Last week I read a book that I felt all the way through to my core. it helped me understand a lot of thing that I have been battling in the last couple of years, especially last year, and i want to share with you my findings.
‘Reasons to stay alive’ was written by Matt Haig back in 2014, and it’s basically an account of his struggles with depression and anxiety throughout his life, and how he dealt with it to get better.
It’s divided into short chapters, easy to read, but that have got a lot of essence to them; especially if you read the book on a ‘bad day’ and you can’t concentrate on many other things for a long time. But I think what stands out the most in this book, is how beautiful the words are tied together and how melodic some of the phrases are.
For me, this book was very helpful to understand some of the phases i went through when my anxiety was at a very high level, but also when i had to struggle with a depressive episode because of the birth control i was on.
It made me feel like I wasn’t alone, like i wasn’t the only person in the world that felt sometimes like the world was on my shoulders. And I think it’s important to find things that make you feel like the world is not actually on your shoulders, and that this shall pass too.
The following are some of my favourite quotes from the book:
“ …once the storm is over you, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami
“For now, I do what I know keeps me just about level. Exercise definitely helps me, as does yoga and absorbing myself in something or someone I love, so I keep doing these things. I suppose, in the absence of universal certainties, we are our own best laboratory.”
” You need to be uncomfortable. You need to hurt. As the Persian poet Rumi wrote in the twelfth century, ‘The wound is the place where the light enters you.’ He also wrote ‘ Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.”
“But it’s still so intense. And it will always be. You will always be quite intense. And the depression might always be there, waiting for the next fall. But there is so much life waiting for you. The one thing depression has told you is that a day can be a long and intense stretch of time. There can be infinity inside a day.”
“Depression is also smaller than you. Always, it is smaller than you, even when it feels vast. It operates within you, you do not operate within it. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky, but – if that is the metaphor – you are the sky. You are there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.”
“And thus the heart will break, yet brokenly live on” – Lord Byron
“People place so much value on thought, but feeling is as essential. I want to read books that make me laugh and cry and fear and hope and punch the air in triumph. I want a book to hug me or grab me by the scruff of my neck. I don’t even mind if it punches me in the gut. Because we are here to feel. I want life. I want to read it and write it and feel it and live it. I want, for as much of the time as possible in the blink-of-an-eye existence we have, to feel al that can be felt.”
“How to stop time: kiss.How to travel in time: read. How to escape time: music. How to feel time: write. How to release time: breathe.”
“Nothing makes you feel smaller, more trivial, than such a vast transformation inside your own mind while the world carries on, oblivious. Yet nothing is more freeing. To accept your smallness in the world.”
“Wherever you are, at any moment, try and find something beautiful. A face, a line out of a poem, the clouds out of a window, some graffiti, a wind farm. Beauty cleans the mind.”
I felt inspired to write down some of my reasons to stay alive, especially on the bad days. They are small things that make me stop in my way and make me appreciate my smallness but also the immenseness of my own soul.
And I felt so inspired, that I wanted to share on here some of the reasons I stay alive for, the reasons that make me see through the dark clouds.
- Sunsets/Sunrises. Just sitting down somewhere and admiring the greatness of nature
- Dogs. They are such amazing and intelligent creatures; and my favourite thing at the moment – morning cuddles with Ralph
- Rolling over in the morning for morning cuddles
- The 10-15 minutes before rain starts; that feeling of all seasons coming together in those minutes
- Pouring water over ground coffee in the morning and waiting for it to brew, before enjoying the delicious liquid
- Talking about everything and nothing to my mum
- The end of a yoga class – the couple of minutes in Swasana; just sitting down and understanding how amazing this life is and how lucky I am to experience it in this body
- Starting a new book, the possibilities of other worlds in one book
- Walks in the woods, the sound of crisp leaves underneath my feet
- My sister. Just sitting around and doing our nails and watching that funny ‘Friends’ episode for the millionth time
- Travel makes me feel alive. Exploring new worlds, new cultures, new foods with my best friend
These are only a few of those important things that I keep close to my heart and that I cherish more than anything; but the point I was trying to make, is that we all have these reasons to live for and at least try to push through the bad days. A few reasons/ people that keep us move forward in life.
And I think it all comes down to Love. Keeping love in your heart, and trying to share it with others is what keeps us alive and what makes us humans.