In early January 2012, I read a blog post that affected everything in my life. I was not in a great place in most parts of my life, and this post really helped me to understand myself a little better.
It was written by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess. I had stumbled upon her blog at some point in the past and always checked back because she was funny and strange and maybe a little crazy, but she seemed my kind of crazy and I love her writing. Anyways, she had been posting about her personal battles with Depression and with beating it in the moment and a thousand other things. This particular post was after a very long and difficult battle. It said a great many wonderful things, and I really encourage everyone to read it. But one thing she said in it was this; “I haven’t hurt myself in 3 days. I sing strange battle-songs to myself in the darkness to scare away the demons. I am a fighter when I need to be.” I still get chills reading that.
I don’t self harm in a physical way, but all too often I let my inner voice and demons to the harming for me. I have been in destructive cycles. I allow myself to buy into the lies that Depression tells.
Jenny inspired me to pick up writing again. To push myself to post every week. To not let the Lies keep me down, but to survive and fight in spite of them. For all of that I am eternally grateful.
When I read her first book, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” I fell in love with her writing. I had always enjoyed her posts, but to read her in long form…let’s say that the woman next to me on the plane while I was reading it, probably thought I was high. Which I wasn’t. A little drunk maybe, but I was flying so it is totally acceptable. Encouraged even. Anyways, it is hilarious and wonderful and you should go read it right now.
Jenny recently (like this week) released her second book, “Furiously Happy.” I encourage anyone that has a mental illness, knows someone with a mental illness, is curious about what it is like to live, and laugh, with a mental illness, go get it. It’s been a difficult read, but it is something we all need to read. It has been difficult because I am reading about someone I care about, even if we’ve never met (the internet is crazy ya’ll), go through these terrible things. I am reading about descriptions of my own thoughts and feelings written down and described far better than I have been able to. It has been difficult because I see the battle being fought in my own brain. What makes it easier is the grace and humor she has while going through it. She would probably disagree with the grace part of that statement, but I disagree; anyone that can get a responsibly taxidermied raccoon to ride a cat definitely has grace.
Jenny taught me that it is ok to be me, whatever that means. That it is ok to let my real voice out. That depression lies. That I’m broken inside, but so is everyone else. That I’m crazy, and that’s ok.
Thank you Jenny, and I promise to fight to be Furiously Happy.