Efficacy by George S Geisinger

George S Geisinger

     When it comes right down to it, my health insurance was the one asset I held on to for dear life, that was the thing that saved what amounted to my basic existence, in plain simplicity. Being at such loose ends with my disorder and the throes of my addictions, I would report for hospitalization and was not turned away because of the efficacy of the health insurance I carried in good standing.

     For a long time, I held no other asset than an old car and modest a disability income. At that, my family held custody of the car for much of my youth. I was in a process of writing poetry and music in the institutions I frequented, but that only stood to keep my feet on the ground, on the most basic level and was not substantial enough to amount to professional production of any sort.

     It was the poetry and music I wrote in those days were a matter of mental exercise which gave focus to my thoughts and were not of enough substance for me to use for publication to be considered. I'm convinced it was those things, plus the repertory of jokes I continually told my buddies, which kept
my head above water where my basic mental acumen was concerned, which maintained me.

     The chronology of what hospital I went to at what time, has long since been lost to me and forgotten. With it has gone much of the memory of the specifics of things and people involved in what happened to me in my youth. Like the years of moving from town to town in a squandered childhood were, the memory of going from hospital to hospital have been forfeit to the annals of time.

     What stays with me is the revelation that the state hospital system saved my life, with more than just the idea of providing me with three hots and a cot. That I floundered in the throes of an active substance abuse was a sad fact of my life, but that I managed to find my way with psych meds and abstinence, have been some of the revelations of a very unstable existence out of many years.

     At a time when many of the multitudinous flower children in America were floundering on the streets of American cities, I was one to be known to have the security of enjoying hospitalization in the various psychiatric settings in some of the hospitals of the nation. Though there was a psychosis epidemic, I was secure with a rationale of a psychiatric diagnosis for much hospitalization.

     The powers that be would not turn me away from my earliest psych admissions, because my condition was chronic and I was psychiatrically unstable for much of that time. I eventually did develop an AMA status with one of the hospitals, because I was too much of a runaway, but that didn't
happen to me until I was no longer in my twenties. I have no rationale for being a runaway.

     What I didn't know for a long time was that my condition of suffering psychosis was a nationwide epidemic and it was a natural property of ingesting psychedelia, which millions of baby boomers found throughout the country. My unnerving experience of becoming destitute and being out of touch were only a matter of course for millions of young people throughout the country.

     The reason I didn't know my experience with psychedelia was as widespread as it was, among my generation, was that the fact the news was a government cover-up. The government was trying to contain the prevalence of the syndrome by obscuring the facts of the matter from becoming public knowledge at the time. Government has interfered with many such things, vying for control.

     One speaks of an efficacy of material things, when I was caught up in the efficacy of something a lot more tangible by my way of reckoning than what was interacting with reality as a way of reasoning with my system of knowing life and death. What may have been tangible to others in my personal system of interacting and perceiving was not far afield from the reality of others.

     This was where the proverbial rubber met the road in my interactions with the world around me. I was told my problem was with my dealings with reality vs unreality, but I was usually close enough to the reality commonly accepted among my piers to cause confusion. My version of unreality was ordinarily close enough to common reality the common man couldn't differentiate it.

     My version of psychosis was just under the surface of my dealings with life. My reality was on target just often enough to confuse me with a healthy individual. There were those who had ethical problems with me, in that they believed me to be nothing more than misbehaving. They reasoned that I had enough control over my perceptions and behavior, I could simply choose to be healthy.

     On the other hand, there were times my coping skills became so unglued, it was unfortunate I was expected to live independently in the community with the remainder of humanity. Why that was is difficult for me to defend, except to know there were times my psychosis went over the top in dealing with the world around me. I was unable to interact with my disorder, much less resolve it.

     At this point I am incapable of giving you a rational argument for or against why I'm diagnosed psychotic, nor am I able to embody the disorder exactly enough to display the disorder for you. What I do know is I'm not prepared to hold down a job or generate a living in a first world sense and this is another part of the discussion I am unable to defend or embody for rational understanding.

     In the absence of independent resources, it is just this sort of incapacity which gets other peoples' sense of fair play going in the equation and any intelligent man is expected to go out and get a job to support himself like anyone else. Considering my psychosis, this continues to be an irrational expectation and there we have the conflict between the diagnosis and the understanding.

