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Crossing The Line

“Past the point of no return, The final threshold, The bridge is crossed, so stand and watch it burn, We’ve passed the point of no return” Jeff Limbo / Hank Sherman / Pete Steiner

In life when a person takes a stand on some issue, especially a controversial one, their life is forever changed. In an instant, they have crossed the line. stop sign photoThe Monica Lewinsky scandal is perhaps the most notorious and glaring example of the day. Already it has been twenty years since the events took place. Basically, the story is that Monica performed oral sex on the president of the United States Bill Clinton, in the Oval Office. Bill, under oath, denied the allegations but when confronted with semen on the dress and a pending DNA test he changed his song.  Bill Clinton took a well-deserved hit to his image while poor Monica, at only twenty years old, had her life forever transformed. She is a celebrity for all the wrong reasons.

Muhamad Ali was another brave soul. Because of his religious  and political views, he refused to go into the army to fight in the ‘Vietnam War.’ For a reward, he was stripped of his boxing title. Yet Ali persevered and after his suspension became heavyweight champion of the world. He became so respected that he lit the Olympic torch in 1996. But his name is forever etched into history not only as a great boxer but a man who stood by his principles.

I could name a dozen names from history, Martin Luther King, Joe Hill, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Ceaser Chavez, Eugene Debs, Susan B Anthony, the list goes on. These people all forfeited a normal life to answer a higher calling. Likewise, I know of many others, activists, ministers, volunteers who have made personal sacrifices for the cause of the greater good. There really aren’t any more heroes out there on the national or international stage anymore. People who speak on the behalf of the common person. Yet there is a large number under the radar, busy plugging away at their tasks of making the world a better place.

I am not talking about people who are doing things just to get attention. Every time I see a corporation giving a ceremony to donate money to some charity I give a cynical chuckle. First of all, they are announcing to the whole world their good deeds. Secondly, they use a check that is literally three feet long. It is very clear that they are only making a donation to get noticed.

In my life, I am an advocate and an activist. By being open about my mental illness I have crossed a line. Psychiatric problems are very common but they also aren’t socially accepted. It is something that families like to push under the table and not have talked about. One of the cruelest things my dad ever said to me was “If you hadn’t gotten sick you’d have been somebody big by now.” In that one statement is a lifetime of evil.

“The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing.” I had a friend who went to college during the Vietnam War. When I asked him if he protested the war, he said no and then mentioned that the police used dogs on the protestors. My friend was morally opposed to the war, to the extent that he didn’t want to go. Yet, being in college, he was exempt and quite comfortable to allow things in the world to go on. How many more were just like him, convicted but afraid to do anything? Tens? Hundreds? Thousands? Maybe millions?

You see there is a vetting process that happens in the United States. If one is an outspoken critic of the system or deviates from the norm they are excluded. This doesn’t mean that all opportunity is denied but certainly, the “good old boys” aren’t going to let somebody through that they don’t like.

So I am openly mentally ill in a world that views my illness as a negative. I am also against the capitalistic system which produces endless war and allows poverty to exist in the ‘richest nation’ that ever existed. My poetry and writing well documents my feelings on those matters. But therein lies the rub, I fully intend to change this world somehow. I certainly can’t do it alone. But if everybody who suffered from mental illness stood up and said they weren’t going to be ashamed that they suffered from a chemical imbalance things would change overnight. What are you afraid of, to admit something that is part of you?

Please check out my books. In particular, there is “More Than The Madness” which talks about my suffering from bipolar but yet being a complete human being.

Also please check out my book of poetry “Poet To The Poor, Poems For The Bottom One Percent.” It is a book that contains my best poetry and touches on many subjects.

I appreciate your support, please hear my stories and help us to change the world for the better.

Crossing The Line

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). Crossing The Line. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from


Last updated: 14 Jul 2018
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