Mental Illness


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A comment on a previous post got me thinking about what I’m actually doing here. The spat of freak weather we’ve been having here has left this particularly crazy scribbler with way too much time to think. Firstly – the weather. There was an epic windstorm and a couple of fairly epic thunder and lightning events. And some hail. Truthfully, after living where I’ve lived in Zimbabwe for the past eighteen years they were a bit ho-hum to me. I’m used to having rip-roaring cyclones without the benefit of a basement. Anyway. Things blew up electricity-wise. Now I really get those guys in the first world who have pucker “bug out bags” and plans for evacuation in the event of the zombie apocalypse. This little town shut down tighter than a snail with OCD. The banks were closed. The fuel pumps were closed. The supermarkets were closed. Hell – everything was closed. And so my obsession with having loads of food on hand and a bit of cash at all times was WELL justified. Take THAT you guys who said I was odd.

Also – I take my hat off to the people of Zimbabwe for seriously rising to the occasion. Apart from having a mental president who rants at all aspects of Westernism, yet is not averse to the odd horse drawn carriage, twenty one gun salute, or a really fine chilled glass of Pinotage, they know how to survive in an apocalypse. There when the power went off, we put the generator on. We always had at least a month’s worth of food on hand. The banks, supermarkets, and petrol stations all had their own personal generators, so shopping was not so hard – apart from the time TM got stuck on Phil Collins’ rendition of True Colours, played it over and over, and we were all sobbing our eyes out with the till operators when we left.

But anyway. Back to the subject at hand. A comment on my Yacking It Up post really made me take ten steps back and take notice. I mentioned depression in the post, but I really thought I skirted the subject well enough not to draw criticism from those who suffer this affliction. Seems I was wrong.

I started this blog as a newbie writer. And I mean newbie. I’m not one of those scribblers who have been penning tales from the age of six. I haven’t written anything until about three years ago apart from shopping lists. Originally after I got the whole inspiration thing for African Me I thought I’d go the traditional route and find myself an agent and obviously turn out to be the next best thing since cream cheese. But unfortunately my OCD kicked in.

It was never my intention to share these interesting character malformations that I have here on my blog. This was supposed to be all about my writing. And this in all probability will be the ONLY post I ever share about my weirdness. But here goes anyway.

I have Anxiety Disorder. I have Panic Attacks. I do believe that I am borderline Agoraphobic and possibly Bipolar. However. Mostly I have these things under control. Not so much at the moment because sometimes life chucks so much crap at you you would be ABNORMAL not to be a freak show.

Still – these are not things about my life that I care to share. Even though I’m fairly “normal” now, I remember all the terror, bloody excessive amounts of cortisol that did crazy things to my body and mind. These things can NOT be understood by those who have not lived through them, so unless you’ve lived them don’t write articles about them – and certainly don’t encourage anyone else to either. And each of us has a unique set of symptoms. Medication might work for one and not another – yoga, exercise, diet, and prayers works for me. It just pisses me off a little to have anyone casually toss such a random comment into my post when I never professed to be an expert on the subject of Depression – although I can assure you I’m a bloody card carrying member of that club.

Anyway. This will be my last post of this nature. And I’ve thought long and hard about actually posting it. My blog is about BOOKS and THINGS THAT I LOVE AND FIND COOL. If you have anything really stupid to say – write it on a carrot, and stick it….


Writing Hero – George Geisinger

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My Writing Hero for the month of January is author George Geisinger.  I first met George when I happened across one of his short stories and read it.  It was so beautiful that I commented, and we have been chatting ever since.  I found his writing intriguing, and decided to make him one of my heroes before reading his book.  I’m really glad I did.  I’ve read and reviewed on Amazon, Memoirs Of A Flower Child.  This book had me smiling and crying.  It got me right in the gut, and I read it straight through.  I’ve never read anything like this.  I totally suggest that you buy this book, and read it right away.  It will change your perspective on everything.



 Here’s my Amazon review.

A Triumph!, January 31, 2013


Jo Robinson

Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This review is from: Memoirs of a Flower Child (Kindle Edition)

This book should be required reading for everyone on the planet. Especially those among us who think we can be parents. I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything that moved me more, or twanged at my heartstrings quite so much. George Geisinger has written a totally frank and honest account of his life. He’s gone about it with an honesty and bravery that most of us can only aspire to. The difference with this memoir and others that I’ve read is the skill of the writer. At no point do you want to skip a part.

