Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig Book Review...

Reasons To Stay Alive is a book written by Matt Haig. It's about how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.
This is a book that I had only ever heard good things about so I was so desperate to read it. I got this for my birthday and I wanted to do a review with my thoughts about it for you now that I've finished it. I want to start by saying I truly believe this is such an important book. For those who suffer with anxiety or depression. For those who live with or know someone who suffers. This book really helps you understand what it's like to live with those sorts of illnesses and it is brutally honest. 

I have anxiety and one thing I have found is that it is so hard to explain. I don't know how to describe what it does to my brain and how it makes me feel. I don't know how to get the words out sometimes to say why I can't do something. I also find with anxiety, it's something people just don't understand. People say they do, but unless you have anxiety you won't ever properly get what other people who do have it are going through, every single day. The same applies to other mental health issues. Unless you yourself suffer, it's almost impossible to truly get it. I think this book is a godsend as it says the things that I can't say. It explains the sorts of things that go through my mind and it brings a comfort of knowing other people feel the same. Other people go through the same things. And people get through it.

There were so many parts of this book that I could relate to and I think it's a book a lot of people could read and find it applies to them in some way too. This isn't one of those books that is a chore to read, or will take forever to get through either. It's an easy read, it's set out so well and it changes from Matts story, to facts about mental illness, to symptoms of depression and anxiety, to books he has read, there are so many different elements to this book and it's not just all about him. It's a book that teaches you something.

There were a few parts of this book then when I was reading, really stuck with me so I wanted to mention them.

  • '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 foods 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... 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.'
  • 'How to be there for someone with depression or anxiety: Know that you are needed, and appreciated even if it seems you are not. Listen. Appreciate it that it is an illness, things will be said that aren't meant. Don't take anything personally. Be patient.'

The reason I loved those two parts so much is because the first one I think is just so encouraging, there are so many incredible things in life and sometimes it can be so easy to overlook them. And for the people really struggling I feel like this is such an important part because it could be the thing that makes them carry on. The second part I think is just one bit of the book you should read, even if you don't read anything else. If you know someone who suffers with a mental illness, I think that part, can help you try and get some understanding of what you can do to be there for them. Those were the two main bits that really got me but generally it was a brilliant read and one I can't recommend enough. I'm so glad I read it. It's empowering, encouraging, honest and uplifting.

"I wrote this book because the oldest cliches 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, and even if we haven't been able to see it... Words, just sometimes, really can set you free."

Have you read this book? If you have, what did you think?

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