Adult mental health Nonfiction

Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson Review

Broken (in the best possible way) was my first excursion into the truly magnificent, endearingly chaotic, mile-a-minute world that is the writing of Jenny Lawson. And all I can say is — where has this woman been all my life! I need more. Namely, every single book she’s ever written. As someone who suffers (and I mean suffers, please, I do not take that word lightly) from anxiety and OCD, I am always looking for fiction and nonfiction titles with phenomenal representation. Broken falls into the nonfiction category, and bookish friends, it is a stunner!

“I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. When I was young I thought it would pass as I got older, and when I was older I thought it would pass when I was successful, and when I was successful I thought that it was hopeless because even when everything was going right I was still wrong.” 

Jenny Lawson

My quest for neurodivergent literature (books with authentic mental health rep) is twofold. It is for me. After all, I am human (and humans are selfish), and as I’ve previously stated, I suffer. Those books, well, they help me exist in a world where the neurotypical isn’t just the norm but also viewed as the normative — the golden standard we should all strive to achieve. An ideal I fail to reach every single day. But I’m also forever looking for books to add to my list of recommendations for neurotypical peeps who genuinely want to learn more about the unique challenges neurodivergents face. (If you’re looking for a fiction title on OCD and anxiety, Turtles All the Way Down is a fantastic place to start.)

“It might be all in my head, but that’s where I keep all my crazy, so that makes sense.” 

Jenny Lawson

I read Broken (in the best possible way) during a time when my anxiety and OCD were spiraling. They’re buddies who like to do things together. Broken became the equivalent of a weighted blanket. A hug. My brain chemistry was out to get me, but suddenly I was no longer alone. With all the crazy stuff (intrusive thoughts) rambling around my head, there was someone (Jenny Lawson) whose neurons, too, were recklessly driving donuts in her brain. With all the pills I was taking (and I am not talking about one magical pill; I am talking about a mixed salad), someone was openly stating that pills were keeping her alive, too. (John Green has also said this about himself.) With all the obstacles my brain hurled at me, someone’s body was as uncooperative. Yet here Jenny Lawson was, alive and kicking and finding humor in impossible situations.

“Forgive yourself. For being broken. For being you. For thinking those are things that you need forgiveness for.” 

Jenny Lawson

Broken (in the best possible way) isn’t a despondent read. It’s one that’s incredibly raw and real. It’s filled with resilience. And it will make you laugh until you cry.

One of the best nonfiction reads to come across my shelf in 2021. A must-read.

Book: Broken (in the best possible way)
Published: Picador
Pages: 288
Publication Date: April 27th, 2021
Stars: 5/5

Pan Macmillan kindly sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.


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