Book breaks down high school mental health taboo



"Furiously Happy," by Jenny Lawson

Sarah Jane Chrysler, Co-editor in chief

As high schoolers, we want to hear the truth about the world we are about to step into. We want to know that life is imperfect and that we’re not failing at it because of these imperfections. That it is okay that we are scatter brained and overwhelmed. That reassurance and peace of mind is just what New York Times #1 bestselling author Jenny Lawson gives us in her newest book “Furiously Happy”.

This is not a sequel to her first book, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”, in which Lawson recounts growing up in a small town being a taxidermist’s daughter. In “Furiously Happy”, she tells the world what it is like to live life through her eyes and how her multiple mental disorders change her views and ideas about everything from sandwiches to politics.

At first glance, the bright yellow book with a glitter crazed raccoon on the cover can be intimidating to even approach. If you are brave enough to take on the creature and open to the first pages you feel as though you’re talking to an old friend. Lawson’s colloquial language gives the impression that she couldn’t care less what you think of her but that she also wants to be best friends.

When reading this book be ready for a lot of choice language. The number of f-bombs dropped within the first chapter is shocking. For me at least, that makes her seem like a real person, someone who swears and is still a great and genuine human being.

It is also reassuring to hear from someone successful who deals with anxiety and panic attacks. It makes me feel like I might not turn out to be a failure, despite my anxiety issues.  Dealing with attention deficit hypo/hyper disorder (ADHD) and anxiety can have a huge impact on your life, it has on mine, I can’t even imagine dealing with depression along with personality disorder and anxiety on top of that, as Lawson describes in her book. 

She truly knows how to write to a high school audience and connect with them, there are lots of laughs but things do get deep. She describes her battles with depression and other disorders in detail. She is helping to break a huge stigma by talking about the mental health issues many of us face  in such a blunt way.

“Furiously Happy” is so many things rolled into one. It is a quick read that takes you on an emotional roller coaster. Going from everyday catty statements to make you literally laugh out loud to stories of panic attacks and deep-rooted irrational fears.

This book is relatable and real and will make you feel furiously happy. Jenny Lawson has once again delivered  a wonderful piece of literary art.