     The thing about this disorder of mine is that I teeter on the threshold of reality vs unreality more precariously than might ever meet the eye. Leveling expectations can do it. I might get put away some place where you can no longer see the disorder, as quickly as you can say Jack Robinson. I can be off
on one side of the disorder or the other, enough a person might not scarcely imagine it.

     Naturally imaginative and creative, but not in the slightest bit when you expect I will be, I am respectfully incapable of conforming to your expectations. There's something untamed about the way I happen to be. I'm trying to circumvent intersecting parameters here, but society would have me submit
to the absurdity of that gadget called a clock, it's compounded with a lot of expectations.

     With a chronic psychotic disorder working against me from age twenty at the very least, I squandered a lot of my life in the confines of the psych hospitals of the nation, scrambling to find what might be the various realities in the situations of life. There were moments in the unrealities I was living with in life which took up most of my life and times, in the consideration of things.

     Much of my perception of life was far too cryptic by my way of reasoning and much of my ongoing circumstances were too confusing for me to understand easily. Though witnessing a sort of story-line of the way life supposedly was, most of my scenarios were far too obtuse a construct in one form or another, to be a commonly shared reality, involving the other people around me.

     My mind was constructing societies out of the general population and the makings of what was my life in early adulthood became my mind's building blocks for unreality. It was small wonder I might be treated with a sensory deprivation chamber rather frequently throughout the many occasions of my psych hospitalizations. The efficacy of my unreality was substantial at those times.

     Using very common place things to make up uncommon concepts to my unreality's advantage, happens to be something my mind has always done to amuse itself. When in high school and younger, I was always able to compensate for the difference between my personal unreality and the things that
happen to be real around me, but by the time I was twenty I could no longer compensate.

     This mode of thought was not simply an idle pastime for me at those times, but would overwhelm my concept of what is, to the extent that I was believing fervently in what is not. My intelligence would get into full swing with things and stand to confound them all much further, but there were times I did not know what in the heck was what in my environment or situation.

     On occasion I've been able to interact with doctors and the like, with intelligence and wit, but to understand what was real vs unreal in the world, has been a difficult line for me to draw to the satisfaction of some. Now that I'm getting regular food and medication, and sleep is within limits, I'm
finally able to write and converse more rationally than is customary for a chronic psychotic.

     These are representations of some of the various intensities of psychosis, which substance abuse stood to lubricate as regularly as appealed to, until each of these phases of the pathological side of things was nearly unlivable. That I could not abide with some of the more debilitating gradations of a chronic psychosis never did reduce any intensity with the efficacy at my attempts at life.

     Continuing to attempt things would net continuing failure and there gets to be a self-esteem issue involved in this whole process. Sometimes the irrationality of my thinking became nearly impossible for me to bear. I would get to the point where I expected things to go a certain way, when they didn't go that way at all. When it got to being discharged from a hospital, I couldn't go.

     From early on in the full blown psychosis, there would be two of us who sat on the grass at the various hospitals we went to and be guitar heroes sitting on the grass. There were various other fellas, depending on which hospital we were in. We made music happen. We weren't any trend setting genius musicians in some limelight, we were flower children making whatever music we made.

     Such events were remarkable because we only sought to make whatever music we could, with whatever instruments we could get our hands on at the time. Nobody heard the music we played or knew our names, we just conquered our disorder for the brief amount of time we did, by doing what the multitudes of nameless, faceless longhairs did to make the world go round one more day.

     We were always two young men who had found it necessary to face our own demons in our own way and had found our own way to go on with basically hopeless lives, in whatever way we could manage. I paired up with one and another of the other longhairs of the institutions over my time at the various madhouses of the country. There was always some freak who would jam with me.

     This was the legacy of the guitar hero among the flower children of our times. We kept the eternal flame of the music of the times burning, by seeking to share it one more time. Mostly the guys played blues or funk, but I did a sort of neoclassic style which had nothing whatsoever to do with anything happening around me, except we were both keeping the eternal flame burning.

     It was clear I was involved in something different than those around me. Didn't make me better or worse than they were, it just made me noticeably different. I thrived on that difference. I stood out. Music school made it's impression on me, while the other guys got their impressions somewhere else. For one thing, my instrument was well tempered, however full of myself that detail was.

     A well tempered instrument was tuned according to the circle of fifths, which was a theoretical construct no one else seemed to understand, but it sounded better to me anyway. Considering I was doing some very theoretical music, I thought it helped to tune my guitar according to some far out idea I got from music theory. None of us got anywhere whatsoever, but we were entertained.

