“The Brave Experiment outlines the path for change” J. Peters (The Brave Experiment, 2005)

At this point, I was hard pressed to convince Dorothea to travel it to my friend’s house. She was either busy with schoolwork or knew full well my feelings for her, if not my intentions with her. This one day, it was different. A distant friend was coming from Long Island with cocaine. I had never done anything like that before. I wasn’t even a good drinker, but I had to up my game if I was going to capture Dorothea’s attention.

My friends were watching television when my friend walked in triumphantly. I looked in his hands. He had six zip-tied bags with a white powdery substance. I was eager to get mine. He tossed a bag into my hand, and I just glared at it for a moment. Opening it, and pouring some on to a mirror I had purchased earlier in the day, I began crushing it up and making lines. We all did. Then the sound of snorting, successively, as each of us took our line.

I felt like Superman; I’ll never forget it. I never felt so good in my life. I did another line and went outside the house on the balcony and called Dorothea. She knew something was wrong, but I didn’t feel as if anything was wrong at all. “What do you mean?,” I asked. “Jacques, something is wrong, please tell me what you are doing,” she insisted. I hung up the phone. I wasn’t going to tell her, but I knew that she knew or would find out.

I also knew that my lack of insight into my own behavior would eventually lead her to become more involved in supervising my conduct. That much I knew. And, I was right. But not before this night reached its climax. Snorting lead to drinking, and drinking lead to depression, and before I knew it, I was on the floor of the bathroom passed out, crying,

“I just want to be somebody”

and, then,

“you won, Jimmy!”

As if this display wasn’t pathetic enough, Mcdaggot stood over me while I was on the bathroom floor and began to take a leak. Yes, he urinated all over me. I was already unconscious, but Mcdaggot wasn’t shy about recanting the story the next day in some sort of sociopathic hero’s triumph. I wasn’t sure what was happening to Mcdaggot, but he was very different than he had been that first semester when we first joined hands in the pursuit of fun times and good spirited laughter.

J. Peters

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. 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 on 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 to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."

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