I love books about wellbeing. I guess, like most of us, I’m always looking for ways to get the most out of life.
Reasons to Stay Alive, by Matt Haig, came with some pretty hefty celebrity endorsements. Joanna Lumley said it was a potentially life-changing masterpiece. Expectations don’t come much higher than that!
What this book does really well is describe depression for those of us who haven’t experienced it. Haig talks at length about his personal experiences, in vivid language which gives you a sense of what a black hole depression can be.
What it does less well is provide those promised ‘reasons to stay alive.’ Haig talks about things which helped him, but the book definitely focuses on the illness rather than recovery.
No one can truly understand what it’s like to have any illness, unless they have it. But this book really brings depression to life, and could be helpful to anyone trying to understand what a friend or relative is going through.
As for those ‘reasons to stay alive’? I guess I’ll have to buy another book.
The important bit: if you’re struggling with your mental health, you can call Samaritans at any time in the UK on 116 123.