In my early days of recovery from Alcohol Addiction, I could never understand why I could not find peace of mind; I always seemed to be agitated and ill at ease.
I would go to five meetings a week or more in my first year, and still I could find no peace, I should have known from my past experiences in recovery, as a guy who continually relapsed for five years that there had to be something else, there must be an answer to this but I was looking, and could not see.
This brings me to the root of all addiction; I was in Denial about another wee hobby of mine, playing cards, you see as a Taxi driver working shifts it was too easy for me to join the boys for a wee game of three card brag after a hard nights work.
If you do not know what this game is, let me tell you it’s deadly, and to make matters worse it would be Blind Brag before the end of the night and that is pure insane, if you can’t read cards as most of us can’t, then the odds of you winning are practically nil, the same applies to all card games, and gambling in general, especially slot machines, that’s insanity at it’s best, you would be as well throwing your money up an elephants arse, you get the same results deep in shit as I did.
Nearly every night I had to do double shifts to make up the money I had lost at the table earlier on, I can’t describe the pain of losing, that gut wrenching feeling, like someone inside your stomach pulling your intestines in and out, the shame and embarrassment of loosing, but you can’t let the boys know you feel like throwing the table up in the air and chocking the c..t that won the game, no that’s not what the true gamblers do, they take it in the chin and a get on with life, that’s the picture they like to paint.
I was never a true gambler, I was always chasing the win, I needed the money for something else, I had kids to feed and clothe, or the income was not enough, I know some people out there will be saying if you can’t afford to lose, don’t play, I never knew anyone who could afford to lose, but I knew plenty of people who claimed they could afford it, until one day they never had a pot to piss in and lost everything they treasured, family as well.
That is one of the saddest sights you will ever see, the loneliness of the loser is deafening and dark, but there is a way back, and only you can make the journey, the odds of you making a complete recovery are high, if you have the right help.
Because I was already in recovery I thought I knew all the answers, I did not know about secondary addictions, this is when you replace your primary addiction and replace it with another, and another until you become multiple addicted, resulting in absolute chaos all around you. You may be off the drink, but you are by no means sober, they call this the DRY DRUNK syndrome, it’s like living with a demon, someone possessed, you can never do anything correct around them, they are like a cat on a hot tin roof, total insanity.
During all of this my family were abused in all directions except physically thank God, but they were abused financially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, you see I did not understand I was torturing them, I always had this he-man notion that if I did not batter the wife and kids, I was a good father, to this day, I say I don’t know what kept making me go back for more punishment, but I know that the curse of the gambler did keep me going back, the only word in the dictionary that identifies my feelings is an ADDICT, addicted to gambling.
I used the word curse of the gambler there, and I did this for a reason, there are people all over the world as you are reading this, losing their money and their minds to gambling, sitting in their own homes playing computer games like poker, some through boredom others have this insane thought they can beat the system, 99.9% never beat the system, as a taxi driver I take people to the races for a day of fun and a small wager, most of them could not afford the fare home, but they won’t tell you that would they.
Take a look in the mirror, who is looking back at you, do you like what you see, there is a nice peaceful person in there trying to get out, Quit Gambling and set yourself free, what you are chasing is already inside you; and always has been.
Signed: The Shuffler