How to Come Alive Again: A guide to killing your monsters

How to Come Alive Again: A guide to killing your monsters

‘An essential, wondrous WOW of a book’ – Sarah Knight ‘Essential reading’ – Daisy Buchanan ‘Everyone should have this on their bookshelf’ – Lucy-Anne Holmes It doesn’t matter that you’ve lived in shadows, that you’ve slept through years of your life, that you’ve done things you’re ashamed to admit even to yourself. It doesn’t matter that you’re an anxious, depressed, sp...

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Title:How to Come Alive Again: A guide to killing your monsters
Author:Beth McColl
Rating:

How to Come Alive Again: A guide to killing your monsters Reviews

  • Tara Seddon

    First and foremost this book was beautifully written. It’s is jam packed with amazing and truly applicable words. There is lot of really important, hard stuff to read but equally as much dazzling comedy. I’ll be recommending this book to all of my friends and family.

  • Sarah

    Brilliant advice and guidelines in a relatable, often funny, voice. I never once felt patronised and felt like these were real tips that someone like me could implement. Will be recommending to friends.

  • Kristin

    I try to reserve my five stars for the books that dramatically altered something deep within me, and this one made the cut.

    is a huge, warm, understanding hug. It is a guide of fundamentals of being human when you don't want to be a human. Highly, highly recommend for anyone that needs a reminder that it's not you against the world.

  • Melissa

    Beautiful.

  • Anetta K

    i’m treating this as my bible from now on

  • Sophie

    Oh, Beth. I feel like you scooped out my bad brain parts with a melon baller and turned them into this book. In a good way though. It's book like this one that make me feel understood, validated, and part of a shared community in this world of not always quite yet heads. Would highly recommend this to anyone with mental illness, it's informative and clever and also doesn't take itself too seriously. Which, when your brain can be far too serious sometimes, is the kind of thing you want to read.

  • ☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣

    I loved the structure to this 'guide to killing your monsters':

    Part One: Lightlessness

    Part Two: Glimmer

    Part Three: Sunrise

    Part Four: Eclipse

    Part Five: Illumination

    A funny light&easy read on difficult and decidedly unfunny things that could ruin one's life. The author is unexpectedly poetic and gracious in discussi

    I loved the structure to this 'guide to killing your monsters':

    Part One: Lightlessness

    Part Two: Glimmer

    Part Three: Sunrise

    Part Four: Eclipse

    Part Five: Illumination

    A funny light&easy read on difficult and decidedly unfunny things that could ruin one's life. The author is unexpectedly poetic and gracious in discussing things that usually make us all say 'uh-oh, plain no, I'll just skip this whatever it is!'.

    It had gotten a bit repetitive-ish by the end of the book, still, it wasn't much bother due to the author's rather unique voice.

    Q:

    ... you have to know your monsters to kill your monsters. (c)

    Q:

    This book will contain:

    ...

    • Some swear words. Sorry to any and all of my grandmas reading this. I learned these words from you.

    • A bizarre and unsettling number of references to aubergines. (c) LOL.

    Q:

    As a child and as a teenager I really thought my happiest life would be a life of restriction and discipline, a life of watching what I ate and exercising on command. (c) She must have been a very peculiar child.

    Q:

    My happiness is an unapologetic animal. A growing, shifting, changing thing. A thing that wants my life to glow. (c)

    Q:

    If anything in this book sounds wrong for you, or you feel very, very strongly that it isn’t something appropriate for your treatment, that’s absolutely fine. Ignore it. Scribble it out. Tear the whole page out, set it alight and use it to set fire to a small log. Have a tiny barbecue, it’s fine. You’re under no obligation to try anything. (c)

    Q:

    People with depression can often understand happiness and joy in even more acute ways than people who don’t have depression. They know the sum of joy and freedom and light better because they’ve lived without those things for so long. (c)

    Q:

    Depression is an extremely popular mental illness to have. ... You are not a single malfunction in an otherwise perfect machine. (c)

    Q:

    Depression is not

    • A character flaw.