     It was really heavy, man. Guys like Clark, Wayne and others put up with some really heady stuff from the likes of me. Clark's gone now, taking his own life some time ago, somehow. He was thinking some sort of idea that just wouldn't leave him alone. He was like that when I knew him too, suffering from the workings of his own mind so profoundly he desperately needed relief.

     With the social upheaval of the 70s in full swing, the government struggled to calm down a raging inferno of issues in the confines of American Society. With modern communications and modern transportation being as greatly altered as never before, the government had no idea what changes to manipulate and what to leave alone in this rapidly changing, chaotic society.

     For instance, no one was prepared for people traveling with so much alacrity until almost suddenly. No one was prepared for people being able to communicate with such alacrity either. These factors alone were greatly unsettling in a hither-to-fore stagnant society, accustomed to living more on a face to face basis with a very few of the same people as contemporaries as accustomed.

     The country and the free world had dispatched the Germans and the Japanese, and the empires behind them, but to expedite by train was compounded by the newest usage of the airplane, for passenger travel as well as parcel post. Moreover, there were the military trained pilots to employ in the private sector and the railroad was summarily replaced by the alacrity of air traffic.

     Suddenly we had a worldwide community to consider, with cyberspace not far behind in the advancement of a new context for society and the act of gaining a mutual language and mutual customs soon became a global issue which begged to be on a lot of people's minds. Metaphysics began to beg a common ground for definition and religion soon became a new issue for all to consider.

     While travel was actually the initial cyberspace, the travel of sound was next, followed by the travel of the body. The horse was the earliest support for travel, then the telegraph and radio, then the railroad. There was a time when each one of these were cutting edge technology. The train combined the travel of sight, sound and person, so it is heralded as the first information highway.

     The blacksmith was the earliest form of information technologist, then there was the great railroad engineer. The mystery of the blacksmith shop was gradually uprooted by the auto and train mechanic and subsequent technologies gradually stole the show. In little more than one lifetime, the entire technologies of a global society have eradicated the small town as a context for living.

     Social Media platforms are becoming the local societies of global interaction and cyberspace is fast becoming the social venue of our times. Such is challenging the substance of our concept of reality itself and many find the rigors unmanageable. To unfriend people proves to be a better option than out and out contests of language, but it indicates an inability of individuals to reach agreement.

      There are compromises indicated in the latest, global, social environments, indicate there are certain resistances to the necessity of changes. It is a given that there are few absolutes in life and to insist upon compounding them with archaic notions only leads to irresolute discord. If you insist upon talking about God, it is recommended you agree with the rest of us that there is only one.

     If you continue to insist upon the construct that there is no god, you will have to settle that determination among yourselves. I have no perspective on that matter. The compounding of scientific information is moving at a greater rate than I have adjectives for describing it and the human ability to interact with our compounding of scientific capabilities is headed way far off the scale.

     You could have put Southern barley-corn and a little Lord-only-knows-what together to make it into a goodly little stew and the mixture was ever so filling to be had, not to mention entirely off-limits for a soul to eat. Getting caught pilfering a meager plateful, when you were starving, was when you were the most grateful to have had the least little something on your gullet to have eaten.

     It was such an endless time to either be out under the multitudinous stars with a thankless horse, or shut up in the confines of an abysmal house, where one might be burning the late night oil. One expended the little bit of wax of a meager candle, just to be reading a little bit of a book, or doing some other such close work at home, before wending one's way off to a thankless, crisp bed.

     At the very least, times seemed to be inexorable somehow, indecipherable between the War Between the States and the Ho Chi Minh Trail, though it was a hundred years difference between the two. The two shared racial issues and the brutality seemed to be the same. The hopes and dreams of a polarized nation seemed to have shared commensurate to those which were dashed.

     An entire world of hopes and dreams seemed pregnant with a thousand regrets, while an inevitable and thankless glory would plummet us all, ever forward. Wedded with similarities, the infamous fates were listed between the great Abraham and John F. The comparisons between two of them refused to grant them the tranquility of early graves. Sadness would follow them.

     It would seem those men's lives were nothing short of invaluable, while having no value in the overall scheme of things, of any sort whatsoever. Those were values measured in the times and tides of the immeasurable intensity leveled ever since. How much has the regret of history and its survivors, harked back to an imprint on the likes of it, where men such as these have been concerned?

