How to Not Kill Yourself by Clancy Martin
Published: March 28, 2023
Genre: Psychology/Self Help
KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.
CLANCY MARTIN is the acclaimed author of the novel How to Sell (FSG) as well as numerous books on philosophy, and has translated works by Friedrich Nietzsche, Søren Kierkegaard, and other philosophers. A Guggenheim Fellow, his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, New York, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Esquire, The New Republic, Lapham’s Quarterly, The Believer, and The Paris Review. He is a professor of philosophy at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and Ashoka University in New Delhi. He is a survivor of more than ten suicide attempts and a recovering alcoholic.
“The prelude to compassion is the willingness to see.”
This was a heavy book to read, and there were several moments when I had to put it down and take a break.
Suicide is something that catches people’s attention. The stigma attached, the judgment, adds unnecessary weight to an already desperate feeling.
The manner of suicide discussed was genteel. It was kind, and that won’t make sense unless you have read the book. Clancy states early on that he will discuss suicide with kindness, and he absolutely does.
The research is vast and thorough. And there are a lot of cited texts and experts, survivors, and stories about those who have died by suicide.
I found the use of the word heavy. But the reason was to bring a sense of normalcy, to remove the knee-jerk reaction most of us have when we hear the word suicide.
The stories shared and the details are heartbreaking and enlightening. The fact is that this is not a manifesto to death but a guide for getting yourself through whatever muck you’re in.
The accountability that is discussed is also quite heavy and, at times, can feel harsh. But Clancy is delicate in how he handles the people. The human element in this book is beautifully sculpted, and I found the lack is accusation powerful.
The delicacy in which Clancy discusses suicide, alcoholism, and addiction, in general, makes this an engaging read. The conversational writing style leaves you feeling like you’re chatting with a friend.
Part three was my favorite section, as I felt the most sincere and compassionate explanations from the author.
Overall, this book has a lot of information and a different perspective. I appreciate and value Clancy’s experience. He was honest, raw, vulnerable, and believable.
I feel like this man wants to help others, and he is using his struggles to further the conversation. The lack of judgment and stigma throughout this text was fantastic, and the resources available are excellent.