There is only one genre in fiction, the genre is called book.
There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself. I don’t really see the difference. We find ourselves through the process of escaping.
Minds have their own weather systems. You are in a hurricane. Hurricanes run out of energy eventually. Hold on.
MINDS ARE UNIQUE. They go wrong in unique ways. My mind went wrong in a slightly different way to how other minds go wrong. Our experience overlaps with other people’s, but it is never exactly the same experience.
But it only takes a doubt. A drop of ink falls into a clear glass of water and clouds the whole thing. So the moment after I realised I wasn’t perfectly well was the moment I realised I was still very ill indeed.
Forcing yourself to see the world through love’s gaze can be healthy. Love is an attitude to life. It can save us.
That kind of monotony that running generates – the one soundtracked by heavy breathing and the steady rhythm of feet on pavements – became a kind of metaphor for depression.
One cliche attached to bookish people is that they are lonely, but for me books were my way out of being lonely.
People with mental illnesses aren’t wrapped up in themselves because they are intrinsically any more selfish than other people. Of course not. They are just feeling things that can’t be ignored. Things that point the arrows inward.
I wanted to be dead. No. That’s not quite right. I didn’t want to be dead, I just didn’t want to be alive.
The price for being intelligent enough to be the first species to be fully aware of the cosmos might just be a capacity to feel a whole universe’s worth of darkness.
(T)here are only two things that are true 100 out of 100 times and that is that you live and also that you die and every other thing is not true or false it is a mix. It is both. It is none.
Goals are the source of misery. An unattained goal causes pain, but actually achieving it brings only a brief satisfaction.
A million people a year kill themselves. Between ten and twenty million people a year try to. Worldwide, men are over three times more likely to kill themselves than women.
The first rule of marriage: solve the mystery, end the love.
And yet, I was scared of falling asleep, because the moment I fell asleep my wounds would heal and right then I didn’t want that to happen. Right then, I found a strange but real comfort in the pain.
No one will understand you. It is not, ultimately, that important. What is important is that you understand you.
ILikeThe WayThat when youTiltPoemsOn their sideTheyLook likeMiniatureCities FromA long wayAway. SkyscrapersMade outOfWords.
Hate is a pointless emotion to have inside you. It is like eating a scorpion to punish it for stinging you.
Blood doesn’t satisfy cravings. It magnifies them.
So love is about finding the right person to hurt you?”“Pretty much.
Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.
Everyone represses everything. Do you think any of these “normal” human beings really do exactly what they want to do all the time? ‘Course not. It’s just the same. We’re middle-class and we’re British. Repression is in our veins.
Be proud to act like a normal human being. Keep daylight hours, get a regular job, and mix in the company of people with a fixed sense of right and wrong.
Flowers, after love, must have been the best advert planet Earth had going for it.
I couldn’t believe it. I had broken the law simply by not wearing clothes.
That is what the taste of blood does. It takes away the gap between thought and action.To think is to do. There is no unlived life inside you as the air speeds past your body, as you look down at the dreary villages and market towns…
The best way to think of the ageing process in relation to a human face is to imagine a map of an area of innocent land which slowly becomes a city with many long and winding routes.
The next day I had a hangover.I realised that if getting drunk was how people forgot they were mortal, then hangovers were how they remembered.
Humans, in the day that has been the Earth, have been here for less than a minute. We’re a late-night piss in the toilet, that’s all we are.
There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.
And for three weeks I was trapped in my own mind again. But this time, I had weapons. One of them, maybe the most important, was this knowledge: I have been ill before, then well again. Wellness is possible.
Laughter, I realized, was the reverberating sound of a truth hitting a lie.
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.
It was, of course, another test. Everything in human life was a test. That was why they all looked so stressed out.
I think maths is the root of everything. If we understood every area of math, it would lead to improving our sense of science, physics, engineering, space travel… all those great things. Maths is a backbone for it.
I think Father Christmas is real because the belief is real. The belief becomes the reality.
If you took away all pain, if everyone lived forever, everything would be bland, flat and boring; there would be no reason for art, music, newspapers, love because we would all be in a mono state of happiness.
Parents can only do what they think is best, with the experience they have. The learning curve for every parent is that there’s a limit to how much they can shield children from.
I’d love for mental illness to be seen in the way that other horrible illnesses are. When people get cancer, very few parents will say, ‘Oh I feel so bad for giving you so much unhealthy food over the years.’
If you sell the film rights to your book, it doesn’t mean there will be a film. I have sold the rights to five books and had zero films made. Take the money and be thankful.
We need, ultimately, to be able to view mental health with the same clear-headedness we show when talking about physical health.
There aren’t any fences to the imagination, and so there shouldn’t be any for books.