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Where are you now?

“Pink isn’t well, he stayed back at the hotel, And they sent us along as a surrogate band, We’re gonna find out where you fans* really stand” Roger Waters

If you want to get somewhere in life, anywhere, you really go to know where you are now. 

 photoOne thing I appreciate about mental illness is that after it smashes you down with a massive blow reality becomes much clearer. You can see past the lies and delusions.

Ego is something everyone possesses. Arrogance is something most people have, to some extent. It is an extremely dangerous thing. Arrogance will stop you from honestly evaluating yourself. I remember my brother had a friend who was a wrestler. I was on the wrestling team for a couple of years. My brother’s friend lost to my teammate when the wrestled. Yet my brother’s friend insisted that he was the better wrestler. I am quite confident that my teammate was the better of the two as he made it all the way to the state tournament and my brother’s friend hadn’t come close to achieving such things. Yet in his mind my brother’s friend was better, there was no question about it.

Arrogance fools us into believing that we are better than we are. It stops us from making an honest evaluation. It impedes progress as we cannot see our strengths and weaknesses. If you want to know something about yourself I suggest you talk to trusted friends. Ask them to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

There is, of course, the downside to this where people think that they are no good. Instead of elevating themselves they put themselves down. Once again, the prohibits an honest evaluation.

Most people in this world are not happy. You can tell this by the way they treat others. Being mean-spirited, rude, and disrespectful are signs of misery. I recall as a youth how certain people would mock other people cruelly. I now recognize that if you need to put somebody down, to elevate yourself, you’re a very unhappy and miserable person. Because of ego, people put on a facade that they are happy, when in truth they aren’t.

I tell the story of an associate of mine in my memoirs, “More Than The Madness.” This person was a good student, had a lot of friends, and had a nice girlfriend. He enjoyed partying and seemed to be having a good time. One day he came up to me and made a confession. He told me that he often walked in the projects hoping that somebody would kill him. He also walked down to the river with thoughts of throwing himself in. The man was living a lie.

Now, with wisdom, I can detect the frauds. If you are using chemicals to get by in life you are not happy. I know that this cuts down a lot of people but I firmly stand by my observation. I walked the walk of emptiness taking chemicals to kill the pain of a useless existence.

Most people who live in misery don’t want to admit that they need help. Suicides are prevalent in our society as is violence. We need to ask the question as to what provokes people to go to these extremes? Taking life is a serious matter, it takes one through a door from which they cannot return.

As my mental illness began to settle in I saw so much of life meaningless. What good were good grades? What did it matter how much money I earned? Everything seemed vain and futile. I felt like Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, “all was meaningless”. For me, the answer was found in following the teachings of Jesus Christ. When I learned that my purpose on Earth was to love my fellow human beings my life went through dramatic changes. Of course, to submit to God’s will I had to acknowledge that I didn’t have all the answers. In fact, I had to admit that I was hopelessly lost.

I have learned a lot from staring into the shadows of the abyss. Yet, I am still on a journey, with much more to learn and to do. I have expounded on some of the things I have learned in my fiction. Lessons are interwoven with exciting stories. So allow me to present to you ‘Dark Matters’ which for a limited time is on a sale for less than a dollar.

Where are you now?

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). Where are you now?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2019, from


Last updated: 1 May 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 May 2018
Published on All rights reserved.