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The Day By Day Grind

“One fine day, you’ll look at me- And you will know our love was, meant to be” Carole King

“Good times, bad times  You know I had my share” Led Zeppelin 

Every day has twenty four hours, after that the exactness dissipates. One never knows what one is going to find in a brand new day. True love might be awaiting around a corner or perhaps death.

Hour Glass photoSo many people are caught in the nine to five routine. Even if you don’t necessarily work those hours the idea is that you live a strongly regulated life. That your life is full of patterns that must be adhered to. You need to be somewhere at a specific time to do similar things. From experience I know that such a life can become monotonous.

For somebody suffering from mental illness developing a backbone of structure is a very positive thing. Simple as it may seem getting out of bed, taking a shower, taking medicines, trying to exercise or read should all be incorporated. While such basics may seem trivial for somebody in the depths of clinical depression they are not. If you have never been in that dark abyss you will never be able to understand.

One of the demons of the psychiatric hospital is of course the boredom. It is true that the exact environment depends upon the type of hospital one is in. All hospitals are not equal. I have been in what is considered the best and I have been in state institutions which rank low. In all honesty there are positive and negative aspects to all. Some however keep you more occupied with groups and activities. There is of course always fellow patients to chat with. Still if the stay in a psychiatric is prolonged boredom inevitably enters in. Unfortunately sometimes the refrigerator is visited far too often to alleviate the dull moments.

Everybody needs some spice in life. The reality is that work will not provide all the excitement you need. I have been living the life of an author for several years as I am a full time caregiver for my wife Sylvia. Thus I have many hours such as now when I am writing and twisting my neck to make sure my wife is not getting into any trouble. Sure the writing is a delight. But then there is the editing of books, the self promotion and other dull rigors involved. Even the most exciting of occupations include their mundane drudgery.

Of course life is what you make of it. I once worked at stocking paints on the shelves. For about six hours a day it was all that I did. While it might seem that such a job would be boring I found a gentle peace in it. I would diligently work in my private space, happy and content. I would take breaks with my fellow workers and chat with the paints sales people when they weren’t busy. When I got home I would read with a ferocity, maybe six hours a day.

As a writer I use all the experiences of my life to create a realistic world with a quadruple does of imagination thrown in. I will borrow from reality and then add my own over dramatic twist to it. For example I was influenced by a plethora of factors for my book “I Should Have Been A Rock Star” I think reading it would get you out of your day to day grind. 



Photos by Ömer Ünlü,

The Day By Day Grind

John Kaniecki

John Kaniecki is a full-time caregiver for his wife Sylvia. He is a published writer and works with the Church of Christ. John has lived with bipolar for over thirty years and has been hospitalized nine times, three of which were committed. John has chronicled his life story in his memoirs "More Than The Madness". Also of note is John's book of poetry "Murmurings Of A Mad Man" which are poems written about being committed in Graystone Psychiatric Hospital. John believes in the power of words to change the world for the better. His website can be seen here. His books can be seen on Amazon. You can visit his personal blog "Turn A Page Or Two" here.

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APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2017). The Day By Day Grind. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from


Last updated: 30 Dec 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Dec 2017
Published on All rights reserved.