HAAS on the Right Path of Recovery Through Music and Persistence
by Angie Mack Reilly 2.2.19
She goes by the name HAAS.
She’s 26 years old and speaks very openly and knowledgeably about being bipolar, gay and in recovery. She considers herself a mental health fighter.
I consider her an amazing lyricist with a very quick mind. I discovered this when I heard HAAS do an improvisational performance for a recovery event.
HAAS spent a large part of her life in Cedarburg, WI and began showing signs of depression around the age of 12.
“The brain is an organ and when the brain is sick, people need to reach out for help. I struggled to reach out for help for many years.” — HAAS
HAAS grew up having to take care of her ill mother and sister especially during her high school years. Imagine. Caregiving for two loved ones at home, maintaining good grades at school while silently battling with her own untreated mental health issues.
HAAS has a dual diagnosis of Bipolar Type I and addiction. It wasn’t until she was 21 that she was diagnosed with Bipolar after a manic episode. She sought help through recovery during that time as well.
Medication and therapy have been a continued reality of her life. It has not been easy. Due to the nature of her illness, constant adjustments need to be made to her mental health plan.
She has been attending school and working whenever she can. She is working toward being a Surgical Assistant. HAAS is very academic and has a strong history of good grades. It has been her mental health issues that have slowed down her dreams.
Once, after being hospitalized for suicidal thoughts, HAAS had an epiphany. She realized that she needed to live for herself and not for others. She began to think about her dreams like going to Nepal and being in love. She secured the fact that she was gay when she was 18. HAAS has a list of 25 reasons to live and looks at it when her mind starts to slip into depression. She looks forward to making more relationships. These hopes are what keep her going. These hopes keep her alive.
“Throughout my journey I have learned how to have healthy coping skills. People without mental health battles don’t always get that training.”
Hot Seat Records is proud to be a part of her first ever recorded song, “Paths”.
Lyrics and melody by HAAS
Music, arrangement and background vocals by Angie Mack Reilly (piano) and Denis Alfimstov (guitar)
Produced by Angie Mack Reilly and Denis Alfimstov of Hot Seat Records, Grafton WI February 2019
Recording engineer: Denis Alfimstov at the Grafton House of Blues
Photo by Angie Mack Reilly and edited by HAAS