My memoir, “Well… I Guess I’m Not Jesus” helps you look at your own life to ask the question, “What exactly is my purpose on this earth?”
Losing both my mind and body to bipolar disorder and a spinal cord injury, my story of redemption resonates strongly with all audiences.
I have lived through depression, drug abuse, losing my mind and body, and overcoming adversity… Now I will help you get through it.
The first signs of bipolar disorder came for me when I was in the sixth grade and I was severely depressed for 2 to 3 months. I had terrible periods of depression like this throughout middle school, high school, and college. It was always wrongly diagnosed as depression. Manic lows with bipolar disorder usually come out early in your life and the highs usually come out in your early to mid 20s.
During my first manic high in 2008, I stayed awake for six days straight and I had a psychotic break. I suffered from delusions of grandeur where I truly believed that I was the second coming of Jesus Christ for 2 1/2 weeks in the psych ward at Akron General. I was put on medications and took them religiously.
In January 2011 I went off my medications for just five days. The delusions came back and ultimately resulted in a car accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down.
There is so much stigma with mental health. In my presentations I show how misunderstood the disorder is. I also show that with proper treatment and the right medications you can go on to live a very fulfilling life. I also show how severe the consequences can be without treatment.
Marijuana & Drug Abuse
A sign of a manic phase is excessive drug use. In the months leading up to my mental breakdown, I started to experiment with hard drugs. After I took one drug, it created a mindset where I did not care about what I put into my body. I know firsthand how easy it is for drugs to take over your life.
It all started with smoking marijuana as a way to self medicate. During a long period of depression during my sophomore year of college, it seemed like was the easiest way out. It was not until after my accident that I realized how negatively marijuana affected my life. I accomplished so much during my first year in college before I started smoking. I now realize how it affected friendships and my relationship with my family.
Marijuana is especially dangerous when you have a mental health disorder. Many people do not understand that marijuana can lead to psychosis with these disorders. People need to know there are other ways to deal with stress. Marijuana seems like an easy way out, but during my presentations I show people how negatively it affected my life.
The first year after my accident was the worst year of my life. I thought my life was over, but little did I know how far I would come.
Today, it’s impossible to fathom being happier. I promised myself a long time ago, that I would always be happy, even if I could never walk again. Now, I truly cannot remember the last bad day I’ve had. I am so thankful for everything in my life and I do not take anything for granted.
My mission is to change one life at a time and in doing so, I have found that the best way to help yourself is to help others.
I want to help people realize their true purpose and understand that life’s obstacles cannot prevent them from achieving great things. We all face challenges in our lives, but without facing adversity we never learn what we are truly made of.
I have a C6/C7 spinal cord injury and I am a quadriplegic. If you could ask me what I miss more than anything it would be not having my independence. I need help getting into bed at night, dressing, and out of bed in the morning. My life has changed drastically since January 2011, but eventually it became my new normal.
Having lost both my mind and my body, I would much rather have my mind. I believe that the mind is much more powerful than the body. Of course I can’t do all of the physical things that I used to do like walk or run. I have had to say goodbye to my greatest physical passions. A few months before my accident I led the Ohio State Waterski Team to a National Championship.
I no longer think about the physical things that I am missing out on. Most audiences that I speak to are filled with able-bodied individuals. I challenge people to live their life like I would if I were given just one more day to walk again. I take nothing for granted and I want people to leave my speeches realizing how much they have to live for.
Adam in the News
“Well… I Guess I’m Not Jesus” is a true story by Adam Helbling. His book focuses on his struggles with both bipolar disorder and a life-altering spinal cord injury. Due to an underlying mental illness, he battled drug abuse and ultimately ended up in the psych ward believing he was Jesus Christ.
Just two years after his first manic episode, at the age of 23, he helped lead the Ohio State Waterski Team to a National Title. Three months later he died in a horrific car accident fueled by a second manic episode, but it wasn’t over as he was revived at the scene. He suffered a serious spinal cord injury and was left paralyzed from the chest down.
This book includes a unique message and perspective for the audience. Readers will find this to be a one-of-a-kind personal account of someone who has lost both their mind and body in the same lifetime. It will make you take a second look at your life and ask, “What exactly is my purpose on this earth?”
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