Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
Publisher/Year: Canongate, 2015
Format: E-book (Nook)
Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.
A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.
“I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven’t been able to see it…Words, just sometimes, really can set you free.”
What I thought
What an important and thought-provoking book! I wish I could put this book into everyone’s hands.
This wasn’t necessarily my favorite book (I couldn’t always relate–although I will say I do empathize), but that isn’t the point here. What Matt Haig attempts (and succeeds) to do is simply open the conversation to mental health. It’s something we desperately need to become more aware of in this country (especially now). I think one of my favorite things about this book was that he gives readers hope for a better tomorrow, but he doesn’t sugarcoat it–mental illness is a bitch.
I don’t personally have depression, so I really don’t feel right weighing in on that aspect of the book, but as someone with anxiety, I will tell you that it feels good to be seen. There is A LOT we don’t understand about the mind and Haig makes no pretense about that. He simply relates his own story and lets you know that even though this might look different for everyone, you are not alone.
*I do want to add that I read this book in little chunks because, as with everyone, I’m having good and bad mental health days (hell, hours and minutes, too) and this topic can be a bit triggering if you’re not in the right headspace.
Anyway, I thought this was well-worth the read!