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We Are All Broken

“Many times I’ve been alone and many times I’ve cried, Anyway you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried,  And still they lead me back to the long and winding road” JOHN LENNON, PAUL MCCARTNEY

The first step on the road to recovery is to admit that you indeed do have a problem. If you are a human being that means you. 

broken mirror photoIt is an obvious thing for the world to see that people with mental illness as broken. Besides going into hospitals and taking medicine we often act differently and even look different.

I think in order to see our brokenness in life we must first envision the ideal. A world without problems is not a reasonable possibility but somebody who handles problems reasonably. An ideal person would have healthy lifestyles in both personal and professional terms. They would be well rounded and secure in their own selves. Of course, these attributes would be demonstrated by their interactions with society and their personal habits.

So anybody who uses substances, like alcohol and drugs, to get by wouldn’t qualify. Also, anybody with personality problems, such as divorce, abusive behavior, arrogance, greed, and so forth are disqualified. So Bill Clinton, who seduced Monica in the White House would be broken, even though he was the President of the United States. This is not a condemnation, or even a statement about his leadership, but simply reality. And the truth is that we all need help in some area of our lives.

Egos are a very difficult thing to work with. Most people don’t want to admit that there is something wrong with them. As such they will put on a facade of happiness. But deep down these people are miserable. A truly happy person, will in their quiet nature, prove their contentment by their actions. Happy people don’t need to prove how happy they are. They don’t need to show off.

I remember I was at a party and this person Mark was bragging to John how much money he earned last week. In fact, he went as far as to pull out his paycheck and show it to John. Later on, during the party, Mark was talking to a young lady. He started talking about his job and how much money he made.  Mark said he couldn’t recall how much he made when I knew he knew the amount to the exact penny. I suggested to Mark that he pull out his paycheck from his wallet as he did before. Needless to say, Mark wasn’t happy with my comments.

Mark was associating his self-worth with the size of his ‘large’ paycheck. There is nothing wrong with making a lot of money but there is something wrong with equating your self-worth with it. It is good to work, and it is good to take pride in your work. It is good to be prosperous so you can take care of yourself and your family. But when you boast and brag over something, therein lies the brokenness. Mark felt the need to elevate himself as personally, he felt inadequate.

Some of us are broken more than others. We are all broken in different ways. We shouldn’t apply the same standards to all people as we are differently made. For example, if we compare rockstars and politicians. From the first, we expect artistic creativity, from the second we desire stability and leadership. In focusing on creative endeavors the artist might live a chaotic lifestyle. We might not expect them to keep regular hours. If they sleep all day or they stay up all night, that is fine. They may spend entire days, ‘doing nothing’ while exploring their creativity. Politicians, however, we want to rigorously keep their schedules and to be diligent in their work.

However, if rockstars or politicians, abuse drugs or fornicate profusely, as they do, we can raise the red flag of warning.

In life, we grow as people. Some improve while others become maligned. There are the wheat and chaff but by mere appearances, we cannot determine which is which, except with scrutiny.

If you can find what you are lacking in then you can improve yourself. In all honesty, we are all broken, some more than others.

My book “I Should Have Been A Rock Star” is now on a book tour. Check it out.

Photos by M.A.J Photography,

We Are All Broken

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). We Are All Broken. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from


Last updated: 16 May 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 May 2018
Published on All rights reserved.