52 Days

Photo by Francesca Zama on Pexels.com

I relate a lot to this photo; just barely keeping my head above water. 52 days feels like forever, yet no time at all. I actually made a blog post 52 days ago and I discuss the feeling of drowning in regard to gambling. But I never posted it. I wrote that it probably made sense to no one and wasn’t worth reading, or even writing it. I am now 52 days clean from gambling as of this very moment.

Yesterday I was approved… no, “Approved,” by Facebook admins to be apart of a gamblers anonymous support group. I’m not sure why I waited so long to reach out so I’m gonna go ahead and blame that one on fear. It’s quite silly, actually. I have been to numerous AA meetings with my mom, so I understand the accepting culture of addiction anonymous groups and to think that GA would be any different was just silly on my part.

I say “approved” because no one can truly approve or disprove me; only I can do that. But I guess they could not allow me in the group if I didn’t participate in this sort of accepting culture and could reject me if I didn’t seem as though I didn’t have a betting issue or gambling issue.

I noticed something peculiar about the group and their rhetoric. A lot of people say, “I’m 10 days clean from placing my last bet” I am not sure if that is in reference to the game that they played last or if that is the rhetoric I am supposed to use in reference to gambling. I guess I don’t really view gambling as placing bets. At least when I played, it was all or nothing; there were no multiple bets or if there was, it was because the last bet “payed off” in that moment.

That may sound ridiculous on my part, but I was very superstitious when it came to gambling. I would go to the casino at off peak hours because I had a greater chance of hitting a jackpot on the slots, I would make sure no one was watching me because every time someone would watch me gamble, I would lose all my money. I would press the start button with my right hand and chain smoke (via vape) with my left, preferably my feet were up against the machine and my legs had a crook in them to support the weight of my purse. Once my right hand got tired or I needed a bonus, I would alternate my mod and betting hand combo. I liked using larger bills for the slots and would preferably bet $200 at a time with $5 or $3 hands. I would have the volume between 50-70% because I needed to hear the winning jingle for about 2 seconds and then I would click away onto my next bet. I couldn’t bring awareness to myself which is why I never really drank and gambled, unless in Vegas or I was gambling with friends or going to the club.

52 days clean and I miss it every moment of every day and I’m not sure if it will ever go away or if I could ever go gamble again. I know the answer to that question, I just wish it weren’t true. I know that the addiction will never go away, but it’s fucking hard. I don’t know if talking about it makes it better or worse. It is crazy to me that when I look in my wallet and see cash, it will now stay in its place and I don’t need to spend it on anything. All the fruits of my labor are accounted for and have a purpose. I can see the direct results of my spending whereas with gambling, I often had nothing to show for the hour or so I was at the casino.

Addiction is very real and for those who don’t see it as a disease just don’t get it. I mean, good for you if you don’t struggle with a vice or two or three, but some of us do and it’s not fair of a normie to judge us for it. I’m about a week away from getting a 60 day coin if there were in person GA meetings. It seems silly, but as the program says, “It works if you work it and you’re worth it.” All that meaning that the program (GA) works if you do the steps and obviously, you are worth every effort to do so.

I have yet to go to my first meeting. I am a bit afraid to join a zoom meeting, yet not to walk into a building of GA members. But as I’m writing this, I am chomping at the bits to go to the casino and although I will not go, I obviously need help and can’t do this sobriety thing alone. I have so much on the line and I can’t take yet another loss.

Maybe writing about what all I have lost and the things I am working for will help me? Here goes nothing…

Things I have lost due to gambling

  • my last relationship with Diego
  • The house I was living in
  • Close to 40k dollars over 4 years at an exponential rate
  • Trust from my loved ones
  • I pawned an $1100 ring I bought for myself for $100 to go gamble
  • I sold a lot of my really nice possessions to go gamble; too many to count

Things at stake aka why I will not gamble

  • My relationship with Diego
  • My new life that is a better one
  • I got my house back and I’m slowly getting back on my feet, but if I were to go back out, I would be homeless or have to live with my parents again
  • I have regained the trust of my loved ones. Well it’s a work in progress with Diego and family, but rightfully so.
  • School. I can’t focus on the SAT or trying to get into UWT if I were gambling
  • Getting a job. I would be wasting each paycheck earned on gambling rather than bills.
  • Repaying my debts. I need every dime to repay my debts owed to the bank whether it be in the form of personal and debt consolidation loans or credit card debt.
  • My future life and the present

52 days. So little time and so much more to go.

Until next time,

Dani

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