After spending years at rock bottom, Scott Stapp is grateful to have finally reached a “Higher” ground.
The former Creed frontman opened up about his personal upheaval and new outlook in a recent sit-down with Access Hollywood guest correspondent Scott Evans, first touching upon the dark struggle he endured with both substance abuse and mental illness that led to the group breaking up in 2004.
His problems continued after Creed disbanded, Stapp said, and culminated in a near-death experience.
“I’d been battling, trying to get sober since November 18, 2006,” Stapp said, citing the specific date as one he remembers for a profound reason.
“I almost died that day,” he explained.
“I fell off the penthouse floor of the Delano hotel in South Beach, Miami,” Stapp said. “I could have fallen 16 floors to my death, but [instead] I landed on a ledge 40 feet down.”
The rocker sustained serious injuries, including a fractured skull and broken hip. His life may have been spared, however, when rapper T.I. discovered him before his condition crossed a point of no return.
“It’s a small world, isn’t it?” Stapp mused of his rescue.
The singer said his physical recovery from the incident was grueling. He explained he couldn’t walk for “10 or 11 months,” but the slow process gave the rocker an opportunity to make an important decision.
“I knew right there that changes had to be made,” he said. “But I didn’t understand what a hold that the disease of alcoholism and addiction can have.”
He went on to describe his fluctuating patterns of drug and alcohol use in subsequent years, calling himself a “binger” who would stay clean for “six months, three months” before succumbing to destructive habits once again.
Feeling helpless, along with “tremendous remorse, guilt and shame” over his behavior, Stapp only spiraled further.
In 2014, Stapp said he was “so detached from reality” that his wife, Jaclyn, took drastic action.
In a now-infamous video shared at the time, Stapp claimed he was penniless and living out of his truck. Most troubling, perhaps, were his claims that Jaclyn had reported to police that Stapp believed he was part of the CIA and had made threatening remarks about President Obama.
While the memory is a difficult one, Stapp said his confessional gave both Jaclyn and his medical team “a clearer picture of what was really going on.”
Ultimately, the musician’s doctors discovered he was bipolar.
“When it finally sunk in, it was…’Thank you,'” Stapp said of the diagnosis. “That’s when the acceptance process began.”
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