After two decades of helping clients battle addiction, Mike Pond, a successful therapist, succumbs to one himself. He loses his practice, his home, and his family to alcoholism, ending up destitute in a down-and-out recovery home. Pond’s harrowing two-year journey to sobriety takes stops in abandoned sheds, dumpsters, ditches, emergency wards, intensive care, and finally, prison. And just when Pond gains any measure of sobriety, in sashays his other powerful addiction, Dana, a can of Red Bull in hand, 26’er of vodka in her purse. Pond’s 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, he finds himself shamed and stigmatized by the very system in which he used to thrive.
Michael Pond is once again a psychotherapist with a thriving practice in Vancouver, with an emphasis on treating substance use disorders. He offers his clients the unique empathy of having walked in their shoes. Because of his ordeal, Pond’s become a fierce advocate for “evidence-based” treatment for those battling life-threatening addictions, treatment based on sound scientific research. “I don’t care what you call it: disorder, disease, condition, learned behaviour, self-medicating. The end result is the same: someone battling a serious addiction is very very sick and like anyone else battling a life-threatening illness, is entitled to compassionate medical care.”
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