By AK Dale
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – It has been four long decades for author George Geisinger fighting a battle which never ends.
It boils and fires all around him. In his senses, his synapses, his waking moments, and probably in his dreams.
Yet, during all this time, he has entered the fray armed with a pen in hand at one time and now likely a keyboard as well.
He is winning this war, this affliction of mental illness, using the best strategy he could possibly find:
Writing about it.
“I would consider becoming known as an author with a disability to be an achievement,” Geisinger, who currently has 39 books available on Amazon Kindle, said. “I want to make a difference in this world. Hollywood says I’m a monster, but I know I’m not. That’s why I write. I fly in the face of the stigma. I’ve been stranded in the isolation chambers of several institutions in my lifetime. I didn’t have a choice to take anything with me. Sometimes, they even took my clothing away from me, and would threaten to beat me up when I said something they didn’t like. Sound like a story to you?”
His ‘official’ story began when he was a 20-year-old student at Appalachian State University. It was there where he suffered his first defeat against himself.
“I had a major nervous breakdown on campus and had to drop out with schizophrenia,” Geisinger said.” I ended up graduating from Catonsville Community College in Maryland, in the liberal arts. One of the courses I took was creative writing.”
His story began, however, much earlier.
“My parents have passed away and my mother and aunt worked in the computer industry,” Geisinger said. “They were supporting us when we were young. My father left us when we were kids. I have no wife or kids of my own. I’m alone in this world, except for my siblings and their families. I have a lot of problems with the man my father was, and what he did to us all. I hope I don’t ever see him again, even though he’s dead and gone already. He taught me to be unremittingly nonviolent, by negative example throughout my childhood.”
Yet herein lies the second stage, the winning one, of the battle Geisinger has waged against his condition.
He has written over and over and over again, about it. He has taken it on full force and takes countless, connecting swings at the evils that have bound him.
“I mostly write about my disability since it’s been my life experience,” Geisinger said. “I write what I know. I write to give myself good feelings about the things I’ve been thru in life, things I’ve survived and experienced more than forty years of living with a mental illness. I’ve had a hard life, and writing is something like giving myself psychotherapy. For a while there, recently, I was virtually mute and incapable of writing temporarily, because of an accidental overdose of my medications. I write now, because I can.”
Maybe he found the will to write not only because he felt he had to, but because of the support he received in his younger years.
“When I was young, we were very poor,” Geisinger said. “I didn’t like television much, and would brainstorm ways to entertain myself. I was a chronic runaway since I was five-years-old. I’ve always been creative, and have always been encouraged by my mother and sister to be more creative. To mention names would be exhausting.”
But he has had plenty of opportunities to mention whatever has come to mind over the course of these many years.
“I’m making written record of things I’ve been thru in life,” Geisinger said. “People can hardly believe my nonfiction is real. People hardly want to read about schizophrenia anyway, but that’s the reason I write about it. I address it because I know how to talk about it with some authority”
Geisinger has a laundry list of titles readers may be familiar with such as Two Legged and Scatter Brains.
His most recent work was Springtime, a tale about when a “young man’s fancy turns to what his fancy has not been off of all winter.” The book was released on May. 23.
For now, Geisinger will continue to pound out his numerous tales of dealing with mental illness while aiming to maybe make a difference in the battle afflicting many others.
“I live what I write and I write mostly nonfiction about schizophrenia,” he said. “The barrier there is public prejudice, which I’m trying to tear down by storming the gate with an endless battery of stories about mental illness.”
To find out more about George Geisinger and his works:
WERZOMBIES Press thanks you for taking the time to read about our special guest here today. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!