Ten years ago I woke up in the psych ward with the belief that I was the second coming of Jesus Christ. Two days prior I wrote this crying for help to my mom coming clean about everything in the months and weeks leading up to that day. I have not shared this letter with anyone else in the last ten years.

I would be diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder in the coming weeks.

Only God knows what life would have become if I never reached out so desperately for help. Here is my cry for help…


Subj:  I am truly sorry…

Date: 10/22/2008 9:22:30 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

From: helbling.4@osu.edu

To: patbling@aol.com


I only sent this to you for now. I will leave it up to you for who you should share this with. I’d like for Aaron, Dad, Mike, and anyone else that you know who has really been worried about me. Please only share it with Dad and Aaron for now. I need time to be able to talk and now I need to get caught up with school. I will talk to you tomorrow.

I love you more than you can ever imagine. Please tell dad that I love him too. Please don’t be scared of the first half. Just keep on reading. Trust me. Don’t call me at any point. Just read it. Call me tomorrow. I attached the file as a word document so that you can print it off and read it. I would not read this on the computer. The title is for me. If I feel myself getting off track, I will read this letter.




To my true friends and my family,

If you are reading this letter please do not share this with anyone. You are only reading this letter because I trust you and love you. Please. THIS WAS ONLY THESE PAST FEW WEEKS. I know that I previously had a smoking problem but I do not want this part of my life to be heard by anyone. Only a few of my close friends know the entire story.

I have obviously not been myself these last few weeks. I actually can say that I have not been myself since the end of Freshmen year. In the last few days, I finally realized that I have a problem. But honestly, I have changed back into the person that I was before Freshman year.

These last few weeks have not involved just weed. It all started when I got a sinus infection and a terrible cough. I went to the doctor and was prescribed codeine. I NEVER have abused or used any drug besides marijuana before this. I planned on keeping it that way. Well, a friend was at my place who loves Codeine. I actually used to list this drug as an allergy but this time I thought it would be nice to try it. We took a little more than the prescribed dose and honestly, I felt great. Too good. The next day we still had half the bottle left. I was incredibly sick, and was going to sit at home regardless, so why not? We finished the bottle. By taking more I felt even better than the first time. Codeine, as I found out, is very addictive. I found myself calling the doctor and explaining to her that I spilled the bottle and wondered if there was anything she could do. She refilled it…

This time around it was exciting. Yes! More codeine! My friend told me that if you soak blunts in Codeine you feel even better. Well since we were smoking anyways, why would it hurt to try? They say that marijuana is only addictive amongst 8-9% of its users (l am one of them). When you start dipping blunts in codeine it becomes 100% addictive. I’m guessing you can tell where it went from here.

So, it didn’t end there. The feeling I had was able to block out reality. I told my teachers that my sinus infection was actually pneumonia. It worked with all of them. They told me to take as much time as possible to rest and get better. Every teacher was willing to allow me to make up all my work later. Some even just said forget about it and made my first day of school this past Monday.

So here is what happened. I knew that I could not get anymore Codeine. The doctor told me before that she could only allow 1 refill. I eventually found access to my friend’s muscle relaxers (also addicting). Another time it was Vicodin. One time Percocet. Even on the houseboat trip access to Vicodin. I did not hesitate to go to the hospital when my friend sprained his ankle so I could get some painkillers.  Even after that wore off I was able to find some from someone on the trip.

When I came back from the trip I still was not ready to go back to class. I had to play out the pneumonia card and sit at home.

So, what’s next? Another friend started staying with me who was definitely into smoking and drugs. That first night I ended up tripping on Acid. Something that l, as my normal self, even as my normal high self, would never try. I was deathly afraid of it before, but I took it. An acid trip, as I found out lasts 12 hours, and is the most ridiculous thing ever. Honestly, I enjoyed it too much. I thought that I solved the mystery of life. The next day when I woke up (probably right before dark). I felt better than I had ever felt in my life. So what now? More smoking… and smoking… and smoking.

I continued to search for acid for the next week. I needed to finish everything that I wanted to do while on acid (play Grand Theft Auto 4 for example). I never was able to get it. Thank God! But I did find mushrooms a couple of times. One time I even just took them and went to bed. I think that I forgot why I took them.

So here is when everything started to turn around. It’s really kind of crazy. I was out this past weekend. I honestly cannot remember the day. A friend called me up and asked me if I wanted to try cocaine. I would never in my life want to try cocaine. There is only one person in this world that I have ever despised and it was partly because of coke.

When my friend called me I honestly in my head said no way. For some reason, I just went over there and did it. I really just felt like I was like a magnet. I was not excited about it but I wasn’t scared and had no thoughts telling me not to. I just did it This was my friend so it had to be safe. He’d done it before so why not?

