Just so you know

When I read back on these posts I can see how ridiculous they can be, I am aware of it but I'm trying to demonstrate the thought process of an addict as he tries to rationalise, blame others and abdicate responsibility. I want to put it in writing so, when I read back I will spot the warning signs as I start to try to find excuses to gamble again, as demonstrated in previous posts.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

All or nothing

One of the definitions of a mature person in the gamblers anonymous handbook is that we have got past the stage where everything is categorized as "All or nothing".

This time 3 months ago I made a conscious rational(?) decision that the money I had available to me would either finish me with gambling or finish me. I decided that I would make back all I had lost through a carefully  managed strategy or I would kill myself, simple as that. The money lasted a few days, and followed the path of all the money before. The fact that I am posting here today is not proof that my brilliant scheme worked, or that that the internet exists in the afterlife, merely the fact I crawled back to GA.

I know how I was going to self destruct, I picked the wall on the route home, the only thing that bothered me was the fact that when the accident investigators reported I hadn't had a safety belt on all insurance would have been null and void. My plan then was to fray the seat belt in an inconspicuous place so that when 16 stones of shit was catapulted at 90 mph it would fail, and I would be no more.

Was that rock bottom ? I hope so, I don't want to get lower, the scariest place I can think of is despair, it's not a defined location, it's nowhere, it's everywhere.

The reason I didn't do it is because I'm a coward, and this simply wasn't the easiest way out. This is a recurring theme at my bi weekly meetings, all of us refer to the fact that we saw gambling as an easy means to making money, success and more pertinently, happiness. All of us seek happiness, not smiley, happy, happiness, we covet internal happiness. The lack of self esteem (warranted ?) permeates the atmosphere, we take pride in each other's accomplishments but never our own. We begin each monologue by staring at the floor, we say "my name is XXXX" and the we glaze over, speak, sometimes good things, often bad things, and we are so similar, the way we think, the way we hate, the way we struggle to love, the things we have done, the things we haven't done, we are all one and the same, like tendrils of a giant hidden organism of fear, loathing and disgust. These meetings are not self pitying, the fact we are here is proof that we don't lean on that crutch any more, we're trying to understand ourselves, we expose our worst deeds and fears, we tell of the good things, but most of all we are proof that survival is possible, redemption is an aspiration, we need each other to remind ourselves that not only are good things possible but that despair, destruction and annihilation are only one bet away. That's all, one bet.

I drove home from Friday night's meeting via the route I had earmarked for my end, I slowed down, safety belt on and drove past, tears vision clouded my vision, I went home and went to bed. One bet Paddy, that's all it takes.

My name is Paddy, I'm a compulsive gambler, I have not had a bet today or since my last post, it's a beautiful day, I'm off to the match.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Nadir to Summit

Yesterday was crap, today was one of the best days of my life, my eldest achieved her dream. So happy for her.

My name is Paddy, I'm a compulsive gambler, I have not had a bet today or since my last post and today, I'm the proudest man in Ireland.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Happy Father's day ? Not so.

I was greeted this morning by a text from my eldest wishing me a happy father's day, closely followed by my youngest bursting into the bedroom with similar sentiments as she brandished a school crafted gift.

All good ? Not really.

There is nothing quite so humbling as the unconditional love that a kid can show, particularly when the recipient  has demonstrated themselves to be unworthy of that affection. It could probably be very hard for a kid to realise their Dad is not quite what they believed him to be.

Let's list some of his more prominent traits and words that apply to him, I'll try to go alphabetically to add a bit of structure.


and too stupid to come up with words that apply beginning with W,X,Y and Z.

To be honest I'm so depressed having arrived at V that I leave the rest when I resume the flaggelation.

Happy Fathers Day Paddy, your'e the best.

My name is Paddy, I have not had a bet today or since my last post.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Gambling, all in the mind ?

I'm learning that gambling addiction is not a just a financial issue, it also is the manifestation of emotional issues. I continue to seek information on a broad range of topics and one subject seems to have many parallels with my emotional turmoil when it strikes. The below link is to a blog that has gained huge media exposure recently here in Ireland and the author sums up the thought process and stream of consciousness much better than I can, bear in mind he is only 22, a brave soul with demons to vanquish, haven't we all ?

Alan O'Mara's Article, read it and weep.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

12 Steps to Freedom ?

My wife I am in the process of trying to figure out our finances and carry out an inventory of the damage I have done over a lifetime of insanity. I was printing out my current account statement and noticed my last transaction with Betfair was May 1st. That means I have not had a bet in over a month.

Have I missed it ? No.

Have I thought about it? Hell yeah.

I still cannot figure out how I got myself into this mess, or rather how I allowed it to get so bad. Every time I go back and try to analyse the various steps I cannot seem to identify any paradigm shifts. It was a gradual deterioration that culminated in my recent rock bottom. I use the term recent because I thought I had reached rock bottom on May 16th 2012, leading to my first post 3 weeks later.

Tomorrow, I return to MABS, and effectively allow them to represent me in trying to reach settlement with my creditors. It's going to be a long road, I figure 8 or 9 years, but I will pay back what I owe. I'm not comfortable mentioning the sums involved, but to some they are huge, and to others they are trifling, to me they are the cost of a wasted 25 years.

I use the term cost rather than price, I am lucky in that I can still pay the price and attain a proper life with my family. I often used the excuse that I would be alone if I faced the truth about my addiction, I would lose my family, my sanity and perhaps more. I had considered the nuclear option, but needed the outcome to appear accidental to guarantee financial benefits, these ideations came at me in waves, always at the end of a betting binge. They were short term but I obviously managed to get past them.

It's impossible to explain the onset of despair, a cold shroud of fear slowly descends, in my case it starts with the temple throbbing, pulses of sweating followed by a cold shiver as the reaper touches me on the shoulder. As the pressure increases my pulse intensifies 'till my heart feels like it's about to explode, and all the time like I'm shrinking, and I'm going foetal, back to where I began, and hopefully before that. I want to rewind the tape, to when I didn't exist.

I have not had that experience in over a month now, I do not want it again, I have debts to pay, financially and emotionally, I have to learn to be a husband, parent, brother and son again. I'm trying, and it's not that difficult, the rules are easy, implementing them is not quite so easy. I have 25 years of shit to clear, I still think  in the same way I always did. I have spent longer being an addict then not, I am still the same person, but I am more aware of him, I watch his behaviour for the signs, the mental loafing, the selfishness, the same sense of superiority, the intolerance, the sharpness, the nastiness, I watch for him, I fear for me.

Right now, the sun is shining, I'm taking my hairy, sunburned,chicken legs to the beach with my kin. I'm going to lie back, close my eyes, soak in the sun and count my blessings, and just for today, I will not gamble.

My name is Paddy, I'm a compulsive gambler, I have not had a bet today or since my last post.