One of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Lawson of thebloggess.com, released her second book yesterday. It is called Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things. In it, Jenny talks about her lifelong battle with mental illness. Humorously. Sounds like an interesting combination, doesn’t it?
Jenny says that, “We all get our share of tragedy or insanity or drama, but what we do with that horror is what makes all the difference.”
We are all broken. For some of us it takes the form of mental illness. For others it is physical. Sometimes it is in our relationships with others. Sometimes it is in our relationships with ourselves.
But the thing that Jenny encourages us all to do is to choose to be Furiously Happy. To be irrationally joyful and vehemently happy. This is sometimes easier said than done, but when we can’t pull that off on our own, we can always read a chapter of Jenny’s book. Because it will make you laugh.* I promise.
Jenny’s first book, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir made me laugh out loud. Often. Her blog and book have been a source of (edited) readings to my family and friends. So if you like humor, she is a good source for it.
But what has really drawn me to Jenny’s work is the fact that she taught me this: depression lies. Over and over again when I am in the midst of a rough patch, I remind myself that depression lies. It says things to me like:
- You aren’t good enough.
- You are a terrible wife/mother/health & fitness coach/pastor/housekeeper/[insert lots of other things here].
- The best thing for you to do is just give up and lay on the couch binge-watching Netflix.
- You loser, you just spent the entire evening on the couch binge-watching Netflix!
- You will never get better.
- You are going to fight me the rest of your life.
But when I remind myself that depression lies, eventually I can get to a place where I replace the lies of depression with the TRUTH of who I am.
- I am good enough.
- I am a good wife/mother/health & fitness coach/pastor/housekeeper/[insert lots of other things here].
- Sometimes it is okay to rest on the couch and binge-watch Netflix. But today, I can binge-watch while I clean up the living room.
- I am not a loser for letting the couch call me in to its warmth. I am not a loser for binge-watching Netflix. Sometimes a busy woman needs some down time.
- I will get better.
- Even when it puts up a fight, I will win over the depression.
Sometimes it is hard to get to this place of speaking TRUTH over the lies of depression, but the more I remind myself of the lies, the more the truth is able to be heard.
I have been walking through this journey for a long time now, and recently have walked through it with a friend who doesn’t yet recognize the lies of depression. I am trying to help her learn this very important lesson. One that I was able to learn because Jenny shared her story.
I am not saying that simply by reading a book you can conquer your own mental illness battle, but I am saying that you get to choose how you will overcome. I choose to be Furiously Happy.
I am broken because depression lies.
I am Furiously Happy because I am a Daughter of the King.
Will you share your broken and happy stories with me today?
*Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by bad language, find a different book or blog to read that makes you laugh. Because Jenny isn’t afraid to throw out strong language.