I hated cocaine. I hated the fact that my teeth were numb and I had to constantly smoke Black and Mild’s because

I needed to chew on something and smoke something. I made a theory that coke led to the success of Black and Milds. I have taken Adderall in the past. I had a prescription last spring quarter (that was why I was able to quit smoking for a while and be productive). Coke felt very similar to Adderall. The only difference was that I constantly was picking shit out of my nose and was constantly wanting to do more. I did not do an extreme amount because there was not much. I just needed more. Once it ran out it was over. I hated it the entire time I was on it (even though I wanted more). Something that addicting is very scary. The next day I had no cravings for coke or anything. It was actually the exact opposite.

For some reason, this finally set an alarm off in my mind. WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO THE LAST FEW WEEKS? I’ve got a big screen TV in my living room. I remember doing these things but I could not tell you on what day. I was SOOOOOOOO fucked up. I was not Adam. I was not myself. I found out what drugs can do to you. They say marijuana is a gateway drug. Well, it took a long time for that door to open… but when it opened I had a hard time getting out. I never once tried to get out. My roommates (who I love) could not tell me anything. I always had a reason for why it was okay.

On this day I woke up from a 3-week nightmare. I hit rock bottom. I found that was what it took to get me to stop. But that didn’t stop the weed. I still thought that was okay because I’ve smoked it for the past 2 years.

I just stressed out about the whole situation. My mind was still a mess so it was hard for me to process what happened yet. On Sunday I had a midterm the next day. I had not been to class in weeks. I did not even buy my books. This was for Mechanical Engineering 420. A class that you probably should keep up on. I had to find Adderall because I was screwed. I found a 30 mg from a friend. I ended up calling him back and telling him I needed another just in case. I decided it was a good idea to smoke before I go study. I smoked a ridiculous amount with a group of my good friends. I then left and went to my cousin’s house where I was alone to study. I arrived there around 9 PM and the test was at 8:30 AM. I never at one moment thought I was screwed. I walked to the front door. Turned the key. The alarm went off. The most ridiculous alarm I had ever heard. I forgot the code because I could not remember anything. The security company calls. I answer and tell them it was my cousin. They can’t believe me because I don’t know the code. They send the police. I get ahold of my cousin. I am 100% calm. I get a little break from studying.

I finally got ahold of my cousins and turned off the alarm. By this time it was 10:30 PM. I go and sit down to study.

I studied for 8 hours straight. No lie. I did not stop. I knew the material front and back by the time I was done at 7:30 AM. I took an Adderall before I left so that I would not crash during the test. I went back to campus as calm as can be. I was making up the midterm so I had to sit in with a TA. When started the test my pencil did not stop moving. Then all of the sudden my mind went blank. I knew how to solve the problems but I needed the formulas. They were all out of my memory. Slowly they would come back to me one by one. Then time was up. The TA asked me for my exam. I told him that I just needed a few more minutes. He said okay. Time up. A few more… Time is up. “Please, I have had pneumonia over the last few weeks. I taught this course to myself this past weekend. Don’t you think that it is unfair that the professor believes I should make up the test the day after the rest of the class?” It worked. He told me to take all the time I need. I started asking some questions, telling him I pulled an all-nighter and my brain was shutting down. If I had the formulas I could solve the problems. He actually helped me out. Somehow I remembered how to do the problems again. I finished the entire exam. This is something very rare to do in this class. This obviously was very unfair to me (considering that the pneumonia was a huge lie since I was sick for a few days I thought it was okay to make this lie).

I left the test and I couldn’t believe what I just pulled off I had 60mg of Adderall in my system. The dosage that I took last year was 10mg. Adderall causes you to become euphoric (extremely excited about life) and then all the sudden you hate everything. I loved life for a while. I skipped my classes before work because I just aced an exam.

I went to work. I started to analyze everything. Eventually, I started to analyze myself. I wrote an email to my entire family about my life at school and asked them for advice on my future. The email mentioned nothing about drugs… I told them I was happier and better than ever. The rest of the email was true but I cannot say that I agree with everything I said. I was too overconfident. I was in an incredibly euphoric state. You cannot stop typing because you do not doubt anything that you say. I sent them an email that was incredibly long. It was excellent. My brain was working at 100%. I am not lying when I tell you that I pressed spell check and nothing happened.

