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.