     When it comes down to measuring a war's value, how many lives lost add up to the overall efficacy gained? Were it not for the War Between the States and the first World War, we would not have had the science of orthopedic medicine. Were it not for the Vietnam War and the climate of the times, we would not have psycho-pharmacology. Where does one draw an unclear line?

     Does one tell the parents of the dead coed at Kent State that we could gain much needed medical knowledge because of the youth and mindset of her life and times? How much nonsense does that statement make? There were certainly tragedies in every day and time and I was one to take stock of the ones in my own. There was no balm to be rendered for that day at that university.

     There was no small stir at the university where I was known to drop out, but that I found myself incapable of maintaining the slightest propriety the longer I was anywhere near campus, was indeed an understatement. One can only require so much tolerance from one person and enduring the world's shortcomings got too thin by the time I dropped electric chocolate and flipped out for certain.

     There were many times since then that I found it necessary to return to the White Room and the experience and issues involved on each occasion, were slightly different each time. I found myself entirely overwhelmed by the fixtures of my environment from time to time. That they gave me the same chemical each time never did change. It was a strong anti-psychotic to bring me back.

     My damaged mind would do all sorts of rebellion against whatever was going on at the time and my thinking generated its own worlds with their own rules and no one knew the way to get there or the way to get back. The medicine, in spite of its strength, was of little remedy for the delusion and the few there are who have had such experience can claim to have returned as much as I have.

     The depth of my knowing was far beyond all experience common to Modern Western man, in that my mind reverted to the simulation of death common to the ancient shaman of Northern Mexico. Psychedelic chemicals are known to simulate death and my experience was just exactly that. Having ingested just such a chemical, my knowing and existence were just that much disrupted.

     Being party to such rash experience, my whole life and all that was within me, was entirely disrupted and experiencing of an unnatural upheaval. It's impossible to characterize the fullest extent of how much the chemical I ingested disrupted my life and how much my perception was altered forever. To have tried to say it earlier than I have would have been an exercise in futility.

     There was a long time I was captive to a language scrambling state of great confusion in my life and have not been entirely capable of tending to my own affairs, by enlarge. First World culture had me down for the count more than once and I nearly did not survive long enough to make it into Lifetime Care, where I need to be for the entire process of my care, as seen to by others.

     This affinity for articulation is only a novel development in a harrowing existence and stands to express the efficacy of my futility in communication, as I experience it otherwise. I had deteriorated to being entirely mute and articulation was well beyond me for a time. As it is, I check my sentences for a roundness of cadence and balance and know few other things about the way I write.

     That I can write with as much where-with-all as I have managed to do, I'll leave partially to serendipity, having learned a goodly amount about the language prior to the advent of my very palpable illness. I've also done a lot of reading somewhere along the line. In fact, my presence on the page as an author, amounts to a combination of those things and a lot of concentrated rehearsal.

     It's beyond me to characterize how the people around me could not accept my presence or behavior in the midst of their community. It's not that I'm a criminal, but that I was otherwise socially unacceptable in the community at large. What I was did that I should not have done, I cannot rightly say, but that I needed to seek asylum was a certainty I could not have circumvented.

     The remedy I claim for having gone as far into those worlds of mine as I've gone and still been able to return to the living, is I've known a strength and hope like few others have known, in that my faith has been especially effective. I've hoped when there was no hope and was strong when weakness would have otherwise overwhelmed me. This measure was granted me by the Almighty.

     Engulfed the way I am, enclosed in a modest nine by nine, where nothing means anything to anyone, in that there is positively nothing required. Decorated by modest cinder block and mortar, enclosed securely within an impregnability. One might as well be resigned to be whom they happen to be, because there's absolutely no one to be available of taking one on in a place like this.

     There is nothing of any meaning around this vainglorious place, except for an occasional footfall on the far side of the locked door every now and then. Most of the words one hears are muffled and void of context. There is no such thing as time here and the concept of being located in anything like time or place is equally as irrelevant as all other matters of location or identification.

     There is an old mattress on the cement floor and a radiator by the window which opens on a cement lot, enclosed by old brick walls all round. They brought Hockenschmidt in this way. The radiator is cold, in spite of cold weather out. This is sensory deprivation, designed for the most acute psychosis, who could make anything out of nothing which is not happening around them.

