Friday, March 15, 2019


Michael Pond, Maureen Palmer
Greystone Books, 2016

Sadly, we have a young friend who's struggling with serious alcoholism so I've been reading some books about the subject in an effort to gain more understanding.

A few days ago I finished reading A Million Little Pieces (I know, I know, so late in the game!) and after reading it someone told me that while based in truth much of the book was also fictionalized. That kind of ruined it for me, although I have to admit I enjoyed reading it at the time.
But then I got my hands on Wasted and I'm just going to say, right from the get-go, that I absolutely could NOT put this book down.
What blew me away about this book is the fact that Michael Pond is a psychotherapist who was treating alcoholics at the time his own problems with drinking completely skyrocketed out of control!
He describes his downfall, all the wreckage that inevitably followed (he was married with two boys and had a thriving practice in the Okanagan), his struggles, and then slow climb back to health. 
After losing his family, home and practice, he found himself living on the streets of Vancouver. He drank to the point of blacking out, visited countless ERs, lived in some highly dysfunctional recovery homes and even spent time in jail. 

Whenever he tried to stay clean the only advice he was given was to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Which he did, ALL the time! And while Pond acknowledges that the 12-step program works wonders for some people, it certainly didn't help him.

Pond and his new partner, Maureen Palmer, work tirelessly together to find research-based alternatives to AA in order to create his own personal recovery plan.

This man's life story is tragic but he manages to tell his story clearly, intelligently and at times with wit and humour.
You'll be shocked at what he went through and his heart-breaking struggles while recovering, but you'll also be left a whole lot of hope!

Happy Reading!

PS My husband read the book right after me and was equally wowed by it!

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