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A Tennis Ball, The Trash Compactor Room & A Bucket of Shit

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I don’t usually blog about my day, but today was unusual for a Sunday.

It started very typically. I woke up and made some breakfast. I turned on the game and then went to the bathroom for my morning constitution.

Flush.

Nothing happens.

At that very moment things got very not typical. 

I plunge. No movement.

Flush. 

Nothing happens.

I should have gotten someone to help them at this point. My first thought was, go to the super. 

I live in an apartment building and pay rent.

That’s when I remembered what happened the last time this happened. Each time this happens, the super comes, makes condescending faces, and complains about the smell. 

It’s not appropriate, makes me feel helpless, and makes me want to avoid his help.

So, whenever I get the opportunity to fix something on my own, I do.

I got a bucket and a disposable cup this time and scooped the shit into a bucket.

I poured the bucket into the bathtub. I flipped the drain. The shit wouldn’t flush.

Things just got worse from there.

There was shit everywhere. Nothing would go down.

It occurred to them that if I weren’t going to get remarks then by the super, I would now. I had to fix this myself or face my fantastic.

So I did what anyone would do. Try to fix it myself. I thought, go to the compactor room, dump it down the garbage chute, and this will all go away.

All things being every day, that would be the case. But nothing was ordinary about today so far.

From here, shit hit the floor. When I poured it down, I didn’t realize a gap between the lever and the wall. Government test, a manufacturing flaw, or my bad luck?

It was at that moment I became a man on a mission. I was going to clean the floor before the super or some neighbor spotted this disaster.

I failed. I later got a mop and something to clean the floor with, my neighbor and the super were at the scene.

& it was a scene.

I never heard swearing like that. The super swore while swearing that this had never happened in fifty years.

I discovered that my cat stopped up the toilet with a tennis ball the next morning.

Go figure.

About the Author

J. Peters

Max Guttman is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice in New York City. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist, and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a ‘2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10’ award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association.

Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes about his lived experiences with schizophrenia.

‘I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery,’ Guttman says. ‘After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my ‘break,’ I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others.’

‘In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity, and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and Recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients.’

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