Can you tell me what your purpose is? Why are you here? What are you for, and why does it – you – any of this matter?

My insomnia is leading me into dark places again, questioning everything. This most recent cycle has me demanding to know what I am here for, and why any of this matters at all.

What is the point of my sobriety? My industry? My being present and taking part in life? I can’t see it. I can’t see any reason that gives meaning or purpose to anything right now.

For every answer that offers itself up, I ask “So what?”

So what? You do a job. So what? Does it change the world, make it better? Does it have to? Yes? No? So what. If you die tomorrow, will the world come to an end? And if it does – so what?

Truth is, I’m more and more certain that none of this matters. Nothing. No one.

Everything we do, be it a job, a hobby, a cause, a relationship – is merely a distraction. Every situation is just another cage, a construct designed to keep the machine of man-centered existence rolling forwards.

There is no purpose in our being, or doing anything, except to be a cog in the machine that exists only to create and trap more cogs.

This situation may change but the cage is eternal. Rush, rush. Be ambitious. Make more money to fuel the machine. Be more. Do more. Fit in. Connect. Share. Engage. Honour the cage. Worship the machine. Why?

Don’t question. Don’t disbelieve. Don’t reveal the truth.

Oh, I’m rambling. Confused and disconnected. Too aware that nothing matters and man’s search for meaning – my search for meaning, is pointless.

We live and die and everything in between is merely a distraction from that final event. We need to be distracted because if we realized, really and truly understood that nothing we do or say or think or feel changes the inevitability of death, then we wouldn’t bother with living, with feeding the machine that feeds on us.

So life – cruel, terrible life – gives us hope. A false currency designed to keep us believing in the machine, exist within the cage, having faith in some vague notion of a purpose.

It’s all bullshit. If you simply gave up tomorrow and died, it wouldn’t matter. Nothing matters.

Oh but life will trick us into feeling like it mattered, because cruel life has given us the sentimental crutches of emotions. Of love. Of connection. These are all false hooks. None of this will save you from death, from loss, from loneliness.

So we just repeat the patterns and behaviours demanded by the cage. Wake up. Smile. Exchange meaningless pleasantries. Go to work. Repeat the never-ending tasks someone else dreams up to justify your presence. Go home. Exchange more meaningless pleasantries. Sleep. And repeat over and over and over until you achieve death.

I am aware of the machine. I feel the cage. I know my meaningless part in it all. I can’t pretend to care anymore. I can’t pretend that life is a gift and recovery is a blessing anymore. It’s all just bullshit. Different flavours of the machine’s imperative and the cage’s control.

What are we here for, then? Nothing. We mean nothing, are nothing, achieve nothing. There is no point to anything we say, do or feel.

We have no purpose.

©️ Dave Luis 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Image ©️ Siora Photography on Unsplash


  1. Meaning? I suppose in the vast, timeless, centuries old picture none of us individually have meaning… but in our tiny, possibly insignificant, individual universes, our meaning comes from our human interactions. I recently faced a 20 y/o so full of despair that he felt his only option was death… but.. but MY life, and that of his best friend would be SO much less without him. That his going, would leave a scar for the rest of my life..

    You are right, the job, the accumulation of wealth have no meaning.. but the way we touch other’s lives does.. both positive and negative.. you may not leave a legacy for generations to come- very few of us do, but we do leave a legacy, for a short time, in the memories of those who knew us… and that, my friend, can be enough… Kia kaha toku hoa.. xx

    1. I am sorry you had to face a 20 y/o on the brink, it cannot be easy. I SO understand his utter despair. And there are moments when I deeply envy those courageous enough to go through with it. Because when it came down to it, I couldn’t. I tried, years ago, and failed. But even to say one’s existence gives meaning to another is – for me – not reason enough, not meaning enough. Anyway, I guess I really need to stop writing all the darkness, it chases away the ones who do want to stick around. Better to write aspirational pieces even when I don’t feel it.

      1. Hmmm..

        Your words are hard to read, but their honesty is what keeps me here… some people are stauncher than you think…

        The, now 21 y/o is hanging in there… taking each day as it comes… it was, however, up there as one of the scarier things I’ve had to see…

        You can only find your own reasons for staying. But don’t diminish how it would affect those you would leave behind. Some scars hurt deeper than others…

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