Image is taken from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reasons-Stay-Alive-Matt-Haig/dp/1782115080
In my first ever blog post (see Introduction to Believe in Bumble and Favourite Podcasts), I discussed the podcast Happy Place hosted by Fearne Cotton. One of her guests was Matt Haig, I had recently read his book “How to Stop Time” so was intrigued to listen to his experience with happiness.
It was refreshing to hear Matt discuss his battle with anxiety and depression using language that I could understand. At the time I couldn’t recognise how I was feeling as it felt so foreign to me but listening to Matt helped me identify how I was feeling. Being able to recognise how I was feeling was one of the factors that encouraged me to go and get help.
During the podcast, they discussed Matt Haig’s book “Reasons to Live”. I immediately downloaded the audiobook (read by Matt). Until I listen to Matt’s book I never knew anyone felt the same way I did nor did I know how to articulate how I was feeling. One description that stood out to me was depression is like being in a tunnel with both ends blocked off which is exactly how I feel. I can feel my past disconnecting from me, almost as if it belongs to someone else and I have lost my ambition. I have always been a goal oriented person, who desired a career they could develop in and eventually set up my own business. However, through writing this blog I can feel some of the ambition come back.
Matt also discusses how depression can be different for everyone, something which I need to hear. For a while, I convinced myself I wasn’t depressed enough to go to the doctors and that they would just turn me away. On the day I finally gathered the courage to go to the doctors, I asked my boyfriend, if I look depressed enough to get help. Something the in hindsight was ridiculous as depression doesn’t have a look (as Matt illustrates by listing famous people who have suffered from depression). I am happy to report the doctor did take me seriously and I am now in the process of getting help.
I often listen to “Reasons to Live” when I am having one of those days when I feel alone and it reminds that I am not alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Matt’s new book “Notes on a Nervous Planet” has been added to my ever-growing reading list.
If you are struggling with mental health problems what books have helped you?