Little book recommendation. A wonderful, comforting and hopeful read by Matt Haig. Have really liked Matt since I read The Humans, and chose it to give away for World Book Night in 2014.
I think this book could really help someone with depression, or someone who loves a person with depression.
Matt had a severe depressive episode when he was 24. He was living in a beautiful part of Ibiza at the time. The book starts here.
I have never been diagnosed with depression but I think I have been at least close to it at several times in my life. Some of Matt’s descriptions could therefore maybe be triggers for people as his experiences were so difficult and at times seeming hopeless that I was afraid I was going to be ‘sucked in.’ I hope this isn’t the wrong thing to say. It’s all because of the great writing.
It’s a really amazing journey and you will feel so much better after taking it.
The things I liked most about the book were the beautiful words, the honesty, the funny and wonderful lists and the book recommendations. I have already bought a book that Matt mentioned for a Christmas present for a friend and I am sure to seek out more. Also he seems a real, fair feminist guy and I loved him for it.
Some of the lists from the book are Things that make me worse, Things that (sometimes) make me better, Things that have happened to me that have generated more sympathy than depression, Famous People, How to live (forty pieces of advice I find to be helpful but which I don’t always follow), Things I have enjoyed since the time I though I would never enjoy anything again.
The last item on the Reasons to Stay Alive list p.119
10. You will one day experience joy that matches this pain. You will cry euphoric tears at the Beach Boys, you will stare down at a baby’s face as she lies asleep in your lap, you will make great friends, you will eat delicious food you haven’t tried yet, you will be able to look at a view from a high place and not assess the likelihood of dying from falling. There are books you haven’t read that will enrich you, films you will watch while eating extra-large buckets of popcorn, and you will dance and laugh and have sex and go for suns by the river and have late-night conversations and laugh until it hurts. Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.
I instagrammed several pages from this book. I found it really inspiring. It is very wise and so hopeful. And I really love the chance to send hope to people who are suffering because there is always hope. And it breaks my heart when people can’t see any.
I think everyone needs an Andrea! And I really want to know more about Matt’s children and how he felt when they were born and stuff. Maybe another book?
Anyway, I greatly recommend this book. It’s quite compact and easy to read, and it might make a life saving Christmas gift to someone. There are so many reasons to stay alive!