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Jessica Jones had a complicated life – booze, cocaine, bad boyfriends, a rollercoaster ride of what self-help writers call ‘opportunities for growth’ – but she found her way through. She rebuilt her career, became prosperous and found a wonderful new man. And then, just when things were almost perfect, she learned she had breast cancer. After seven months of gruelling treatment she began a three-month holiday of a lifetime with her gorgeous man – only to find herself plunged into a different, and totally unexpected life crisis.
The Elegant Art of Falling Apart is a book about learning to ask for and to accept help; about freeing yourself from our culture’s obsession with romantic love and about how looking good really can help you feel good. Above all, it is about the sanity-saving power of laughter and friendship.
"More life affirming (and funny) than any self-help book"
More life affirming (and funny) than any self-help book. GRAZIA
What it’s about
Who ever plans for their life to fall apart? Who expects to get ill or get dumped?
The Elegant Art of Falling Apart tells the story of how it happened to me! I’d done the hard yards: booze; drugs; bad boyfriends. But that was all in the past. Now, my life was almost perfect: living and working in London, a city I adore, in love with a man who loved me back. Then in May 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the help of doctors, nurses, friends and family, I stumbled through the horror of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
I felt so lucky to have survived it all. On Christmas Eve I flew to Sydney to be with Nick, the man who had stuck by my side through all the pain and the fear, only to be told on arrival that he’d been seeing someone else… that he didn’t love me after all. That emotional rejection felt more devastating, and difficult to recover from, than the cancer.
So what is this book really about? It’s about learning to ask for and to accept help. It’s about living in and enjoying the moment. It’s about freeing yourself from our culture’s obsession with romantic love. It’s about how looking good makes you feel good. Above all it is about staggering through the darkness with laughter and with friends.
Whilst the book is full of (I hope) useful tips about how to survive serious illness with style, it doesn’t offer medical advice or quacky recovery programmes aimed at saving your life. This book is about saving your sanity.
And you don’t need to get cancer to find yourself on the wrong side of that line…
Why I need your help
The Elegant Art of Falling Apart has already been published in my native Australia, but I am also a happy habitué of London. So now I need your help to bring my book to British shores.
Unbound's new model of publishing allows me to be directly in communication with my readers. To be honest I find that inspiring – if also a little daunting. But this book is all about sharing experiences and learning from one another. So I will be posting up regular updates, excerpts and tips on everything from mascara to meditation. Please pledge and join the conversation.
You can follow me on Twitter: @itsjessyjones
And visit my Facebook page
How does one judge one’s life: success or failure?
I remember an old story …
Bad news: a man was trapped in a burning building. Good news: he jumped out the window. Bad news: the window was on the fourth floor. Good news: there was a haystack beneath him. Bad news: there was a pitchfork in the haystack. Good news: he missed the pitchfork. Bad news: he missed the haystack …
I never could get the point of that story when I was at school. Now I totally get it. Our perspective on life just depends on where we start and end the story. Pick a day. Pick a moment.
I grew up in Australia and New Guinea. After being 'asked to leave' High School I ran away to London to drown myself in music and fashion. Life then became a non-stop rollercoaster of what self-help writers often call 'opportunities for growth' until, a decade or so ago, it became imperative to ease up on the insanity (although not entirely, as you shall see). Following my diagnosis with breast cancer, I started the blog CHEMO CHIC – A Guide to Surviving Breast Cancer With Style. CHEMO CHIC was acclaimed by The Times as one of '40 Blogs That Really Count' and was recently chosen by Channel 4’s 4Beauty as one of the best health blogs. These days I live in Notting Hill, London, where I am an upstanding member of the community. Honest – ask anyone!
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