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My Shot At Redemption

“Spend all your time waiting, For that second chance, For a break that would make it okay”  Sarah McLachlan   

One of the cruelest things my dad ever said to me was “If you haven’t gotten sick you would have been somebody big by now.”

Arrow target photoWithout a doubt discovering  God and having a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing that has ever happened in my life, after all, what profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his very soul. My conversion came with my asking many hard questions about life. What is the purpose of life? Why are people so evil? Why are people so materialistic? What is love? Is there a better way to live life? Not only have I found satisfactory answers to all these questions but I have found a purpose for life and a loving church family. Not that the church is perfect, it is infested with hypocrites and do nothing people but that is another matter.

So here is what haunts me. I was an engineering student confused about life. My first semester I studied very hard and got all A’s and one B. I learned how to study and manage time. Then I was dedicated to my fraternity as a pledge. I learned many valuable lessons in brotherly love and humility. The next semester I was rush chairman and I learned how to get along with people. I turned from introvert to outgoing. All of these things were essential in making the person who I was. Finally, I turned from the drugs and alcohol and sought the meaning of life.

I began studying the Bible with my neighbor. I decided to obey the gospel an got baptized. I was at the pinnacle of my existence. I promptly hitchhiked across the United States and road Grayhound Buses all I wanted. I returned to drop out of engineering school with hopes of becoming an evangelist. I had already picked out the college I wanted to attend for Bible.

Well, nothing is perfect in God’s perfect plan. Several weeks later I was committed to a psychiatric hospital. It seemed like my world had ended in a fiery crash. Well, I rose from the ashes and with the help of  God, I have made something of my life.  Spiritually speaking I have matured. I have preached and taught the gospel. I’ve had some formal education and studied under a man with a master’s degree in divinity. But I learned most of it from others and self-study.  I am most proud of the eight years I spent in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey as a volunteer missionary knocking on doors and talking to the community.

But there is another dark force working on me to subvert my joy in life. With my wife being ill and money growing short I am plagued with thoughts of what could have happened if I was an engineer. After all the money is very good in those professions. Some nights I have nightmares in which I return to engineering school.

First of all, I understand that changing one event would change my whole life. Despite my struggles and difficulties, I am very happy where I am. Secondly, the world doesn’t need more technology.  Another scientific breakthrough is not going to elevate the rank and file of mankind. In fact, I subscribe to the teachings of John Africa when he says that we should abandon technology. What the world needs in more love, peace, understanding, and kindness.

The book of my life has not been completed. But I have completed a good number of books that have been published. I also have another collection just waiting to be published. Pursuing writing was a dream that I did not realize I had until later in life. Thinking things over I should have started at an early age exploring the arts instead of science, but alas I can’t go back. Yet, I still have not only a chance of making it as a writer but becoming a great and memorable writer. Maybe I’ll be remembered as one of the greatest poets that would ever live. I can dream and more importantly work very hard to make my desires real.

That is one of my two remaining dreams. After walking my wife to Jordan’s banks and leaving her in the Lord’s hands I plan to dedicate my time to evangelistic efforts. Maybe, in the end, I will get every single thing I wished for, the only problem was that God didn’t deliver it in a package I could recognize.

If you would like to explore my life I have my memoirs “More Than The Madness.” I have walked the walk and this book is my talk.

Photos by jrladia,

My Shot At Redemption

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). My Shot At Redemption. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2019, from


Last updated: 17 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Aug 2018
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