Scott Stapp began his 22-year career as lead vocalist and founding member of the multiplatinum alternative rock band, Creed. Despite a thriving career during the late 90s and early 2000s, Stapp’s life took a downward spiral that ultimately left him homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol. The media coverage was massive during both of these significant periods in his life, and as Stapp admits, he “went off the deep end for awhile.”
After hitting such a low point in his life, and upon receiving a bipolar diagnosis, Stapp has been able to recreate himself into a stronger, more faith-based family man, and his honesty about it all is a truly refreshing story that must be told…
You have had an amazing career, one that many dream of, but you’ve also had some very tough times as well. You seem to have gotten through it and have become a better man, which is very admirable. What do you want people to know about the man behind the headlines? How were you able to overcome such adversity?
I think I would want to be known as a survivor. When I sit and look back at my life, my childhood, where I’ve came from, and where my life has taken me, it hasn’t been easy. It seems like it was a series of obstacles, one after another. All of which could have easily sent my life’s course in a completely different direction. I definitely think I am a survivor.
How were you able to overcome all of those obstacles?
[It was through] the love and support that have been given to me by my wife and family. When you’re broken and shattered into a million different pieces, there are times you need to be carried, and my wife has been that rock for me. She carried our entire family when I couldn’t. I’ve always been blessed with strong friendships and a strong support system and they, too, have helped carry me through those difficult, challenging times in my life. But in all honesty, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without my wife.
I recently watched the new season of “Couples Therapy,” and was surprised to see you and your wife on it. It must have been very difficult speaking so publically about such personal struggles.
It was probably one of the most difficult experiences of our lives, but we felt it was necessary to go that route because of my personal crises last year. I put our family out there. This gave us an opportunity to tell our story and tie things up and let people know we are fighting through it. We have real problems just like everyone else. We are fighting for our love, fighting for our marriage, and fighting for our family. That is the greatest example we can leave for our children. It hasn’t been easy for her trying to hold it all together. That’s been a big motivation for both of us.
“We are fighting for our love, fighting for our marriage, and fighting for our family. That is the greatest example we can leave for our children.”
In the show you talked a lot about being a Christian; what role has God played in your recovery?
The most important role. It’s the foundation of our marriage – the glue that holds us together and guides our lives. It’s been critical for our relationship to have that faith in God and that faith in Christ in common. We will both tell you that without that we wouldn’t have made it this far. I’ll be honest with you, during a couple of those low points, I asked, “God, why me?” I got into that victim mentality and really felt like why did I have to have bipolar? Why do I have to deal with this? Thank God for my wife to help point me in the right direction and get me back in line spiritually and change my force. That is what we do – we are accountable to each other, not only personally but also spiritually, and that’s been so important to our marriage.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned through all of this?
That is a good question. There have been so many [things], so I am trying to pick the key ones. I think the greatest lesson has been to let go of control, and I mean that in every area of my life. It seemed that I was trying to control things, either what I was putting into my body or what I was not putting into my body in terms of my addiction. By letting go of control, I am able to stay in the present.
Acceptance has been another big lesson that I’ve learned – that I can’t worry about the mistakes I have made nor about the ones I may make in the future. I have to be present in the now and accept life on life’s terms. I’ve got to take it one day at a time.
What is something you wish you could tell your younger self?
I would tell myself that life is not a party… and not to take things for granted.
What was the turning point in your career? When did you know that you made it?
I think when the fourth single on my first album hit number one and at the same time Creed moved to arenas. That is when I realized I made it.
That must have been an incredible feeling.
It was surreal; those are the moments I will never forget.
What did your time off teach you?
I did a lot of soul searching and worked really hard on myself, medically and spiritually. During that time I had moments where I realized how much I love what I do and how thankful and grateful I am to have the opportunity to do what I love.
If you had to do it all over again, would you still choose this career?
Absolutely, without a doubt.