     One of the deepest psychoses I had was once I went somewhere in my mind and physically tried to blow up the TV with my head. They strapped me to a jury chair next to the TV all day and I couldn't see the screen. My mind made things out of the programming, until I was to distraction. Finally cutting me out of the chair, they put me in mitts all night, so my eyes were safe.

     They put me in sensory deprivation, because I was psychotic after all day. The psych people don't understand very much about psychosis or schizophrenia yet. They don't understand much more about manic depression. They keep feeding what they want to defuse. It's the counter productive stuff they do that's confusing. They really ought to project clearer messages with their tasks.

     One time I had a psychotic story line going whenever I was a patient in some hospital somewhere. Been in so many hospitals here and there, it's hard to say where the place might have been. It turned out to be an idea of data entry clerks keying in 0 and 1 the most quickly. I don't recall the upshot of it more than that, but I was intent upon that much. It was very intense.

     There was this guy who was having simultaneous thoughts with me. He would think something and I would spontaneously say it without being prompted to do so. It was clearly a magical moment. The guy called himself Jeremiah. I still remember him. It was a very heavy moment to be in a hospital with Jeremiah.

     Soon, they transferred me away, in a maximum security paddy wagon.

     They treated me like I was gold and transferred me in an armored car.
Yes, memory is a wonderful repose, because I embrace all the grand and glorious things that have happened to me. When anything that was once is considered to have been a wonderful experience to have known and have experienced, it is a great privilege to have known. Even the most regretful things have taught me a great deal and are therefore glorious things to have known.

     It has been confusing to have been both reality and unreality, in a greater sense of innocence in this world. None of us has been quite certain what things we wanted until they truly existed in all reality and unreality. That my words and activities have defined the existence around me have been a source of conflict and confusion, to the being and experience of my contemporaries.

     That reality and unreality actually do exist hand in glove, are more of a given in this world and in the next, than we can truly embrace in one lifetime and in one and the same existence. If we are to truly embrace all there is in the spectrum of things, we must first forswear that true opposites, that the most stark polarities in this life are in fact actualities in this existence and in the next.

     This is the essence of the concept of unreality in the first place, that the opposite of existence does non-exist at the same moment that existence does, that what is unreal does exist, equal and opposite to reality, at the same moment reality does. This conflict in terms confounds the process of thought and language, but must be considered because it, itself is a version of reality.

     This is why contemplating nonexistence is not a valid supposition, in that striving to imagine one's nonexistence exists as a natural presupposition of existence in the first place. To negate one's existence of living this life, or making a double negative in this world, or a non-negative of existence, which is more of an absurdity than the initial negative of existence was in the first place.

     It only makes good sense to embrace the reality of one's existence wholly and completely, because existence has been foreordained and therefore can only be embraced out of all rational considerations and possibilities of what can or might be. The fact is that we do exist and that our non-existence already exists and therefore we ought fully embrace the framework of whom we might be.

     Every possible decision and choice we are faced with in this life, is made and chosen by some form or permutation of ourselves, in the spectrum of all existence and all of ourselves, who live every permutation of all the things, which might happen to us in the spectrum of things. This is the greater reality which each one of us must face to fully become the person we ultimately are in life.

     When we make choices in life, we are actually admitting that a possible response to a stimulus is viable and therefore real, out of the many stimuli to be considered rather than ignored in this life. Such decisions make other decisions of a similar nature viable and real in a spectrum of this life and all of ourselves must consider all of those things as possibilities in the future of all our choices.



George S Geisinger


Since the onset of the cultural upheaval of the 1970s, I've struggled with the grave emotional and mental disorders of life, which perpetuated themselves. Managing to get the upper hand on what could easily have claimed my life, it is a struggle which defines me. The strength of faith and hope in one who is far greater than I can ever claim to be, carried me long into recovery.

To have taken on writing in recent years as a sort of spiritual imperative, I have spent much of myself documenting an uncommon lifetime rejuvenation, surviving the throes of multiple disorders characteristic of my generation and my times. It does not seem unlikely to seek redemption in making multiple records of my struggles, as one of the few who have managed survived this process.

I have dared take the road less traveled bye and find a more healthy world to occupy far and beyond my wildest dreams in recovery. Now that I have ventured through a greater, more multifaceted reality than ever before, I have a creative settlement to offer our society at large.

You can pick up some more of George's work here: 




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