Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig discusses in depth his crippling emotional battle with depression and anxiety/panic disorder. In real candid terms he explains why a disease of the mind left him emotionally, mentally and even physically incapable.
This book isn’t about providing all the the answers – even when we get Reasons To Stay Alive, it is nothing we have not heard before. Love, laugh, do yoga, be mindful. Don’t let depression take over, disprove it.
Matt concludes that being mindful of our existence and of how small we are in the living, breathing, reality of the world can help us. Understanding this allows us to digest the sense of overwhelming that comes with mental illnesses.
He discusses the key triggers in our day to day, 21st century lives , –
‘we live in a world designed to make us feel we’re constantly missing out’
I agree. We live inside our phones, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, tumblr etc. We have been de-humanised as a collective people. We live to impress our friends, colleagues, family as our lives have become a series of false moments and our memories are filled with cameras lenses.
There is a anxious tension that fills us in our everyday lives, a need to constantly let everyone know about what we do, we have to be the first to share our experience and we have to get lots of comments, likes, tweets and reblogs or we feel dejected.
There is so much stigma and ignorance around mental illnesses and this makes discussions much more difficult.
Another key quote that stuck with me is, ‘Things that have happened to me that have generated more sympathy than depression… having tinnitus, losing a job, breaking a toe, being in debt, bad Amazon reviews.‘
We as humans disregard the pain we cannot see. And our lifestyles are our catalysts for this behaviour. We have been labelled and redefined into ‘consumers’ and as a result we have become emotionally insensitive and physically obsessed with ourselves. We have forgotten how to empathise with one another.
We are being conditioned everyday into accepting that we are not enough, our life and clothes our achievements and relationships are not enough, our waistbands are too thin or big. Everything should be more glossy and brushed over. There is this stirred tension concocted by media and advertisers that we are constantly missing out. Our lives hold no substance unless we are clear skinned, a particular body shape and extremely successful in our careers and maintain a particular lifestyle and exercise routine all whilst city breaking every other weekend.
I think this book is simple and fantastic.