I am a middle aged corporate monkey that has finally realised that my life is dominated by the most destructive of mistresses, gambling addiction. Why a mistresses ? She seduces me daily, I obsess with her, I know I shouldn't but have proven powerless to resist and the consequences of our relationship are disastrous and destructive.
I have been gambling via one form or another for over 30 years and my earliest memory of gambling is a tidy win for small sums on a horse called Meladon (I think) at our local track. Local for me is Waterford, Ireland.
The next fond memory I have is Party Politics winning the grand national, why select him ? He was the biggest horse in the race with the biggest fences.
My life has been linked with gambling consistently since I was about 18 to May 16th this year, so that's a 25 year affair, longer than most relationships. I have not had a bet today or since May 16th this year when I attended my first Gamblers Anonymous meeting. I had finally reached what I hope was rock bottom and reached out to my brother for help, which was immediately forthcoming.
As a gambler I have managed over the years to distance myself from normal relationships with friends and family as one's life is one of subterfuge, deceit and lies to both oneself and those we "love". I have "love" in inverted commas because we have a perverted sense of love and our treatment of those close to us would indicate that we are incapable of real love. Back to the point, I reached out to my brother (who lives far, far away) for help when I was at an emotional nadir, having closed my laptop, beaten and broke. From a financial perspective I am in deep, deep trouble, but I feel that can be addressed over time, from an emotional perspective I am also in deep, deep trouble as highlighted by the content of my cry for help below. I have removed names and references to preserve anonymity but nothing else is altered.
I'm writing this to you in hope more than expectancy. Over the last ***** years I started gambling again, on a serious level and have managed to hit the bottom of the barrel faster and in a bigger sense than any way I have managed previously. Long story short I have managed to fuck up myself good and proper at last. To be honest (contradiction for a person that lies from morning to evening) I don't really care about myself, or I wouldn’t be in this situation, but I'm here and the gravity of it has finally hit me.
I will probably lose all, as in family and deservedly so, as I don't think ***** or the kids will be able to forgive me when the inevitable truth surfaces. I also think they would be better off without me in the long run (I don't mean to suggest anything sinister as I have considered all options that would leave them financially independent but cannot guarantee it, and I was always a coward anyway).I haven't got to the stage yet whereby all is gone but without intervention or help it's just about here.
Why you ? Why am I doing the begging bowl ? The reason is that you are not here, If you were I couldn't face you, all I see is you and what you have become and have achieved.
I see it with ***** , and ***** and they deserve it and if possible I will avoid them and anyone like them. It's a fom of jealousy but I think you have known that for a couple of years now, it's not a jealousy of posessions or wealth, it's a jealousy of the type of people you guys have become, successful and more importanly , obviously happy. I should be like that for my family, parents and you guys but all the time in your company , yours, ***** , Mam and Dad's I know what I am and more importantly what I'm not.
Ye are everything I should be, you don’t spend every waking hour unable to show true feelings for those that really matter, you don't lie from sun up to sundown, you don't deprive your wife and kids of what they should have because you are too weak and selfish to provide as a proper adult should. You don’t spend years slowly alienating the only people that matter because you wont face the glaring truth about your own inadaquecies and selfish, self destructive behaviour. You are not embarrassed to be in the company of family or friends because you know deep down, that they know what you really are.
Even this mail is typical of me now, I'm alone downstairs, while ***** is in bed, wondering what she has done that causes me to sit up all night watching television until 4 or 5 am or I sleep from pure exhaustion. In the evenings I'm not here it's because I'm in work until 8 or 9pm avoiding contact with those that are closest to me, I cannot face ***** as I think her innocence highlights the contrast between good and me, and as a result don't show her the real affection she deserves. I don't drink anymore (not in 5/6 weeks) as I get dark and nasty, and try to hurt anyone that is dear to me (not physically) and recede into bouts of self loathing and blackness deep in my psyche, not nice in there I can tell you. I have evolved into a person, devoide of the emotional equipment to have proper relationships with people that matter. I have no issues communicating with strangers but when it comes to people that should matter, I don’t get involved, but I suspect, you already know this. The fact this is a mail merely reinforces this point.
I know it is unfair of me to unload this on you and am begging you not to tell anyone else as I don't think I could cope with it, it is only the fact you are not nearby and I don't have to face you, and more pertinently, face myself that is allowing me to type this drivel. When I say I have nowhere left to turn it is an insult to you as a brother, but the only light I can see in this tunnel is the train coming head on to meet me, and the worst thing is I'm not sure if I care.
Where do I go from here, do I try to play on you to dig me out again?
I know the next step is therapy and I intend to start immediately (painfully familiar), but how do I tell my family (apart from you) ? How do I rebuild my life without this permanent noose tightening and tightening. I have even managed to cut ties with any friends I had, now I realise it was a slow deliberate process, but, mission accomplished. I don't go out, I sit here rotting. I cannot tell ***** , I will be alone and that will be the final straw.
This self pitying crap is really a prelude to a request for help, (I have done all the sums, I'm good at that) and there is no way I could begin to repay you for a minimum of ***** years as it will take that long for me to pay off all the credit and loans (in the tens of thousands) I stared again ***** years ago. I have always been resourceful when it came to lying and accessing money and maybe this is just another effort but I cannot continue this way of living any more and am looking for help to allow me to start over and have a real life. Sitting here, not sleeping and crying night after night (I was always a self pitying bawler, so nothing has changed) has driven me to this mail because I don’t even have the gumption to talk to you in person.
If you cannot see a means to help then I will think no less of you as a person, and in fairness it won't damage the relationship I have managed to quench slowly over the recent years.
If you can then maybe, with you help I can be a worthy human being too (I think I was one, once), if I haven't already passed that point.
I typed this last night, and am reading it again before I send it now. Once again, I am truly sorry to throw my crap to you, but I believe I can rescue this, and everything that should be really important.