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
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.