My name is Edward, I live with the diseases of mental illness and alcoholism. Specifically I have been diagnosed with severe recurrent major depression, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and OCPD (obsessive compulsive personality disorder).
Growing up in an alcoholic home I developed many of the “isms” of a child of an alcoholic. My first drink was at seventeen, which resulted in my first blackout. The effects of alcohol were never discussed growing up so I thought it was normal. That would be the pattern for my adult life, continual blackouts.
As a child and a product of my environment, I associated money with love and success. This association resulted in episodic periods of depression with suicide attempts and never receiving proper diagnosis or treatment.
At twenty-seven I began a period of sobriety which lasted over eleven years and was the happiest, calmest period of my life. Not understanding or accepting that alcoholism is an actual disease, I thought I was “cured” and began socially drinking.
It did not take long for the blackouts to return and my drinking to cause problems. Every time I drank I did not get into trouble, but every time I got into trouble I was drinking.
During the next fifteen years I would total two vehicles, have two suicide attempts, lose the business I built during sobriety, lose my home and have my worst episode of depression.
This period ended on December 17th, 2017 when I spent the weekend saying goodbye to family and friends, visited them that day and went out drinking knowing I would not return. I drank, blacked out and ended up in the trauma unit on a breathing tube from severe self-inflicted injuries.
I remained in the hospital for ten days where I properly diagnosed and medicated. My diagnosis was severe, recurrent major depression and ADHD the OCPD would come later. This time something within me clicked and with the proper medication, I live a happy healthy life without feeling medicated.
During this stay I began group therapy, although it was not the first time, it was still the same as thirty years ago. You attend group therapy, learn about living with mental illness or addiction, practice exercises and build a binder of the handouts.
I was amazed that things had not changed. There were over thirty people in this group with various afflictions such as depression, anger, PTSD, addiction and more. Everyone in the room had their cellphones at all times.
When we are living our life and a “stressor” occurs, where is our “tool”(the binder) when we need it? At home, on a shelf or on your desk. It occurred to me, why not have a “daily living tool” available at all times?
Of all the apps available; motivational, journals, self-help, meditation and more, there was NOT one, all-inclusive daily living tool.
I went to the nurses station, asked for paper and pencil and began drafting the app, the databases, api’s required, resource links etc. Within an hour and a half, Orange Today was born.
Why Orange Today?
The color Orange offers emotional strength in difficult times. It helps us to bounce back from disappointments and despair.
The color psychology of orange is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit.
Orange brings spontaneity and a positive outlook on life and is a great color to use during tough times, keeping us motivated and helping us to look on the bright side of life.