Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson

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Furiously Happy is a very humorous yet serious anecdotal book by Jenny Lawson that hits on the stigmas of mental illnesses and the uniqueness of varying disorders from person to person. It is a piece of work that one can both love and hate. As Lawson quotes here grandmother, “If you don’t create something some people hate then you can’t create something some people can love”. Admittedly her utter randomness is delightfully refreshing throughout the first half of the piece, the constant shifting is unnerving and becomes increasingly annoying as the book progresses. The book as a whole can be taken as an overture for the true message behind Lawson’s stories.

We often can’t tell how badly a person may be suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks and/or numerous others mental afflictions. Coincidentally, we ourselves may be suffering from some of these same “disorders” yet our life and methods for dealing with them are completely unique despite the numerous symptomatic similarities. There is no one size fits all model for dealing and understanding people suffering from depression and often times these severe bouts of sadness, lack of interest and despair is not something one can just “get over”. Many neurological and hormonal factors are at play with depression and these factors are exacerbated in complexity due to human uniqueness.

Sadness is natural. It is an emotion that makes us feel, it makes us human. It should be recognized in importance just as strongly as happiness. We should not try to force ourselves to hide under false pretenses for the sake of society, although many often feel the need to. While sadness is natural and cyclical in nature for everyone, depression and other mental afflictions are not as clear cut. Triggers can come from numerous things, some are obvious like the loss of a loved one, others are unexplainable and more neurologically based. Whatever the cause, depression can happen to anyone. “When one person suffers from mental illness we all do”. Sometimes something as random and simple as a smile or a genuine hello can literally save someone’s life.

We never know what’s really going on with an individual behind closed doors. Let’s take every opportunity to brighten up our own lives daily while doing the same for others.

To those currently suffering from any bouts of mental illnesses like depression, whether publicly or privately, know that there is always hope whether you see it now or not. You can make it. You WILL make it.

You gotta keep breathing, because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? – Castaway

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