All hail Jenny Lawson! You saved me on one of the worst nights of my life.
After a lifetime of living with mental illness, I can’t believe that I wasn’t familiar with you and your books. When a therapist gives a mental illness diagnosis, they should give their patients your books alongside the NAMI pamphlet. All Ativan prescriptions must be accompanied by Furiously Happy. There is no better combination that that. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened should be requires high school reading. High schoolers would finally have one assigned reading that they would actually like.
A few months ago I was in the process of switching anti- psychotics. I have taken a certain one for several years to help with my OCD and other mental health issues, but the side effects were terrible and my doctor thought there might be a better option and prescribed a new one. I took the new one for the first time one night.
As the night went on, I became increasingly terrified and anxious. I was in literal pain from all the anxiety. My skin was crawling and I thought I might explode. I almost went to the emergency room at midnight. but ended up staying home. As I wondered how the hell I would make it through the night, I began to read Furiously Happy for the first time.
“Without the dark there isn’t light. Without the pain there is no relief.”
Throughout all the terror, I found comfort in the thought of taxidermied raccoons and koalas with chlamydia. Amongst the tears and shaking, I managed to laugh hysterically. I wondered how it was possible to laugh so much when I was dying inside. I kept on reading.
“I survived and I remind myself that each time we go through this we get a little stronger. We don’t struggle in vain. We win. We are alive.”
I kept rereading the chapter on antipsychotics. Yes, mine were currently trying to kill me, but Jenny’s advice was brilliant. I wondered if telling people that I was on antipsychotics would get me first in line for a Marvel movie.
I later learned that that awful night, I experienced an extreme reaction to that new medication. That night was excruciating. I wondered how it could it be possible for one human to suffer so much. But…
I learned that I can survive hell.
I discovered the writing of one of my favorite authors and people. (Yes, even though I do not know her personally, I consider Jenny a friend. She helped me survive. Isn’t that what friends do?).
And most importantly of all, I learned how to be Furiously Happy. I can claw out of hell. I can be happy.
“Brighter days are coming. Clearer sight will arrive. And you will arrive too.”
Thank you Jenny. You saved my life. Please add “life saver” to your list of accolades. Thank you.
***All the quotes in this post are credited to Our Lord and Savior Jenny Lawson***