The Couch of Willingness
An Alcoholic Therapist Battles the Bottle and A Broken Recovery SystemBook - 2014
Michael Pond had helped hundreds of people recover from alcoholism, but he couldn't help himself
After two decades of helping clients battle addictions, Michael Pond, a successful therapist, succumbs to one himself. He loses his practice, his home and his family to alcoholism, ending up destitute in a rundown recovery home populated by a cast of characters straight out of Dickens.
The Couch of Willingness is a real couch in that home, a couch where Pond is forced to sleep until he surrenders and admits he's powerless over alcohol. But just when Pond gains any measure of sobriety, in sashays his other powerful addiction, Dana, a can of Red Bull in hand and a 26er of vodka in her purse.
Pond's harrowing two-year journey to sobriety takes stops in abandoned sheds, dumpsters, ditches, emergency wards, intensive care, and finally, prison. His riveting account crackles with raw energy and black humour as he plunges readers into a world few will ever have the misfortune to experience.
Along the way, Michael the drunk finds himself shamed and stigmatized by the very system in which Michael the therapist thrived. The dissonance rankles for Pond and, by the end of the story, for the reader too.