Thursday, 29 December 2016

'Reasons to Stay Alive' made 2016 better


I love reading, I used to read two or three books a week. But when my depression and anxiety took the best of me, I found that I was less productive and reading proved to be very difficult. It took time. There was one exception, it was Matt Haig's  Reasons to Stay Alive.

I was at my lowest point at the end of August/ begin of September and I talked to my good pal Sian about it and she suggested a book. I was quite sceptical because what could a book do to help me with this feeling of depression, misunderstanding and feeling lonely? I'm glad I can say that I couldn't be more wrong.

I am not really good at reviewing stuff, but I'll give it a try anyway. I want to make a distinction between how this book is a gem for people who suffer and who don't suffer. In my opinion this book is of great value to both and that's why it's the best book I've read in 2016.

As I suffer from Anxiety and Depression this book has been brilliant. I had this thought of my mental illnesses, the thought that I alone felt the way I did. No one else felt this way and to even think you could understand me, well that offended me. But then I read Reasons to Stay Alive. Every word of it made go: "Yeah, exactly Matt! That's how I bloody feel!" It made me realise that I'm not alone and that isolating myself was also a consequence of my depression.

By sharing his own story, Haig has created a safe place for his readers. Sharing your mental health story is considered very brave and courageous, but it shouldn't be that hard for people to share. It's perfectly okay, to not feel okay. It are the parts where Haig describes depression and anxiety as a thing many people endure or have endured, that I felt more comfortable with myself.

Matt Haig has the amazing talent to perfectly portray the emotions, feelings and illogical thoughts sufferers have, with the right words and accents. I felt like I was reading my own mind and it was the first time that I could make a distinction between my own illogical thoughts and logical thoughts. This book made me feel less alone, made me feel like my feelings were valid and made me aware of how disrupting and debilitating a mental illness can be. It's thanks to this book that I've turnt away from the idea that this world would be better off without me.

I often struggle to explain to people about my mental health, because they can't understand it. They can't imagine how I feel and that can be incredibly frustrating. This book gives an insight into the mind of someone who struggles with mental health issues. It gives one of the best explanations and understandings I've come across and it has helped me a lot by letting people read this book. If you know someone who suffers or you want to know more about mental illnesses, I 100% recommend this book. Educating people about mental health helps reducing the stigma.

It has enabled me to think the following: There's light at the end of the tunnel. I might not see it yet, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. This book has been and still is a guide to me to find the light.

Marc



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1 comment

  1. This was the first book I read last year, and I TOTALLY agree with everything that you said. Matt's writing is so good at making you feel like you're not alone, and he's doing so much stuff to reduce the stigma around mental health.

    Super glad that I found your blog, keep up the good work!

    https://herguidetolife.blogspot.co.uk/

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