017. Reasons To Stay Alive

16 April 2015


Aged 24, Matt Haig found himself feeling lost and hopeless, seeing no way he could go on living. 
Reason To Stay Alive is an account of that journey and how he overcome his struggle from the dark depths of his illness. 

I remember stumbling across this book by accident through twitter. I had heard there would be a book signing with Matt Haig - and being an avid book signing attender I thought I'd go. Having the privilege of hearing Matt speak about his novel was pretty much what sold this book to me, and I'm so glad it did. Reasons to Stay Alive is an important non-fictional novel, that gives a preview into one individual's experience of depression and anxiety. To those who've suffered, it provides solace. To those who haven't experienced those troubles, it gives a glimpse into the hardships and struggles others face on a daily bases. I found this book re-enacts that heavy feeling of a weight you can not explain, and yet tells these stories with a hopeful twist for the future. Well worth reading, and definitely one of the must read novels for everybody this year!

Highlights 
The writing in this book is just so brilliant. Matt Haig is as insightful, as he is whimsical - just like his tweets. Although this book explores some dark issues, it holds some very philosophical ways of thinking about life and the trials people face in everyday life. I like how anybody reading this book can take away something from it, weather it's an small understanding into depression, questioning the way you think about things or maybe even feeling less alone in your struggles. It really has something for everyone.

As I mentioned in my post Meeting Jennifer Niven, I believe Matt Haig is part of the movement challenging the way we think about mental illness. It's such an important issue, and this book is part of that changing force to help change perception. I recommend reading this book to get an some form of understanding or knowledge into the types of hardships that people face in their lives. Depression is always seen as such taboo in our society - and it's sad. We as a society shouldn't alienate those going through these troubles, and try to support them as best we can with they face everyday life. Acknowledge their hardships, instead of brushing it under the rug.

Shortcomings 
Though I wouldn't change the way this novel is, I do wish there were some more light hearted moments or inspiring moments thrown in between. I found myself having to put down the book and just entertain myself with something more uplifting, because the content was really intense and emotional weighting. But I do feel that may have been the point - to mirror what depression and mental illnesses can be like. A weigh you can't put to one side and ignore.

Another small point - I personally wasn't really a fan of the use of the word 'depressives' in the novel. The reason behind that is because I hate the way we label people in society. Just because you have or have suffered from depression, doesn't mean by any means you are defined by it. Just as someone has diabetes, they aren't defined as diabetics where-ever they go. You are more than just what you suffer - never forget that. 


Conclusions
This book is perfect for educating yourself on a particular perspective of depression and anxiety, and gaining an overview understanding on how it can affect a person. How things can be difficult for the people experiencing these troubles. If you have not read this book, I urge you to read it at some point of your life. It's so important for our future generation that you do, so we can together combat the way we think about mental health. 

What did you think Reasons To Stay Alive? What were your favourite moments?

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