LIFE HAS NO MEANING

 

It does, though.

 

I will tell you the meaning, in order to save you time.

 

We are here to help each other get through the day.

 

The dominant culture says: a good life means having clear skin and astonishing accomplishments. The dominant culture says: to live a good life, you must think of clever things to say and post luminous pictures of yourself laughing so everyone knows how feisty and fulfilled you are.

 

Not so.

 

We are here to help each other make it through the day. Think of all the people who have helped you make it through your days. Teachers, friends, authors, the writers for Outlander, whoever invented ginger snaps, the cook at that excellent Korean place on Carmel Street. Also, there were probably a lot of people who were kind to you when you were having an awful afternoon.

 

The only qualification you need to participate in this mutual helping is a pulse. Pretty sure you have one. Unless you are a zombie. In which case: cool that you can read! And are exploring existential questions! You are really breaking the zombie mold here!

 

Back to the non-zombies: you can help others get through the day by treating humans as humans: looking people in the eye and listening to them with curiosity and generally acting like they are more important than your own to-do list.

 

The giving help part of the equation is way easier than the getting help part. Being helped is just so undignified. But part of being a real human is reaching out when you are struggling. This is a gift to your friends: it liberates them to open up when they are going through a rough time. When you make yourself vulnerable, you open the door to real intimacy. This cures loneliness.

 

Tell a friend that life is looking not-so-meaningful to you right now. Allow them to empathize. Maybe they will give you a pep talk or treat you to coffee or hold your hand while you navigate the labyrinth of mental health care.

 

Because it’s time to reach out for help from people with degrees. Getting better will give you the energy and courage to help others get through their difficult days.

 

 

 

 

Bipolar Bear & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Health Insurance: a Fable for Grown Ups is a graphic novel about a bipolar bear who gets lost in the Labyrinth of Health Insurance Claims.

When Mystical Creatures Attack! is a novel about an idealistic teacher who has a nervous breakdown and corresponds with her former students from an inpatient psychiatric facility.