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Reality Check

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

On the television, there is a politician running for president lavishing illustrious words, making promises. The promises are of course empty as they always are. 

insanity photoThe biggest mistake I made with my mental health care was to stop taking my medicines. I had a faulty thought process. I believed that God would cure me. However, I needed to act in faith. My act of faith would be stopping my medicines. I did that twice winding up getting committed both times. The second time I found myself in Graystone State psychiatric hospital. I went before a judge who thought I attempted suicide. I told him I didn’t try to kill myself and that I wanted out. He told me that he would let me out but if he ever saw me again I was going to stay in a hospital for a long time. I don’t know if the words were a hollow threat but they were effective. It was the last time I completely stopped taking my medicines.

About five years ago I got a job where I had to travel far and work long hours. I started cheating on my medicine dosage only taking half. Between the stress and the lower medicine, I wound up in the psychiatric hospital again.

I had a friend Frank who suffered from mental illness. He was part of the Church of Christ. Frank lived in a world of delusion. He had sexually abused a child when he was younger. He went to Avenel sex offender facility. As far as treating his mental illness Frank didn’t like taking his medicines. He was a big fan of Star Trek and believed he was full of empathy. He thought he had the powers of the fictional characters.  As a result, Frank would constantly quit taking his medicines. He would always wind up going to the psychiatric hospital. While I hated going to such institutions I don’t think Frank had the same feelings. One time Frank went to a police station and told them he wanted to go to the psych ward. The police refused. Frank began to tear up the police station and the cops fulfilled Frank’s desires.

The church did a lot for Frank. They gave him a job cleaning the church building. They gave him money. They even cleaned out his filthy apartment. The church offered to pay for counseling for Frank but alas Frank insisted that he didn’t have any problems. I told my friends that Frank needed to be put away for a long time if he didn’t get the help he needed he would wind up dead. Sure enough Frank killed himself by throwing himself in front of a subway train.

Our society, in general, is sick. Collectively we suffer from a grand mental illness. We live in a materialistic world where we put the value of material possessions over the value of human beings. I just have to look at nearby Manhattan. You have the richest people in the world, living in spacious penthouses and luxury apartment. Outside you have a host of homeless people owning nothing but what they have in the possession. You think that the rich people would help their neighbors. Alas, it is not so. People who have more than they can spend in a hundred lifetimes won’t help those who have nothing.

So there goes the politician making all these promises about how he’s going to fix society. Seems like whoever gets elected the ‘endless’ wars don’t stop. Nobody has stopped the killing of young black men by the police. Nobody has addressed the vast poverty that coexists with abundant wealth. We’re still waiting for universal health care. Yet every four years they manipulate the public and get them riled up believing that things will change. All you gotta do is do exactly what you did before. Like a snake oil salesman selling the cure to your chronic illness, they swear that this time the medicine will work.

I believe that things can change for the better. But I am not foolish enough to put my confidence in some politician whose words are as empty as the air. If people organize and protest things will change. Recall the recent furor over the cuts to the Special Olympics. That one was fixed real quick, wasn’t it? Unfortunately, the world is a grind and our freedoms are being skimmed off little by little. The robbing of our liberties is small but it is consistent. Remember repealing net neutrality? There was a big fight over that one but apparently, it got through.

If we don’t fix our insane society we will perish just like Frank. Remember the politicians have proved themselves to be liars on a consistent basis. I would rather try almost any other method in changing things as voting hasn’t proved effective.

Please check out my book “Poet To The Poor, Poems Of Hope For The Bottom One Percent.” It is a book of revolution.


In Memory Of Frank Peoples

By John Kaniecki

You’re home among the stars
Christ’s blood washed away your sin
Now God can begin
To heal your scars
You were a troubled soul
Who dared to dream
Beautiful, wonderful
Always had some scheme
Triking all about
Trying to figure life out
We shared a similar cross
And your death
Is humanity’s loss
You loved to sing songs of praise
Even in your hazy fuzzy craze
Now you have endless days
To walk in the Spirit’s ways
Perhaps in the universe to soar
For evermore
A captain of your own starship
Giving the Klingons the slip
Live long and prosper
What more can I offer?
Life truly has no end
And you Frank Peoples
Will always be my friend

Photos by Slice (Kairo Lange),

Reality Check

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. (2019). Reality Check. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Mar 2019
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