Wasted: An Alcoholic Therapist's Fight for Recovery in a Flawed Treatment System

Wasted: An Alcoholic Therapist's Fight for Recovery in a Flawed Treatment System

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1771641967

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Psychotherapist Michael Pond is no stranger to the devastating consequences of alcoholism. He has helped hundreds of people conquer their addictions, but this knowledge did not prevent his own near-demise. In this riveting memoir, he recounts how he lost his practice, his home, and his family—all because of his drinking. After scores of visits to the ER, a tour of hellish recovery homes, a stint in intensive care for end-stage alcoholism, and jail, Pond devised his own personal plan for recovery. He met Maureen Palmer and together they investigated scientific alternatives to the rigid abstinence doctrine pushed by 12-Step programs.

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and over again, taking the occasional break to replenish my drink. Finally, weakened by successful battering rams, the wooden door gives way and pulls from the frame. We are in. Only one thing matters now: where is the damn liquor cabinet? We lay waste to Vicki’s house. We devour every cracker, every box of cereal, every can of tuna. In five days, we consume literally everything in the house. Now we both know we’re in trouble. We have no money. No booze. No food. Dreaded withdrawal, waiting

in their white smocks and jaunty chef hats. I stare out of the floor-to-ceiling windows at the darkening sky. Rain whips across the street, and people puddle jump. My shaking hands wrap around what I’m sure is my last decent cup of coffee for a while. Five weeks of sobriety—blown. I wait while the group conscience decides my fate. “Group conscience” is an AA term that describes how an entire meeting can reach a consensus on a particular matter. In AA, the belief is that the group is guided by the

disease. It’s called alcoholism. I will write you a note and it will say exactly that. You have an illness and you require treatment. You need a medical leave.” “They’ll fire me.” “I will agree to monitor you medically.” He scribbles a note. “Thank you, Dr. Holic. But I think I’m done.” “Mr. Pond, you just have to get well. That’s the only thing that matters right now.” He tears off the note and hands it to me. It says I need a medical leave because I am an alcoholic. I return to the house. Josh

vomit and dry heave again and again and again until I stop and lie spent on the concrete floor beside the toilet. In just a few hours, blessed dawn will save me from this fetid hole. We’ll get sprung, the liquor store will open, I’ll get my medicine and the shakes will stop. I peel myself off the floor and collapse onto the bed, cold, battleship-grey painted metal with a one-and-a-half-inch-thick black plastic mat like the ones you use at the gym to do sit-ups. I pull the blanket over my aching

dollars each time you provide a random urine sample. The average is eighteen samples a year over the two-year period.” 137 138 wa s t e d My broken brain does the math: $4,200. That’s a pile of money that I don’t have, and see no way to obtain. I stare at a picture on the wall, of a college soccer team surrounding the doctor, autographed by the players. On the bottom it reads “Thanks, Doctor Dave.” Inanely, I read it out loud. “Thanks, Doctor Dave.” “You’re welcome. You’ll need to see me

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