Book review: Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay AliveReasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A stunning insight into depression and anxiety. What they are, what they feel like and how amazingly incredible it is that this book was even written.

Reading this book is not depressing for one second. The author’s style is brilliant, witty, ironic, and reminds me a lot of Douglas Adams.

Maybe it’s the contrast, I don’t know, for I had just read an American self-help/personal-improvement book, but this one is so profound and authentic… And it contains marvelous quotes:

“Things people say to depressives that they don’t say in other life-threatening situations ‘COME ON, I know you’ve got tuberculosis, but it could be worse. At least no one’s died.’ ‘Why do you think you got cancer of the stomach?’ ‘Yes, I know, colon cancer is hard, but you want to try living with someone who has got it. Sheesh. Nightmare.’ ‘Oh, Alzheimer’s you say? Oh, tell me about it, I get that all the time.’ ‘Ah, meningitis. Come on, mind over matter.’ ‘Yes, yes, your leg is on fire, but talking about it all the time isn’t going to help things, is it?’ ‘Okay. Yes. Yes. Maybe your parachute has failed. But chin up.’”

“We use ‘depressed’ as a synonym for ‘sad’, which is fine, as we use ‘starving’ as a synonym for ‘hungry’, though the difference between depression and sadness is the difference between genuine starvation and feeling a bit peckish.”

“Maybe love is just about finding the person you can be your weird self with”

“If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength”

“If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength”

“Anxiety takes away all the commas and full stops we need to make sense of ourselves.”

“Being good feels good because it makes us remember that we are not the only person that matters in this world. We all matter because we are all alive. And so kindness is an active way in which we can see and feel the bigger picture. We are ultimately all the same thing. We are life. We are consciousness. And so by feeling part of humanity, rather than an isolated unit, we feel better. We might physically perish, like a cell in a body might perish, but the body of life continues. And so, in the sense that life is a shared experience, we continue.”

“Reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found”

And so many more…

Reasons to Stay Alive is definitely a book I want to read again, and I’ll get as many people I can to read it as well 🙂

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