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Jackson, Will, and a few co-workers went to a bar down the street after work. The place was the definition of cool. A dude with hair down to his shoulders checked IDs and let the group into the smoke filled Victorian-era style tavern. Anachronism was the name of the game in that place. Paintings of Queens of England past were flanked by fifty inch plasma TVs. The bartenders served home-made ale based on a recipe from the hills of Scotland; they also served Red Bull and Grey Goose. This was the spot. The group made it a habit of drinking the night away there after a particularly long day of work. Jackson was a successful art director for a small advertising agency. Today, his team dealt with their least favorite and most lucrative client: Camel Cigarettes. Camel always sent in a pack of rabid wolves hellbent on 'emerging victorious' as if Camel and the ad guys were on different teams. The contract team leader always comforted his distraught team after their meetings with something along the lines of “this is why they are tanking as a brand, they’re all pricks. Let’s go drink.”

And drink they did. Jackson was particularly denigrated during the meeting. One of Camel’s bullies had called him a “retarded kindergartener painting on the walls with his own crap.” He was determined to erase that day from his mind with the aid of Scottish Ale and Sky Vodka. Will pulled him aside after a few drinks and brought him to a backroom. Jackson stopped dead in his tracks; four men were doing cocaine off a woman’s body. The woman beckoned Jackson to a fifth line on her forehead. It was like she knew he was coming. He’d never done Cocaine before because he knew he would love it as much as his mom had. He didn’t want to end up dead with a hole in his heart like her. He couldn’t control himself though. He walked over as if pulled by some unseen force. The whole scene seemed so natural; he couldn’t deny nature.

He woke up the next day on the floor of his childhood home. He found a 10 inch knife in his hand, blood all over his body, and a woman face down a few feet from him. He knew it was her blood all over him. He turned her lifeless body over and horror overtook him: it was his sister, Emily. She was dead and he knew he had killed her. He knew what he had to do. He took the knife, found his jugular, and ended his life.

His sister Emily gave the eulogy at Jackson’s funeral. “He was my best friend and the most kind and sensitive person I have ever met,” she said. “I don’t know what I will do without him.” She ended by saying “Jackson loved his German Shepherd, Will. I think the thing that will get me through all of this is adopting Will. Thank you all for coming, and I ask that, in Jackson's honor, you please donate to the International Schizophrenia Foundation.”

*Don't belittle, berate, or scoff at those around you who have a mental illness. If you are healthy, you are burdened with helping those who are unhealthy.

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