    • Caused by not eating enough vegetables or standing a bit too close to the microwave that one time.

    • Just feeling a bit sad.

    • Contagious.

    • Ignoring good things on purpose or choosing negativity over positivity.

    • Made up for attention.

    • For weak people.

    • All in your head.

    • Better off being ignored and buried and not openly discussed and worked through.

    • Experienced consistently forever in exactly the same way.

    • Experienced by any two people the same way.

    • An incurable, terrible illness and a fate worse than death.

    • An excuse for someone to treat you like a burden or an embarrassment.

    • An excuse for anyone to manipulate, abuse or hurt you in any way.

    • An excuse for you to be manipulative, abusive or hurtful to anyone in any way.

    • A type of spicy Ukrainian broth.

    • The same as having a bad day or reacting to something sad by feeling sad. (c)

    Q:

    Anxiety demands all of the sufferer’s attention and energy. It’s like a needy goldfish. It always wants more. If you’ve ever been anxious, or have a chronic anxiety disorder, you know what I’m talking about. If not, feel free to use these chapters as a learning opportunity. Or just take a nap. Use the pages to make a small paper aeroplane. Fly it to the moon. (c)

    Q:

    Anxiety and depression often come hand in hand. They skip through broken promises and cancelled plans and unspent opportunities. One can often trigger the other. Anxiety might come first, make the space just dark and cold enough for depression to thrive, and then it opens the door and ushers it in. (c)

    Q:

    Sometimes you get so good at this anxiety/depression combination that you can be feeling all of this terror while sitting quietly in a group with a polite smile on your face. Your body is yelling and begging to run, and nobody knows it but you. (c)

    Q:

    Anxiety is not just feeling a bit nervous. Let’s squash that misconception right now. It’s not a fleeting panic that can be corrected with reasonable effort and a bit of time. It’s a pervasive, hungry, nasty monster. It doesn’t listen to reason. It eats reason. It eats peace. It eats time. It eats joy. It eats the heart out of good days and makes them into rotten things. (c)

    Q:

    Anxiety will literally sap the energy out of you and leave you unable to think or talk or stand or fend for yourself. It’ll snatch words right out of your mouth and leave you gaping like a carp in a puddle. Thoughts will stand dumbly and hopelessly at the peripheries of your pulsing, terrified brain. Sometimes the body will respond with tears, or with hyperventilation or involuntary physical movements (teeth grinding, fist clenching, twitching or shaking, etc.). Doing anything feels terrifying. Going outside to the corner shop becomes mission impossible. Things that other people don’t bat an eyelid about keep you up at night. It’s a powerfully confusing and brain-scrambling force. It’s also takes its toll on your body and your physical wellness. Anxious people don’t get enough credit for how BODILY the whole thing is. Being this nervous is a sport, thank you very much. (c)

    Q:

    Anxiety is not

    • Just feeling nervous or apprehensive about something.

    • Conquered by ‘being brave’ or ‘pushing through it’.

    • Something to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

    • An uncommon condition.

    • Fatal (though it can definitely feel like it is).

    • Something you can control by just pretending it’s not happening.

    • Ever helped by someone shaming or scolding you for it.

    • Incurable.

    • The only thing you’ll ever feel in a new or unusual situation.

    • A made-up condition. (c)

    Q:

    ... I’ve spoken to a lot of GPs about my depression and anxiety. Like, A LOT. So many. A smorgasbord of general practitioners. (c)

    Q:

    Know your symptoms. If you can, know their real medical names. Instead of saying ‘shouty monster brain’, tell your doctor that you’ve been experiencing frequent anxiety. Instead of saying you’ve been ‘chomping on that old sad candy’, explain that you’ve been having severe depressive episodes for as long as you can remember. Instead of saying you’ve had a ‘case of the twizzly floaties’, say that you’ve been highly dissociative lately and it’s interfering with every aspect of your life and making it almost impossible to cope some days. Speaking your doctor’s language makes communicating the whole picture a hell of a lot easier. It bridges the gap and lets them know exactly what your problems are, which in turn makes it easier for them to prescribe the right medication or suggest the right treatment options. (c) I totally loved this!

