Title: Reasons to Stay Alive
Author: Matt Haig
Publisher: Penguin Books
Page Count: 272
Publication Date: 2016
Category/Genre: Non Fiction, Science, Mental Health, Health, Pyschology, Memoir, Autobiography, Self Help
Good Reads Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.16)
My Rating: ★★★★☆(4)
Matt Haig’s accessible and life-affirming memoir of his struggle with depression, and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live.
Like nearly one in five people, Matt Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is Matt’s inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend (and now-wife), Andrea. And eventually, he learned to appreciate life all the more for it.
Everyone’s lives are touched by mental illness: if we do not suffer from it ourselves, then we have a friend or loved one who does. Matt’s frankness about his experiences is both inspiring to those who feel daunted by depression and illuminating to those who are mystified by it. Above all, his humor and encouragement never let us lose sight of hope. Speaking as his present self to his former self in the depths of depression, Matt is adamant that the oldest cliché is the truest—there is light at the end of the tunnel. He teaches us to celebrate the small joys and moments of peace that life brings, and reminds us that there are always reasons to stay alive
Reasons to Stay Alive is a series of thoughts and reflections, broken into short and digestible pieces. Its an accessible and vivid take on depression that many will find not just relatable but also incredibly helpful in summing up their own thoughts, feelings and experiences that might have been a bit more elusive when trying to communicate depression to others.
Depression is sometimes an enormous mystery to not only those suffering but also close family and friends. This would be a wonderful required reading at some point so that everyone would have a greater understanding and compassion — and therefore become better allies and supporters.
Inspiration just leaks from the pages and Haig doesn’t just remind us of reasons to stay alive but also gives some possible options on HOW to weather the storm and stay alive.
“I hate depression. I am scared of it. Terrified, in fact. But at the same time, it has made me who I am. And if – for me – it is the price of feeling life, it’s a price always worth paying. I am satisfied just to be.”
I too am grateful for my depression in shaping my life today but just as much so for those that supported (and continue) me daily. For anyone battling this I wish you nothing but the best, a powerful ally by your side and some rays of sunshine to get you through another day until each day passes by with you becoming stronger.