“There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.”
In Reasons to Stay Alive, author Matt Haig recounts his experience with depression and anxiety. It is part memoir and part self-help book, which very effectively describes what it is like to live with depression and anxiety while at the same time being informative and comforting.
Matt Haig is the author of one of my favourite books, The Humans. When I learned that the first Canadian edition of Reasons to Stay Alive was being released, I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. I found it to be one of the best books regarding mental health that I have come across. It shares very personal experiences, emotions, and struggles that are described and presented in a relatable way.
“When you are depressed you feel alone, and that no one is going through quite what you are going through. You are so scared of appearing in any way mad you internalise everything, and you are so scared that people will alienate you further you clam up and don’t speak about it, which is a shame, as speaking about it helps.”
The author breaks everything down into a simple and easy to read format, using lists along with short and concise chapters. Reasons to Stay Alive is brave, honest, and hopeful. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, whether you struggle with depression/anxiety or have a loved one who is.
“Talk. Listen. Encourage talking. Encourage listening. Keep adding to the conversation. Stay on the lookout for those wanting to join in the conversation. Keep reiterating, again and again, that depression is not something you ‘admit to’, it is not something you have to blush about, it is a human experience.”