Financially, I feel fortunate. Our primary company provides nicely for our immediate needs…and wants. But, my partner and I are thinking longer term. We want a company that will set us for life and then some. We have an idea and it’s been marinating for some time.
We meet with 2 brilliant IT professionals who have a team of about 150 programmers in India. We decide to all go into business together and start a fresh, new, sexy company.
It takes 6 months for me to finally come up with the name. HipDash by eyefire. It is a SAAS product, a business intelligence platform for small businesses. You can find lots of articles, videos, and press releases about HipDash by just googling “HipDash.”
I’m CEO and have a controlling share of the company. The other 3 partners put a lot, well actually all, of their trust in me. We spend a year building, programming, testing, and re-testing it. We keep it all under the hood. No one knows what we’re up to.
Our primary company and our IT partner’s primary company fund the entire project. So, when we are ready to launch, HipDash is 100% debt free. We’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of our own cash.
When we unveil it, the response is electrifying. We know we’ve built something special.
We launch at one of the top small business conferences in the country and win 2nd place in their Battle of the Apps contest. In 3 days, we secure approximately 100 paying customers.
At this point, I’m open about the artifacts I’ve found. One article, doing a write up on us, includes a snippet about my artifact findings. For the full article click here. It states,
“Meet Jeremy Bowman who is co-founder and CEO of eyefire, which produces product titled HipDash. He’s married, has six children and lives in Chandler, AZ in a house built on an ancient American Indian village. I’m told he could start a museum with all the artifacts he’s found on his property. He played college baseball and loves fly-fishing and hiking.”
The future never looked brighter and more secure.
Little do I know, it’s as bright as it would ever look, as good as it would ever be.
At the apex of this incredible amount of positive, successful momentum, I crash fast.
I become unreliable. I miss very important, critical meetings. I even miss a meeting with a company who’s already interested in purchasing HipDash.
I just don’t show up, leaving my partners hanging.
I schedule executive meetings and in almost every case I either cancel them, re-schedule, or don’t show up.
I lose my ability to cope, to think clearly. The guys can tell something is wrong with me. They just want me to get fixed, get better, so I can function in my role. They’re very patient with me, but I only continue to let them down.
Even with the high doses of amphetamines I’m being prescribed, I still run out every month. Because of my depleted natural energy and strength levels, my withdrawals are more horrific than ever.
I’m still engaged with the “endeaver” every night. So, I never get enough sleep for my brain and body to heal itself.
I feel the heavy strain of prolonged sleep deprivation and inordinate amounts of amphetamines are having on my heart, mind, body, and muscles. I feel like I’m 80 years old. I ache everywhere.
My body is effectively producing no natural energy or strength on its own. Any juice I have is artificially produced by the stimulants.
My mind is breaking down, my body is breaking down, and my ability to regulate and control my emotions is failing.
The detrimental impact all this has on my businesses is profound. HipDash ultimately comes to an abrupt halt, along with all its momentum. I put the company on “pause” until I can properly function. The “play” button would never be pushed again. I lose the trust of my partners, and HipDash dies as a company and takes with it all it’s incredible and promising potential.
The amount of cash our primary company invests in HipDash takes its toll. Money starts to get tight. Out of the blue, Amy tells me she can’t pay some of our bills.
I’m utterly shocked when I find out. It was just a few months ago, we seemed set for life.
I’m the only one not overly concerned. I’m also the only one in full-dressed psychosis. In my mind, I can get back engaged with the company at any time and build it back up. I still can’t see the seriousness of my sick condition. I think I’m capable of doing much more than I actually am.
While all this is happening with my businesses, home life isn’t any better. I’m losing Amy’s trust just as I lost it from my business partners.
The symptoms of my psychosis manifest themselves most at home.
According to Columbia University, people with no prior history of mental illness can…develop amphetamine psychosis symptoms…[which] are indistinguishable from psychotic symptoms exhibited by people afflicted with psychotic disorders.
(Click here for source and a list of the 10 most common symptoms of amphetamine psychosis)
According to the sourced article above,
“The combination of disorganized thinking processes, erratic emotional responses and loss of impulse control makes users prone to violent behavior displays. This amphetamine psychosis symptom can endanger the user as well as anyone else who’s in his or her vicinity.”
Disorganized thinking processes. Erratic emotional responses. Loss of impulse control. Violent behavior displays.
Check, check, check and check.
I become more and more aggressive toward Amy.
I scare and shock even myself by my extreme, violent outbursts toward her.
It’s as if something snaps in my brain, and I’m almost entirely incapable of controlling my reactions. At times, I barely stop short of physically hurting her.
Amy is overwhelmed, scared, and angry. The extreme financial reversal weighs on her enormously. She only foresees me getting worse, not better. To her, her whole life is crashing in, and for the first time in her life, she knows I can’t stop it from happening. In fact, I’m the one causing it.
Still, I don’t see the colossal collapse that’s getting ready to happen. Not even close. I’m convinced I’ll find a way to fix it all. I always do.
Amy tries everything she can think of to get me help. She calls rehab places and almost gets me to check into one. I back out at the last minute.
Meanwhile, in an act of desperation, Amy and others close to me call my doctor without me knowing. They explain what is happening to me. He gets spooked because of the high doses of amphetamines he’s prescribing me. He immediately cuts off all my prescriptions cold turkey.
My brain and body go into shock. With no natural strength or energy, no stimulants to artificially get me going, and horrific withdrawals, I become an entirely different person. I’m unstable in every way. My suffering is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.
The stage is being set. I’m worthless and incapable of functioning at even a basic level, HipDash has vanished, my other company is hemorrhaging, I’m losing the trust of everyone in my life, and my wife is running out of strength and hope. All the dark clouds are gathering for the perfect storm to hit.
In my psychotic, sick, and dysfunctional state, I try and convince everyone that the sky isn’t falling, not to lose faith, and not to panic. I’ve simply lost touch with reality. I’ve lost complete control of my life and my ability to reason properly. Dark, dark days lie ahead.