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Mcdaggot’s Demise

Mcdaggot’s Demise

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“Carrying a mental health diagnosis without social support or the skill to evaluate which supports can be considered true allies in your recovery is taking an unnecessary step towards relapsing”  (Maxwell Guttman, The Role of the Support System in Improving Mental Health Prognosis) 2018

 

 

Mcdaggot, my friend from New England University, is one of a kind. Or, at least, he was one of a kind. Now, he’s become no different than any other used up depressed alcoholic in the outer boroughs of New York City. 

 

Mcdaggot never did get over the mishandled so-called intervention he spearheaded in liberty when I was sick. He didn’t even show his face in the hospital. And I called him, over and over again. He would pick up, and then after a few minutes, I could hear him sliding into that drunken despair, drinking away the pain of his mistakes, over and over again with every sip of cheap whiskey. “Okay, Jacques, I really have to go.. I’m not following you much…” He would say, using my illness as an excuse to get off the phone. But really, he couldn’t stand the sound of his own voice, and the loss of dignity with every sip of his drink. 

 

The problem was clear as day. From what I gathered about his situation, after I was discharged, and would meet with him in Queens, he just couldn’t keep it together long enough to move up at work or any of the positions he held. Chronically letting himself down, over and over again, Mcdaggot moved from receptionist job to secretarial positions but never seemed to make it past an assistant to someone more capable and better suited for the stronger and more lofty position. 

 

Angry with himself, he would call Jacques on the phone, “Peters, how are you doing?” But really, Mcdaggot was only interested in himself. Yet, he continued to pretend to care about my condition as it only steadily improved over time. As the schizophrenia lifted for me, Mcdaggot’s facade of compassion shifted, ultimately to disappear altogether by the time I was ready to enter graduate school in social work school. 

 

I would travel down to Astoria every few months to visit Mcdaggot. Each time; he was angrier than the last. He talked a lot about me but we all knew, at least, those that knew him best knew he was talking about himself. Life just seems to keep turning on Mcdaggot. It’s hard to watch, really. 

 

“What’s hardest to watch about your friend’s situation, Mcdaggot’s ongoing problems, Jacques,” Clarissa asked.

 

 

“The wasted potential” I knew all too well, what was so hard to watch. I only wish Mcdaggot could look at himself in the mirror long enough to see it too.

 

 

About the Author

J. Peters

Bold 10 Under 10 award recipient Jacques Peters ’08, MSW ’12 . Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), therapist and disability rights advocate, Mr. Peters fights for those without a voice in various systems of care, such as the New York City Department of Social Services, the New York State Office of Mental Health or the city’s Department of Corrections. Jacques is the author of University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy, which he published under the pen name J. Peters in 2019, and First Diagnosis, published in 2020. Jacques refers to his stance on recovery in his journal articles as “Too big to fail.” No obstacle too big, no feat out of reach, Jacques let nothing stop him in his path to recovery and healing.
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