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The Blessings Of Mental Illness

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” God

The glass may be filled only a third of the way dismissing all ambiguity in the matter, but at least there is some water.

juggler photoNot only is mental illness a very hard thing it is extremely hard for outsiders to understand. As I was in the emergency room there was a woman being admitted to the psychiatric unit. The woman attending her gave her some food and the patient threw the food on the floor. The woman attending her was a little bit distraught. Noticing what happened I simply said, “She’s in a different world”.

People with mental illness do indeed live in a different world. It is a world that outsiders not only don’t trust but look on with disdain. Case in point I had a friend with mental illness who wanted to go on a missionary trip with her church. She was extremely qualified knowing both the Bible very well and having a wonderful outgoing personality. She was denied by the church because of her mental illness.

Still just like anything else there are blessings, for you see a hard cross eventually makes one strong. Mental illness will really humble a person. Humility is a key to success in this world. FDR is said to have been extremely arrogant until polio caught up with him. Humility is a key factor in successfully working with others. The stigma associated with mental illness put us in another world, one which is held in derision by many.

Empathy and compassion are other attributes that the mentally ill are rich in. To a lot of people the horrors of the world are just numbers on a piece of paper or blurbs of words on the newscast. I understand with every drone attack means a funeral attended by mourning family and friends. I know with every bomb exploded the hatred increases and misery increases. That is the problem with the people on Wall Street, they are so far away from the misery their greed causes. If only they could see the manifestations of their works, the starving babies, the bloody corpses, the homeless masses. The mentally ill are aware of the suffering of others and we feel their pain.

The mentally ill are sincere. Because of the tremendous trauma that we have been through we appreciate the things in life. We have come to understand that there is nothing of more value than the friendship of other people. Also as we are ostracized from society into our own communities our bonds only  become the stronger. A stay in the psychiatric unit will immerse a person with fellows suffering from similar conditions. Bonds of friendship are formed as we support one another.

The struggles of life will either make a person or brake a person. But I will say that even my comrades who suffer from this hideous ailment and have fallen into the ocean of despair and surrender, have achieved more in life than those with ‘careers’. The quality of a person is the judge of one’s standard not the quantity of one’s possessions. Success is an ambiguous concept where different standards are applied based on what one holds dear.

The mentally ill may not be the movers and shakers of the world, but we are the salt that preserves and helps cure the wounds of others.

Please check out a friendly poetry book called “A Day’s Weather”¬†

Photos by kosmolaut,

The Blessings Of Mental Illness

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. (2018). The Blessings Of Mental Illness. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 23 Jan 2018
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