Home » Blogs » Polishing the Fragments » Throwing The Dice

Throwing The Dice

“Which of you to gain me, tell, will risk uncertain pains of hell?, I will not forgive you if you will not take the chance” Grateful Dead

Ironically this is my quote from senior high school except that the word ‘not’ was omitted. Thinking back I see it as a precursor of my coming on of Christianity. Sure many people have treated my cruelly in life and I certainly was no angel. But let it be none that I have forgiven all and hold malice for none. 

Dice photoLife is about taking chances. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you never throw the dice you can never win the game.

I think the biggest gamble I made in my life was to hitchhike cross country. It was the summer of 1987. I had just finished my second year at engineering college and I had just been baptized to become a Christian. With a wanderlust fueled by my emerging bipolar I hit the road. My concerned parents bought me a Greyhound Bus pass which allowed me to ride a month for free. I made it as far south as Texas, as far west as California, as far north as Washington. I found the best people in West Virginia, the most beautiful land in Idaho and nothing but misery in Texas. It was the greatest time of my life and I am so glad that I threw the dice.

I quit taking my psychiatric medicine twice. Both times I wound up back in the psychiatric hospital. The first time it happened I wasn’t living at home. As things worked out my father had a heart attack so I came home. I was quickly committed. The second time things didn’t go down so easy. I went on a trip to Trinidad and my mania came on as soon as the plane landed. I spent a month, crazy out of my mind wandering the island of Trinidad. The government called my mother and with her help I made it back to the United States. Of course I tried to defect in Venezuela on the return but I was denied access. In fact the police contacted the U.S. State Department and asked them what they should do with me. Instead of being arrested I was simply put back on the plane.

A night in jail was followed by an eight week or so hospitalization. I wound up committed to a state psychiatric hospital call Graystone. That was the same one Woody Guthrie was in. I guess in the big picture when I tossed the dice that time they fell off of the table. But am I any the worse for it? I got some great stories to tell.

I am an advocate of world wide non violent revolution. As far as I am concerned every government in the world must go. Not only that but we must get rid of ‘money’ as well. If you think that I am being far too ‘radical’ I don’t believe that you know the precarious state that the world is in. We are teetering on the precipice where down below is the misery of nuclear holocaust. World War 3 could bring the death tolls in the billions. Fukushima though far out of the news is still a major concern. Along with other environmental problems our ecological existence is threatened. It is a clear case of change or die. With these thoughts in mind I officially joined the IWW though they always had my heart.

Personally I am taking care of my wife Sylvia and my resources will soon vanish. As such I am trying desperately to find a way to make an income without being able to leave my house. It is one of the reasons I always promote my books on these blogs. It is my dream to support myself and bless others through my writing. I have hope and where hope exists the spirit can thrive. As such it looks like the dice are going to be rolling some more.

How about you? Please comment with some chances that you took in life.

If you would like to read about my very interesting life check out  my memoirs “More Than The Madness.”


Throwing The Dice

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.

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Kaniecki, J. (2018). Throwing The Dice. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 5 Feb 2018
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.