Saturday, 11 March 2017

Reasons To Stay Alive

Here's another picture of a picture  from the Stanley Lench exhibit that I took on my visit to the Museum of the Mind with Aril last week.  While I was there I spotted a copy of the Matt Haig's book  Reasons to Stay Alive.   It reminded me that I'd said that I'd read it.

Now money is tight at the moment so I'm being ultra careful. After all I don't want to forego trips away in the van just because I've splashed the cash recklessly.  That meant I wasn't going  to buy the book.  Instead I  went on my library's website and found that I could borrow it as an e-book for free.  Result! It even saved me the 75p fee for a reservation that I had been prepared to stump up.

I read the entire thing in less than a day.  It is thought provoking and funny with some cracking quotes.  Here's one.

“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.” 

My beauty at the moment?;  The birdsong coming in through my open window.

What the book emphasised was that those of us who've suffered depression experience it differently. Matt Haig, and some of the people that I work with tell of the longing that a day will be over.  I've never had that.  But his description of extreme anxiety is all too familiar.   Paranoia and the need to exert extreme control over the minutiae of everyday life are predominant features of my own illness.

“Three in the morning is never the time to try and sort out your life.” 

There!  Another quote.  And Matt Haig likes a list.  On his website there's one with fourteen things he loves on it.  Let me follow in his footsteps and do one of my own with the first things that pop into my head.

  • Arriving  in Brittany and thinking that I've come home
  • My boy giggling
  • A perfectly cooked fried egg (soft yolk, frilly bottom) on perfectly cooked buttered toast (multi-grain, no overdone, piping hot with salty butter)
  • Watching Beehive Geyser in Yellowstone National Park
  • The love I feel from the beautiful, kind, funny people in my life.  I'm lucky to have many.
  • Dancing in a festival field
  • Spotify
  • Being kind
  • Getting lost in the process of writing and making art
  • The sea in all its moods
  • My motorhome
  • Going downhill on a bike
  • Spas
  • Smells:  Line dried washing, almond soap  bacon (of course!), new car, Chanel perfumes - Coco Noir, 19 and Cristalle Eau Verte even though I don't allow myself to buy them anymore!


  1. I think I shall have to see if our library has a copy too. Sounds like an interesting read, especially against the background of personal experience.

    1. Can't recommend highly enough mate! xx

  2. A lovely list. I shall try to remember to do this at some time. I completely identify with the arriving in Brittany & feeling you've come home - except I used to feel like that arriving in France, anywhere!! Faced with French beaurocracy (there's another form for me to worry about that has just arrived!) I'm not quite so sure about it now!!!

    1. Yes I've heard that bureaucracy is a bit onerous over there. It's not all of France where I feel at home although I'm happy to travel all over the place. I'm starting to get the same sense of belonging in Andalucia even though my Spanish is nearly non existant. xx

  3. You've reminded me to put this book on my reading list! I heard about it sometime last year and thought 'really must read' then promptly forgot.

    I also have a techie question: how does the borrowing of e books from library work? Are they delivered to you by email? Can this be done on your own kindle/kobo/device?
    The childish part of me want to ask if they spontaneously combust after a certain period of time :-)

    1. I've downloaded an app called Overdrive and the books get delivered there via the library website. They disappear after 21 days back into the ether! xx