I was scheduled to work from 2:30 PM to 5 PM when they closed. I ended up leaving at 7:30. I had to write a letter to my work explaining how much I enjoy working there. I really do and everything I said was exactly what I would say sober. It really made the entire office happy this week. Anyways, I would have been there a little longer but my friend that works there sent me home. “Go to bed dude…” I went home. When I got home I had way too much to talk about. I went into my friend’s room where they were smoking the Volcano (it’s a vaporizer that they prescribe to medicinal patients that has no smoke and no carcinogens, only THC). I was so excited to smoke. The weed only made my mind start working more.

I went downstairs where my best friend was sitting on the couch. I had to tell him everything. I was annoying the hell out of everyone upstairs and I needed to talk. Kyle would listen. When I saw him I started thinking about marijuana. Then I started thinking about myself. Then I started thinking about the last 2 years of my life. It all clicked. All at once. I realized what I had done. I finally saw myself from your perspective. I started talking to Kyle. Everything I had to say was exactly right. I knew finally that marijuana drastically affected my life.

I could not stop thinking about all the ways my life was affected. I realized that I thought marijuana was a miracle drug and that it could only make everything better. I’d make excuses. I would say that it’s okay that I smoke because I’m doing good in school and I have a lot of very prestigious things on my resume. I would say that I’m in Sphinx. I’m okay. Kyle told me that he tried to tell me this a thousand times. Eventually, Kyle told me that he had not seen me see this clearly since my freshman year. That was all I needed to hear. All I wanted to be was the person that I used to be. I started thinking about how I was affecting my family. I started to break down crying. I thought of everything… If there was something that bothered you about me then I thought of it. Then I looked at the 50-inch television. I finally realized what I had done. The credit cards finally meant something to me. I eventually calmed down a little bit. I came back into a euphoric state. I wanted to change my life. I wanted to be the person that I really am. The person that you all have not seen since my Freshman year of college.

I called my friend Vicki and explained to her that I was going to change my life around. I was so excited to tell her everything. I knew that she could tell that there is a different person inside of me. Eventually, I decided to go to bed. I went upstairs and talked to Kyle. I told him that this was a new beginning. He knew that I was 100% serious. I could tell. I went to bed.

The problem was that I took 60mg of Adderall… I laid there till 1 AM but could not sleep. My mind was still racing. I sat there for 8 hours analyzing my life. At 7 AM I started to cry. I thought again about the credit cards and how I was completely screwed. I called my mom without hesitation and told her. I knew that it had to be done. I can’t remember what I said because I was such an emotional wreck. I do know that I mentioned nothing about drugs, only Adderall and marijuana. I felt absolutely terrible.

I gave up on sleeping. I had to start getting my life back together. I had not slept since I0 AM on Sunday. It was now 11 AM on Tuesday. I went upstairs to Kyle’s room. He was studying but he would never have sent me away. I told him that I called my mom. My mom told me to write down everything that I needed to pay for. I wrote this with Kyle because it was hard for me to think. The list went on and on…

I went to my recitation. Not to get the grade but rather to thank my TA. It ended up being a different TA. I was

stuck there trying to do a problem that I had no idea about. I asked the TA for help. He would tell me something and then I would forget it again and again. Somehow I finished the problem. I went to the bank. I had to straighten some things out and get some advice. I came home and tried to sleep. I told my work that I still had not slept. They told me not to come in. I eventually had to come in. They did not understand how seriously drained I was. When I got to work it took 30 minutes before someone was there to cover for me. They told me to get some rest and thanked me for the letter I wrote.

When I got home I tried to sleep. I soon found myself printing off my credit report. I knew what I had owed so it was no surprise to me. I printed it off, 3 hole punched it, and put it in a binder. My mom called again. I told her what I did and that I had not slept yet. I saw that my dad was calling. I was scared out of my mind. I broke down again. They knew that I had to make some serious changes in my life. They had known for a long time. I talked to them until Kyle walked in the door. I had told my parents I was waiting for him. I needed someone to talk to.

“That was intense,” I said. “l really have to make some serious changes.” We just sat there in silence for a while. He took me and bought me food. This was the first time I had eaten anything since Sunday. I finally had an appetite. We came back and sat in silence in the living room. This was the first time I had sat down there and talked to someone without a TV on in a very long time. It was a nice change. We didn’t really talk much. We just enjoyed the silence.

I eventually told Kyle I was going to try to go to bed. Kyle told me to take a shower. Afterward, I felt incredibly relaxed. I was ready to fall asleep. It was like a mission to me. I found out that looking at sleeping as a goal makes it much harder to fall asleep. I tried to sleep but my mind was still racing. I went upstairs. I sat down in a chair in Kyle’s room and told him that I needed help sleeping. I needed advice. I realized that I did not know how to relax. I then realized that was why I started smoking marijuana in the first place.

