Tag Archives: Matt Haig

Fitter. Happier. Whatever.

16. Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig

A common problem amongst depressed persons and persons with depressive tendencies is isolation. Some people are truly isolated and some are just mentally isolating themselves, both have valid situations, but this conceptually is one of the reasons that Reasons to Stay Alive was not particularly useful for me. When I was finished reading this I wanted to read a memoir of depression that didn’t end with the person happily married. Why is that the end? It doesn’t seem like it should really be the end, based on my recent experience listening to several married persons talking about how much they hate being around other people. I didn’t want to be insulting, but I did feel the urge to remind them that a quick way to get rid of all those people they know is to get divorced and move alone to a place they’ve never been. It’s entirely possible to get to a location where no one knows you and then you won’t have to worry about anyone asking how you are or being interested in your existence.

I have yet to find any books related to depression that don’t emphasize connection with other people as a “way out” and yet I’ve noticed that consistently finding connection in person is one of the things that is dwindling as technology addiction continues to manipulate peoples’ ability to communicate and muddles the line between the figurative desire for isolation (“Ugh, I hate being invited to do things.”/”Why isn’t anyone liking my latest instagram!?”) and what it really means. I’m glad that Matt Haig was able to maintain a meaningful connection throughout the episodes that he relates in Reasons to Stay Alive and that he found his reasons. And I know that in some cases, it doesn’t matter that someone has connections or support, they’re still not going to cope; but I still want to see the other side of that explored in print. I think that this era of technological disassociation and nutball governance requires new kinds of reasoning for hope. For the most part, mine’s finding the absurdity in small things. Mostly words and cavies.

 

Mortemer and Murderface in their dotage, napping. They are unable to like any of my posts to this very day.

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For the greater good.

75. The Radleys – Matt Haig

I enjoy the supernatural with a sense of humor. The Radleys is essentially vampires in a little village. The family is not particularly threatening and abstains from the usual vampire practices without all the whining about not being able to drink humans until their idyllic existence is upended when their vegan teenage daughter’s bloodlust awakens. Apparently there are sequels in the making. I recall this as an enjoyable read, with a few new things to say about vampire mythology and not really much more.

The thing is, not unlike those Travelers who buy houses on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, at some point, members of a group known for wandering and rampant trouble-making, horror, or blood drinking, or serious whining, or flashy clothes, etc. will end up settling down and not doing much. Everyone can’t be “on” or live up to their stereotypes all the time. And being born into a subculture doesn’t damn you into constantly portraying one image. Think about “From Goth to Boss,” with Richmond – one can be both a goth and a boss, although I guess that does ask you to choose to stop being goth visually but you can still listen to Cradle of Filth anytime you want. No one can take away your Cradle of Filth. The Radleys can be both vampires and mostly boring village residents. Most seemingly boring village residents have terrible, possibly dusty secrets anyway, as well they should.

Unbeknownst to Pammy, soon Twiglet’s bloodlust will awaken and she will return to stalk some gardens. Keep your vegetables indoors if you wish to avoid the inevitable teeny toothmarks and loss of flavor.

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