Powerful Presentation by Janice Ponds, MA, LADC
Janice Ponds, MA, LADC is one our therapists at Brookhaven Hospital. She specializes in and is passionate about helping people with substance abuse issues. Janice gave a presentation entitled, “Stages of Addiction, Stages of Change and Levels of Care,” to attendees of our Pastoral Seminar Series on April 11, 2013. A big part of the message was how to help an individual realize where they are in the cycle of addiction. As Janice stated, “You can’t figure out where you want to go until you can identify where you are right now.” At the end of her presentation, Janice shared the following poem that I wanted to share in this post on Alumni Corner.
I’M YOUR DISEASE
I hate meetings. I hate Higher Power. I hate anyone who has a program. To all who come in contact with me, I wish you death and I wish you suffering.
Allow me to introduce myself…I am the disease of addiction. Cunning, baffling, and powerful—that’s me. I have killed millions, and I am pleased. I love to catch you with the element of surprise. I love pretending I am your friend and lover. I have given you comfort, have I not? Wasn’t I there when you were lonely? When you wanted to die, didn’t you call me? I was there. I love to make you hurt. I love to make you cry. Better yet, I love when I make you so numb you can neither hurt or cry. You can’t feel anything at all. This is true glory. I will give you instant gratification and all I ask of you is long-term suffering. I’ve been there for you always. When things were going right in your life, you invited me. You said you didn’t deserve these good things; I was the only one who would agree with you. Together we were able to destroy all things good in your life.
People don’t take me seriously. They take strokes seriously, heart attack seriously, even diabetes they take seriously. Fools that they are, they don’t know that without my help these things would not be made possible.
I am such a gated disease, and yet I do not come uninvited. You choose to have me. So many have chosen me over reality and peace.
More than you hate me, I hate all of you who have a twelve step program. Your program, your meetings, your Higher Power all weaken me and I can’t function in the manner I am accustomed to.
Now I must lie here quietly. You don’t see me, but I am growing bigger than ever. When you only exist, I may live. When you live, I only exist. But I am here…and until we meet again, if we meet again, I wish you death and suffering.