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A Life-Changing Decision

If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you may have noticed some changes. If not, that’s okay. I’m about to tell you about them anyway. 😂

I recently read FURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson* and it was kind of life-changing for a couple of reasons.

I realized more profoundly than ever before that I’m not alone as I deal with my mental illnesses and chronic pain and there are others, like Jenny and me, who need constant love and support.

I read FURIOUSLY HAPPY on my Kindle and I’m glad I did because I highlighted passages that spoke to me, which isn’t something I normally do (not even with my Kindle). This passage spoke to me the most:

“And when we see celebrities who fall victim to depression’s lies we think to ourselves, ‘How in the world could they have killed themselves? They had everything.’ But they didn’t. They didn’t have a cure for an illness that convinced them they were better off dead. Whenever I start to doubt if I’m worth the eternal trouble of medication and therapy, I remember those people who let the fog win. And I push myself to stay healthy. I remind myself that I’m not fighting against me … I’m fighting against a chemical imbalance … a tangible thing. I remind myself of the cunning untrustworthiness of the brain, both in the mentally ill and in the mentally stable. I remind myself that professional mountain climbers are often found naked and frozen to death, with their clothes folded neatly nearby because severe hypothermia can make a person feel confused and hot and convince you to do incredibly irrational things we’d never expect. Brains are like toddlers. They are wonderful and should be treasured, but that doesn’t mean you should trust them to take care of you in an avalanche or process serotonin effectively.”

Depression and other mental illnesses are hard to live with. Even now that I’m in a really good space, I’m afraid I won’t be in the future. It’s a constant fear; a worry I needn’t have but I do because there is no cure. I can only treat the symptoms for a while.

I thought that if I documented my day-to-day struggles not only would I selfishly help myself, but maybe I can help others that struggle with mental illness and chronic pain too.

I laughed so much while I read FURIOUSLY HAPPY. So much. This is huge! I don’t laugh when I read. Authors might as well be telling their jokes to a robot for all the good it will do. I usually don’t or won’t get their humor.

Why was laughing while reading FURIOUSLY HAPPY life-changing? I’m an Aspy, you see. An Aspy is someone with Asperger’s Syndrome. Or, if you’re in the United States like I am and want to be “technically correct, the best kind of correct” (ten points if you know that reference) and realize Asperger’s Syndrome is no longer a “diagnosis,” then you’ll know I’m on the Autism Spectrum.

Being on the Autism Spectrum is new for me. Well, being on the spectrum isn’t new, but recognizing that I’m on the spectrum is new and it matters quite a bit. My mannerisms, my reactions, my focuses, even how my mind deals with my mental illnesses and chronic pain is affected by ASD.

(PS, does this mean that everyone with ASD doesn’t laugh while reading? No. It just means that’s my experience and that’s why reading FURIOUSLY HAPPY changed me.)

What does this mean for my blog? It means I’m not going to be focusing on books anymore. I’m still going to be reading, of course. I may even post a review here and there. But, I’m shifting my focus to more personal posts and life in general. I’ll focus on my journey to get healthy and what it’s like living with the myriad of health issues I have.

🥂 Here’s to the beginning of a new journey!

*I need to add that FURIOUSLY HAPPY is not for everyone. There’s quite a bit of profanity and the humor is often quite crude. However, if you’re not easily offended and you or someone you know suffers from any kind of mental illness, I highly recommend reading this book. It’s funny, heartfelt, honest, and very insightful. I’m glad I read it and I’ll read more from Jenny Lawson as I feel like she and I are kindred spirits.

8 replies
  1. Susan Jensen
    Susan Jensen says:

    I’m glad you’ll have a platform for discussing mental health issues. Hopefully you will find support and love as you share these personal things. I think the more we all understand each others’ experiences, pain, struggles, etc. the more empathetic and caring we all become. I can’t wait to learn more about you 🙂

    Reply
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Susan! I really hope this will work the way I’m envisioning it. If anything, I just hope it will be cathartic and helpful to others. 🙂 I’m glad you’re excited to learn more about me since it’s a little scary to put myself out there, lol.

      Reply

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