Jenny Lawson has many things. She has anxiety and depression. She has many physical illnesses. She has OCD. She has a long suffering husband named Victor. They have a daughter. None of these define this woman who writes honestly and incredibly humorously about all of the above. Not one to shy away for ANY embarrassing situation, her books of essays are like manna to people who also suffer from illness, not just the ones mentioned above. Not only is she relatable, but she makes people who suffer feel not as alone.
Reading Lawson’s book with a smile on your face feels like an oxymoron. The chapters always deal with serious issues, such as her not wanting to leave her hotel room when she is on book tour, but you laugh because she tries to take the stigma out of her fear and make it funny in the best possible way. She explains how it is possible to lose just one shoe, six different times in different ways.
She tries to push the reader to embrace their illness and try to look at it lightheartedly. But most importantly, she tries to make them realize they are not alone. And if YOU think you are having a hard time coping, well just listen to this! She certainly does not sugar coat her situations, but she surely does find herself in some comical circumstances.
In one essay about her marriage, she addresses everyone’s admiration for her husband Victor and his undying love for her. But she explains to the reader that the secret to there long marriage is that neither of them has the energy to divorce!
In another chapter she gives reasons why due to her anxiety she no longer attends any type of party, with an absolutely hysterical list of things she has said while attending such gatherings.
In Awkwarding Brings Us Together she explains how she once tweeted out something silly and embarrassing she had just said and within minutes had replies from hundreds of people who have had that same cringe worthy experience. One example is “A friend thanked me for coming to her husband’s funeral. My reply? Anytime.” I must have read this essay at least twice laughing harder each time.
But the one essay which was not so funny was her insightful open letter to her insurance company in which she explains how she has had difficulty getting medication paid for even though they agree with the diagnosis, or how an experimental treatment may very well help her, but her illness is not that far along. She tells of the hoops they make her jump only to be in the same position as when she started She writes of being denied a medication only to be told months later she should be on the medication only to be denied the medication. She somberly ends with how lucky she is to be able to afford the medications she has been denied and feels for those who are unable to do the same.
Is it bad that I don’t want Jenny Lawson to not be Broken? Her incredible insight into the feelings of people with anxiety, the humor she shares with us when she laughs at herself, the lessons she does not even realize she teaches gives one hope. Hope of looking at situations much differently. Hope of getting better. Hope of not feeling self-conscious. Hope of not being broken. Thank you Jenny!
Thank you #NetGalley #HenryHoltandCo #JennyLawson #Broken for the advanced copy.