    Q:

    It’s tempting to want to try to persuade them otherwise, or force them to see how unhelpful they’re being and get them onside, but mostly this is just an exhausting waste of your precious and delicious time. ... Fuck them all sky high. Sure, I hope they do better in future, but also, whatever. (c)

    Q:

    A lot of people will tell you these opinions without you even asking, like a vending machine that constantly shoots out chocolate bars for free, except instead of chocolate bars it’s just really annoying opinions that nobody asked for. (c)

    Q:

    This can be quite a physically draining task so you might want to ask for help from a friend or sibling or partner or a large and dexterous lizard. (c)

    Q:

    ...please don’t settle miserably into one definition. Be like water: slip between states. Ice cube in the morning, steam in the afternoon. Go to bed and wake up changed. Wake up and be bewildered and awed at the constant changing and improving of you. Delight in the mistakes and the learning and the long, arduous nonsense of it all. It will all of it be weird and new and terrifying – that’s pretty much a guarantee. The universe requires life to be these things. (c)

    Q:

    Some good things:...

    Showering at the end of a hot, sweaty day and putting on clean, dry clothes and then sitting outside in the late-afternoon sunshine and feeling like the sun is holding you in its hands like a hot lovely doughnut hole. You are the doughnut hole. You are the lovely doughnut hole. ...

    Reading a great book in a great jumper with some great socks on while it’s raining outside. And the rain is ALSO great because it’s just living its best life making all the plants grow and giving us water for drinking and washing our feet in. And those plants and those drinks and those feet are all extremely great too. Everything is SO flipping great. ...

    Standing in front of a fire on a cold wintry day and feeling your butt get all warm and toasty. A warm, toasty butt is truly the peak of comfort and luxury and I’ll hear nothing to the contrary. (c)

    And what a hole it is. A hole of every bad decision, every self-destructive act, every toxic self-defeating behaviour we learned. It’s a big scary hole and we do not like it and we did not invite it to be here but it is here.

    But guess what:

    YOU DIDN’T PUT YOURSELF IN THE HOLE. And even if you did, who cares? What are you? The hole police? The sheriff of holes? Look – the hole is there. It exists. And so long as we’re just like, ‘Wow, what a large hole,’ nothing at all gets done about it.

    You’re in a hole. (c)

    Q:

  • Heather

    This is a very good book. Been dipping in and out of it but in terms of books around mental health, I think it's great. It says from the start the book won't save your life, but it will offer you a heap of advice and anecdotes, encouraging and welcoming, and there's a lot to take away and apply.

  • Puffling

    Solid, practical advice. I haven’t been depressed in a while and still found it helpful, and would have gotten even more out of it when shit was at its worst. Reminded me of a more fleshed out version of a short book I found enormously helpful in the past, with a title something like “How I stayed alive when my brain was trying to kill me.”

  • Jessica

    A caring, non-judgmental, and humorous book of advice for individuals experiencing mental health issues, and for loved ones wanting to learn more. It's full of really practical tips--many of which may be common knowledge, but are helpful and important regardless. It's nice to hear advice from someone who has been through depression herself and can speak to what the lowest lows can look and feel like.

    I highlighted a ton of passages--parts of the book I may want to return to later when I'm not do

    A caring, non-judgmental, and humorous book of advice for individuals experiencing mental health issues, and for loved ones wanting to learn more. It's full of really practical tips--many of which may be common knowledge, but are helpful and important regardless. It's nice to hear advice from someone who has been through depression herself and can speak to what the lowest lows can look and feel like.

    I highlighted a ton of passages--parts of the book I may want to return to later when I'm not doing so great. My only criticism is it can be repetitive at a few points, and the information wasn't organized in a very clear or defined way.

    Feelings of depression and anxiety will eventually pass--it's always temporary--you just have to survive. This book shows you how to take care of yourself until it passes. And then how to take care of yourself afterwards.

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