I'd first heard of Matt Haig and this book when I came across an excerpt from his book (Reasons To Stay Alive) a few months ago and thought, "I should read that." I didn't look any further into what the book itself was about, but I should have.
In no way did I hate it, but I kind of wish I hadn't read it. Or rather, I wish I'd read it at some later point in my life. I think I thought that the book was supposed to be about something else (especially based on that one page I initially saw). I didn't expect it to be as heavy as it was and it really brought me down at times in a way I didn't anticipate. If you've ever suffered from depression or anxiety (or if you've been close with someone who has experienced these things), then I think you'll probably get a lot out of this book. There were definitely memorable things that I took away from reading it (and I'll list those below), but I was so happy when it finally ended. I think it really just came down to the fact that I don't read books like this one typically and now I know why.
- "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 like it is blocked at both ends, and you are inside it."
- "To other people, it (depression) sometimes seems like nothing at all. You are walking around with your head on fire and no one can see the flames."
- "Depression, for me, wasn't a dulling but a sharpening, an intensifying, as though I had been living my life in a shell and now the shell wasn't there. It was total exposure. A red-raw, naked mind. A skinned personality."
- "There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself. I don't really see the difference. We find ourselves through the process of escaping."
- "Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person. You can walk through a storm and feel the wind but you know you are not the wind. That is how we must be with our minds. We must allow ourselves to feel their gales and downpours, but all the time knowing this is just necessary weather."
- "Hate is a pointless emotion to have inside you. It is like eating a scorpion to punish it for stinging you."
- "Laughing so hard it hurts. Laughing as you bend forward and as your abdomen actually starts to hurt from so much pleasure, so much release, and then as you sit back and audibly groan and inhale deeply, staring at the person next to you, mopping up the joy." - I just fell in love with that phrase "mopping up the joy" it's so perfect.
- The new words I learned from this book were quixotic, languor and avaricious.
It's definitely well written and insightful as hell. My only advice to you if you read it? Take your time. I didn't take my time with it and maybe that's why I felt so overwhelmed.