What’s the Point?

It’s the worst rhetorical question of them all. It’s an expression of disappointment, disillusionment, and depression. It’s posed to me by folks who are at very low points in their life and I get it – I know first hand how horrible and debilitating depression can be.

I also know that to not choose reasons why it’s worth going on is to simply go through the motions of survival. Living – truly living – requires passions and purposes. It’s not a once and for all choice and it doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment. It has to be a reason to keep trying.

Whenever I’m asked what the point is, I immediately answer, “Steak and sex.”

This is met with laughter because it sounds absurd. My reasoning is that if that’s all there was, I’d still want to go on. But there’s so much more! There’s music and nature and travel and children and a million other incredibly cool things.

It’s just that sometimes we can’t see that stuff through the darkness.

Lots of folks have explained to me, “I lay in bed and try to think of reasons to get up.”

Oh. Hell. No.

Get up. Get showered, dressed, eat good food, drink coffee and then if you must think, go ahead. I just don’t recommend it. Better to be up and out than down and out. Connect with good people – the more connection we have the more reasons we have to keep going.

I can’t check out now – I have people who love me and they’re a mess too. It’s as simple as the Beatles quote, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

The biggest reason to as my friend Katy Coffin says to, “Give it one more day” is because it gets better. Not once and for all better – just better. Here’s the secret: the more I am of service to others, the better I feel – the trick was to work that idea all the way through:

If it gives me joy to help good people who are screwed up like me, then it gives them joy to help me.

I’m not an imposition. I’m not adding to their troubles. I’m not burdening them or bringing them down. In the worst case scenario I’m giving them a break from their troubles to help me with mine.

What we can do together is always exponentially greater than what we can do alone. You just have to find your tribe. We’re out here waiting for you – in 12 step programs, in group therapy sessions, in any place that misfits congregate. Get up. Get out. Get among people who are looking to get better and are real enough to own their brokenness.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.