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From There To Here

“It don’t make no difference, Escape one last time, It’s easier to believe in this sweet madness, Oh, this glorious sadness, That brings me to my knees”  Sarah Mclachlan

How does one gauge success and failure? In the United States, it seems that the amount of money in the bank is the standard that the majority use. But we came into this world with nothing and we will leave with nothing, so I utterly reject that standard. 

Bridge photoI recall being in engineering school at the age of eighteen as lost as a person could be. I knew very little about life and my social skills were lacking. Funny thing was in comparison to my peers I was well ahead of the game. I took my studies very seriously the first semester and I did great academically. But there was an empty void inside of me and good grades didn’t soothe me.

I know that the majority of my peers went to my school so they could make a lot of money. The idea was that money brought happiness. My dad wasn’t a rich man, perhaps our family was upper middle class at best. But I learned through my childhood trauma that money did not bring happiness. As such I lacked the drive to face the rigors of engineering school. I didn’t even have the courage to face life as I retreated into my castle with walls of alcohol and drugs keeping me isolated from the harshness of reality.

Things changed when I picked up a Bible and began to read. I fell in love with Christ and I quit the alcohol and drugs. I got baptized and promptly went hitchhiking across the country. My month long trip would turn out to be the highlight of my life. Upon returning to engineering school I rethought life and decided I would like to be a minister. I dropped out and several weeks later I was committed to a psychiatric hospital. At the moment of my agony, it seemed like life was over.  After sixty days in the psych ward, I fell into a severe depression and I was unable to even get out of bed. I had fallen from my heavenly epiphany to my lowest point in life. That was thirty years ago.

It is in the struggle that one’s character is made. When all is well it is relatively easy to achieve. But when the odds are against you and things are difficult one must rise to the occasion. When I was inflicted with my mental illness it was not sink or swim but rather my lifeless form was floating upon the waters of life. In my recovery, my mental illness did not go away but rather I learned how to navigate life with my handicap. It is akin to a man learning to walk with crutches, it takes time to adjust and work out the kinks.

All through the ordeal from “There to here” I learned a great deal. There are lessons in life that one can never learn from a textbook.

I look at the world and I see a very wicked place. The most unfortunate thing about it is is that this planet Earth possesses so much potential. We have more than we need, not just only to survive but to prosper and achieve great heights. Mankind’s great downfall is its materialistic selfishness or the love of money. My peers who labored so hard to get their engineering degrees now put their brilliant minds to work for the highest bidder. I am quite certain that some serve as the brain trust of the military industrial complex. Instead of improving the world they contribute to bloodshed and mass destruction.

I have learned in the power of example as deeds speak much louder than words. I live my life the best I can, trying to fulfill the ideals that I profess. That is the essence of Christianity. Jesus in His life did not travel extensively. His ministry was relatively short, perhaps only three years. At the end of his life, he had several hundred devout followers. But the seed had been planted and the perfect example laid down. I think on the scripture “What profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his very soul.” I think of my old comrades tiring away to satisfy their carnal pleasures all for naught in the end.

I did not plan my life but then again nobody does. Looking back on my journey I reflect on what I have learned and on my ultimate destination.

Please check out my book of song lyrics called  “Without The Music.” https://amzn.to/2RD85u7

 

Here is something I wrote about engineering school.

Fall in Line (Steven’s Tech Blues)

They filled our heads with equations
Like one and one makes two
Never giving any explanations
Of why we do the things we do

Just fall in line
Cause everything’s fine
You got a brilliant mind
If you think
We’ll just leave you behind
Just fall in line

We programmed computers for hours on end
Called laser beams and robots our friend
Contemplated how to make the bigger bang
And late at night when we were wasted we sang

Just fall in line
Cause everything’s fine
You got a brilliant mind
If you think
We’ll just leave you behind
Just fall in line

They threw a lot of money in your face
They tempt you with promises grand
All the while we smile and understand
We’re not helping the human race

In every life we come to a place of choice
We see the reality of the fruit of our tree
It is then and there that we should raise our voice
But we sell our soul to those in control and let it be

Just fall in line
Cause everything’s fine
You got a brilliant mind
If you think
We’ll just leave you behind
Just fall in line

From There To Here


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). From There To Here. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 16, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/fragments/2018/12/from-there-to-here/

 

Last updated: 12 Dec 2018
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) 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 PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.