Kyle told me about a meditation tape he had. He started playing it. I listened to it while sitting in the chair. Everything that the guy on the tape said made so much sense. It was exactly how everyone should think. I went downstairs to get a blank cd so I could listen to it in my bed. I realized on the way down that I was running. I then realized that I always ran up and down the stairs. I asked myself, “Why?” On the way up I walked. I realized how much more relaxing that can be.

Kyle burned the CD and I went to bed. I listened very closely but it was hard for me to comprehend things because I was so tired. Kyle told me that if I do not fall asleep in a half hour then he will be very surprised. I fell asleep midway through the tape.

I woke up this morning at 8 AM. I put on the tape again. I wanted to practice. I knew that this was what I needed. I needed to clear my head of all the stray thoughts that I had. My mind has always wandered and I have always had trouble sleeping. Another reason why I religiously smoked marijuana.

I could not fall back asleep. I missed my classes because I knew my body still needed rest. I knew that this was more important than class. By noon I could not sleep. The meditation tape says to practice morning, noon, and night. I put it on and listened to the entire thing again.

I talked with Friedman. It was almost like I was talking with a different person. I would talk and then he would talk. It has always been that we are talking over each other. I put my Penn State tickets on eBay.

I was about to go eat lunch when my dad called. He gave me a lot of great advice. He would talk and I would listen. Then I would talk and he would listen. My mind had not been able to stay so focused. The meditation was working. He then told me something that I had not thought of yet. My mom was planning on remodeling our kitchen this summer. With the amount of money she gave to me she no longer had anything left. I felt absolutely terrible. I knew that I had to somehow get this money to her.

I went to Noodle’s and Company and ordered the first meal I saw. I wanted to try something new. Over the last year, I had only ordered two different meals and I go there religiously. I decided to take it to go. I went to a bench outside of Halloran where I lived Freshman year. I stared at the building as I ate my food. I realized that I had never felt happier in my entire life. I knew that my life was going to change.

I’m sitting here now with the list of things. This includes people that I have to apologize to. Eventually, I started to write down a few ideas that I had. The first I thought of while I was at Noodles and Company. When I pressed the water button it made some buzzing sound. I asked the cashier if it should be like that. She told no, it’s just messed up. I then thought that this could be used to alert cashier’s that customers are stealing pop when they order water. I wrote it down right away. I called my uncle Vince without hesitation but talked to my Aunt Sharon. I told her the idea and she really liked it. I told her I think of things like this all the time. I just never write them down. I only dream and never act on them. I just don’t know how.

When I was sitting at Halloran I started thinking about an idea I had while on Adderall. It was for a place where students can talk to other students about stress. I thought of the idea after talking to a student who called the Student Wellness Center. He was looking for someone to talk to about stress. I told him that I have had very bad problems with stress myself. I eventually could hear the difference in his voice. I gave him some advice as for where to get help. I told him about my experiences with those places. I wished him luck and told him not to stress. There is no reason to live your life stressed out.

I started thinking about the logistics of the whole thing. I thought that there should be a building you can go to where it is absolutely anonymous. Say that you set up the entrance where no one can see you walk in. No check-in. Nothing. You go into a room and there are doors surrounding you. Each door has a different title. Stress, anxiety, depression, drugs, alcohol, the list can go on and on. Inside each of these doors are other students who have chosen the same door. They can talk to each other or just sit there and listen to others talk. This would help people realize what their actual problems are. I know firsthand that it is hard to differentiate between depression and anxiety.

I then thought that this idea can be duplicated to student interests. Each door lists an interest: computers, swimming, skiing, etc. The interests can be changed throughout as the students can link their Facebook interests to their list of interests. They then receive a calendar with times that the room is available for their interest. There are over 800 student organizations on campus. Just from my experience with the Water Ski Team, I have seen how people can easily be discouraged by things like drinking. This would be for students who want to talk to others who share serious common interests. People who actually love what they are coming for. I am going to sit down sometime and write down every business idea that I have had. When you smoke all the time you have a lot of great ideas. You just don’t really follow through with anything…

So this is where I am today. I wrote this email in two and a half hours. I put it into Word and it is just over 12 pages when double-spaced. Like I said before with Adderall when you do not doubt what you are saying, it is hard to stop typing. My mind is clear. It really has never been this clear in my life. I finally have a good head on my shoulders again. I promise to all of you that I am going to change drastically. I am going to fix everything on this list I created. I currently have 42 items written down. I have been crossing things off all day. I have created major goals for myself. I have already started to prioritize them. I will keep you posted as to what I accomplish.

I love you all!



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