This is the story of a child so badly abused, that he begun to smoke cigarettes and run away from home at the age of five. The damage inflicted on this intelligent, sensitive soul by an unbalanced and vicious father was not repairable by such a small child, nor the young man he became. Spiralling down into chronic schizophrenia brought on by acute toxic psychosis, this man has endured an existence of fear and solitude through no fault of his own. There are too many beautiful words in this book for me to write down here to give you examples of all that touched me, and all I can say is, that if you read only one book this year, make it this one. You will see life from a whole new perspective.

The beauty of his writing transcends this story, and answers his own question, wondering why God has brought him through everything, and alive today. The answer in my mind would be that this story has to be shared with all, so that they can see the road he walked, and pray never to have that happen to any child again. George says so much that makes life clearer to me. “I never learned how to take care of myself as people learn growing up.” The simple truth for all abused, neglected children. On his suicide attempts, he says, “…Hurting myself, expecting someone else to feel the pain.” There can be no better explanation for those desperate cries for help. This man’s wit, talent, and humour shine throughout.

He loved and lost everything. From sweet Peaches, to his beloved Yamaha guitar, until one day God found him in a Gazebo, and showed him the way on. People have tried to use him and hurt him, but I do believe he will be fine. I hope you find the love to ease your loneliness gentle man, and I thank you for making me see my life from a new angle of gratitude. This is a success story like no other I’ve seen. The dozens of books on this author’s list of published works attests to that. If I could give this story ten stars, I would, and whenever I think that my life is tough, I’ll open George Geisinger’s book. It’s a triumph.

“I ran into the woods, got all cut up on the Jagger bushes, made all the dogs bark, walked on water. Busy day.”



I asked George a little about himself.  Enjoy his answers with me.


  1. What do you like to do when you’re not writing.


I do ordinary things mostly; surf Facebook and the web in general, and I like to crochet, mainly to make winter gear.  That’s right, I’m a man who crochets.  I also read when I’m not writing.



  1. Who are your favorite authors?


I like Ernest Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, and Theodore Dreiser, to name a few.  I enjoy recent classical authors, especially, and there happen to be several more on the list, but I figure these classicists are representative of what I like to read.  I’d rather not read any more F Scott Fitzgerald, because I don’t want to cry with him any longer, about the fact that he has lost his money.



  1. When did you begin to write?


I can remember writing a diary at age thirteen.  I don’t recall writing earlier than that.  I’m in my sixties, so trying to remember such things is a challenge for me.  Such memories seem silly to me, like some of the things I used to sing, when I was younger and still able to carry a tune.



  1. What do you love to eat and drink?


Before I got my dentures, I used to like to eat red meat.  However, since I’m wearing dentures now, I prefer to eat things like chicken and sea food.



  1. What don’t you like?


I don’t like to eat vegetables, because some of my best friends are vegetables.



  1. Tell us a little about your next book.


I write exclusively short stories.  I have an octogenarian friend where I live, who reads everything I write.  I don’t have any specific plans for another series of short stories, nor do I have a book project in the works at the moment.  If my reader here where I live tells me I’ve written a book, she’ll give me the name of the book, and designate which short stories are part of the book.  This was the way I came up with Memoirs of a Flower Child, and Damn Yankee.  What I’m hoping to do is write for more than one blog per day, for quite some time to come, so I get more readers for my work.



  1. I see from your memoir that you have had more than your share of burdens. What would you say was the single most important event that shaped the man you are today?


I experienced an epiphany in the summer of 1983, when God finally prevailed upon my altered state of mind, in order for me to stop taking mind-altering substances to establish a lasting sobriety.  I have not had any alcohol or any other mind-altering chemical since that time.  I had a rebellious childhood, where I was a chronic runaway, by the time I was five years old, do to my father’s violence around the house.  The fact that I refused to submit myself to being parented as a child was the basis for why my life has had so many burdens.  It is my faith which has turned the tide in my life.



  1. Number eight is not a question, but anything you’d like to share here.


I’m writing exclusively blog posts at the moment, with no plans to write any stories for sale in the near future.


My personal blog is  Other blogs where some of my work is published are, where I no longer contribute, and, which is Don Martin’s blog, where I continue to contribute frequently at the moment. My personal blog has an extensive archives, of more than a 100 entries of approximately 30K per entry, like I do for my own blog.


My Amazon author’s page is  I have approximately 87 titles for sale for digital download to Kindle, which I have written, in addition to more than 100 blog entries, for a grand total of more than 300 documents I’ve created in my documents folder, since March of 2011.

I have re-sorted to writing blog posts exclusively, because my most major goal as a writer is to have readers of my work, not to make money with my work.  Having Don Martin’s blog to contribute to, in addition to having my own, keeps me on my toes.