Whether you suffer from depression yourself or hope to gain a better understanding of someone who does, Reasons To Stay Alive is an unfailingly honest account of life at its bleakest, but one that simultaneously manages to deliver a powerfully positive message.
What does it mean to feel truly alive? Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living.
This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.
A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.
"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, even if we haven't been able to see it . . . Words, just sometimes, really can set you free."
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A brave work for which I am so grateful
Firstly, I would recommend this to people who don't suffer with mental illness but who want a better understanding of those who do. Partners, employers, politicians.
Primarily, I would recommend this book to friends suffering with their own mental health battles because Matt Haig's words give us permission to feel like normal, natural human beings again, despite and because of the struggle that is depression. This book is brave and terribly personal and it reassured me to know that I am not the only person to struggle as I do.
And, above all, I would recommend this book because Matt reassures us, in a calm and resounding voice, that depression does lift and that we will feel joy again.
Andrea was my favourite character, just as my partner is my favourite person in the world. To someone living with depression, the strength, patience, understanding and LOVE shown by our nearest and dearest is astounding, especially in those times when depression wears its ugliest face.
I loved Matt Haig's performance and it meant more to me that this personal account was read by the person who lived through it to tell the tale.
I listened to it pretty much all in one sitting.
Thank you to Matt Haig, you've helped me more than you know and I hope I'll meet you one day and thank you in person.
- Camilla Morgan
Company and Catharsis