To say that Scott Stapp has been a human disaster the past few years would be an understatement. But the former frontman of Creed spoke to Rolling Stone to open up about how he’s been actively taking steps to reform his life while recovering from alcohol and drug abuse, bipolar disorder, and the “manic psychosis” that ruined his reputation.
To put it bluntly, if you’re one of those people who has poked a good deal of fun at Stapp’s breakdown (me included) because he was the lead singer of a Christian rock band who imagined himself in messiah-like roles, then this interview will make you feel a bit guilty. Scott Stapp has been through the ringer, and it was all in public. His downturn began, oddly enough, just as Creed became huge in the late 1990s. In 1998, he first started turning to alcohol to “self-medicate”:
At the time, I just wanted to feel normal. For a period of time, self-medicating works. But, like it always does, it always ends up with a crash.
And crash he did. In the following years, Stapp battled mental illness while maintaining the appearance of a hard-partying rock star with a booze and drug-filled lifestyle. You know, like any normal rock star. But as he describes it, he was suffering and in pain, but no one could tell:
It’s hard to understand, in my opinion, a disease that you can’t see physically. There’s no cast. There’s no wheelchair, but it is debilitating. It can destroy your life because it’s hard to understand. I spent a lot of time in dark depressions, and that can be misunderstood by your friends and people around you. I definitely suffered the consequences that most people battling a mental illness suffer.
By 2010, however, Stapp had started turning things around and got off of the drugs and alcohol. But then he started getting prescription treatment for his bipolar disorder — as well as his own unprescribed treatment. And that’s when things went, um, wacky. He started talking about politics on TV. He talked about politics (and Trayvon Martin) online. He said he was not on drugs while he was definitely on drugs. Then he was placed in an involuntary psychiatric hold after threatening to kill President Obama and calling his son’s school to say that he’d “uncovered that the core of ISIS is within [his] own family.”
It was a hell of a downfall, and it really looked like Stapp was not going to come back from it. But going by this interview, in which he discusses all of the behavior above, it sounds like Stapp — who has reunited with his wife after they separated — is pretty humbled by the whole thing and just trying to do the best he can to live his life.
…[A]fter receiving treatment in the MusiCares program through the Grammy association, they guided me to a dual-diagnosis facility. That’s when my recovery began. That’s when we really began to get answers on what happened, why it happened and what we needed to do moving forward. …
I’m definitely taking steps every day to ensure that I stay healthy, to ensure I stay in the right mental frame of mind, and to ensure that I stay sober. I’m actively in a 12-step program. I exercise and work out every day. I eat a healthy diet. And I absolutely go one day at a time, man.
And yeah, he’s appearing on VH1’s Couples Theory with his wife, which seems like the last thing he should be doing in public, but give Scott Stapp a break. He probably needs the money.
Godspeed, Scott Stapp!
(via Rolling Stone)