Book excerpt

I recently found out about the existence of Matt Haig. I’m not much of a contemporary authors reader because, in comparison with classical writers, I think the new ones are lacking… something… (one reason I’m afraid of showing my own writing). But, whenever I see a title that makes me curious, I give it a chance. And I’m glad someone recommended me Matt Haig. I’m currently reading “The Midnight Library” and “Reasons to stay alive”. They’re pretty good and I think it just hits the spot in this moment in my life, having to deal with a lot of decision making regarding my future and creating a more adequate space for myself.

I want to share with you the first pages from “Reasons to stay alive” because:

  1. depression is a really serious thing and it affects most of us and, according to statistics, more and more people die because of it. We need to talk about it more often and lessen the stigma.
  2. aaaand, like I said, I’m facing a lot of challenges right now and I want to understand and recognize the reasons why I’m staying alive. And both Matt Haig’s books make me question my regrets, my decisions and what to do with the time I have left.

This book is impossible

Thirteen years ago I knew this couldn’t happen. I was going to die, you see. Or go mad. There was no way I would still be here. Sometimes I doubted I would even make the next ten minutes. And the idea that I would be well enough and confident enough to write about it in this way have been just far too much to believe.

One of the key symptoms of depression is to see no hope. No future. Far from the tunnel having light at the end of it, it seems it is blocked at both ends, and you are inside it. So if I could have only known the future, that there would be one far brighter than anything I’d experienced, then one end of the tunnel would have been blown to pieces, and I could have faced the light. So the fact that this book exists is proof that depression lies. Depression makes you think things that are wrong.

But depression itself isn’t a lie. It’s the most real thing I’ve experienced. Of course, it is invisible.

To other people, it sometimes seems like nothing at all. You are walking around with your head on fire and no one can see the flames. And so – as depression is largely unseen and and mysterious – it is easy for stigma to survive. Stigma is particularly cruel for depressives, because stigma affects thoughts and depression is a disease of thoughts.

When you are depressed you feel alone, and that no one is going through quite what you’re 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. Words – spoken or written – are what connects us to the world, and so speaking about it to people, and writing this stuff, helps connect us to each other, and to our true selves.

I know, I know, we are humans. We are a clandestine species. Unlike other animals we wear clothes and do our procreating behind closed doors. And we are ashamed when things go wrong with us. But we’ll grow out of this, and the way we’ll do it is by speaking about it. And maybe even through reading and writing about it. (…)

Matt Haig – Reasons to stay alive

I hope you liked it and made you curious about his books. Matt Haig has a natural way of writing and it’s easy to read and visualize his stories. They take you into a bit of introspection and I believe it can help with some self analysis.

Until next time, keep reading and drinking good coffee.

2 Comments Add yours

    1. moonraven44 says:

      Thank you 😊


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