review: ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ by Matt Haig

4 stars

Before reading this, although I had heard of Matt Haig, I had never picked up any of his novels. I also never knew of his struggles and experiences when it came to depression and anxiety. I partly read this an an ebook, and listened to other parts through an audiobook, narrated by Matt Haig himself. This was an unusual experience for me, as I’d never listened to an audiobook before, but I think because it was hearing the author voice his own experiences, it was even more insightful.

This was, at times, a difficult book to read. Reading the thoughts of someone at their lowest points felt very intimate and intense, but also at other times, very relieving, as a lot of these feelings resonated with me. I think it’s a universal truth that knowing you are not alone, that others have felt as you have, can be quite healing.

I think it was very a brave and courageous thing to write this book, and I hope Matt Haig is proud of it. This book has the potential of doing a lot of good for anyone who reads it. As although it is discussing depression and anxiety, it definitely has it’s uplifting moments, and is actually full of quite a few examples of coping mechanisms, and instances where Matt saw a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. The book also contains a lot of useful information and statistics on the reality of depression, and the wide spectrum of people who it affects.

It was very hard to ‘rate’ this book, as how can I possibly deem myself a worthy judge of a piece of work that is so personal? A work written by someone who has not only suffered greatly, and is still alive to tell the tales, but also found the strength enough to document and relive such painful episodes in his life. I gained a lot of respect for Matt in reading this, and I’m definitely more interested in reading some of the fiction he has written now, as I’m curious of how his writing style will differ. I’d definitely recommend this book, not just for anyone experiencing depression, or for anyone close to someone who is, but for anyone interested in a real account of what it’s like to live with what can be a really damaging and debilitating mental illness.

Thanks for reading!

sign off heartJess

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