades I am a high-functioning depressive with severe anxiety disorder, moderate clinical depression, and mild self-harm issues that stem from an impulse-control disorder. I have avoidant personality disorder (which is like social anxiety disorder on speed) and occasional depersonalization disorder (which makes me feel utterly detached from reality, but in less of a “this LSD is awesome” kind of a way and more of a “I wonder what my face is doing right now” and “It sure would be nice to feel emotions again” sort of thing). I have rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune issues. And, sprinkled in like paprika over a mentally unbalanced deviled egg, are things like mild OCD and trichotillomania—the urge to pull one’s hair out—which is always nice to end on, because whenever people hear the word “mania” they automatically back off and give you more room on crowded airplanes. Probably because you’re not supposed to talk about having manias when you’re on a crowded airplane. This is one of the reasons why my husband, Victor, hates to fly with me. The other reason is I often fly with taxidermied creatures as anxiety service animals. Basically we don’t travel a lot together because he doesn’t understand awesomeness. “You’re not a maniac,” my mom says in an aggravated voice. “You just like to pull your hair. You even did it when you were little. It’s just soothing to you. Like … like petting a kitten.”

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