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.

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Cheltenham time again

It's amazing how quickly one becomes oblivious to events that were once a huge part of ones life when one basically banishes all interaction with an activity such as horse racing. One is also questioning the reason for the use of a third person pronoun to open the post, but one is going to stop using "one" now, if you know what I mean.

I love Cheltenham, I was going to say "loved" but I suspect if I tune in again my love for the event would rekindle very quickly. I love the banter, I love the insightful knowledge displayed by every punter prior to each race. I love the buzz when the tapes go up, with the exception of Manhattan Castle, who reared as the tape went up at the start of a race many moons ago, and dumped all my hopes and dreams on the floor, along with the jockey and all my cash.

I didn't love the feeling of failure I inevitably encountered by the end of the meeting. I hated the emptiness, I hated myself for repeating what I had always done, I hated handing over the last of my money, I hated the lies and the deceit that were required to maintain the veil of normality.

In truth, it was not really the money I was handing over, it was a little part of me, it was a little part of my family and all the things that made life worth living, it was the vestiges whatever humanity I had managed to retain. I had made a deal with the devil, and he was just collecting his dues.

It's hard for a "normal" person to understand the desolation and torment encountered by those of a similar disposition to me when all the fanciful hopes evaporate. The first reaction is one of disbelief, then fear and then emptiness. Desolation is a very difficult place to live but an easy place to find, time is irrelevant, life is irrelevant and the only thing I wanted was for it to end, but that was then.

I still would love to be able to watch a race, and amaze others with my insight and intelligence. I would love to be able to put on a tenner and not continue to bet with a reckless abandon. I can't and I accept that now, but the hankering still lingers.

The desire to partake is not as strong as desire to continue on the path I have found myself on. I will  not return to desolation and darkness. It's too easy to find and too hard to escape. Gambling can be an interest or a pastime for some, but it's my heroin, it thrills me and destroys me. Not gambling means I can be a person, with purpose, with hopes, with a life worth living.

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


  1. A concise yet deep and meaningful post.

    Thank's for keeping us up-to-date with your progress Paddy.

    Cheers - Dave.

  2. Thanks Dave, I am aware that the posts can be overly self pitying but I'm trying to reflect the actual feelings as they occur. They are often irrational and ridiculous but they are they way I think, warts and all.

  3. They come across as self pitying but I'm guessing that's because the majority of the time it's not actually on your mind. I broke the habit of of 30 years full time smoking I know at least a couple of alcoholics who haven't drank for years so there's no reason why you can't change your mindset either Paddy.

  4. This is a fantastic blog. Superbly written and refreshingly honest. I don't know if it's just because I can relate, but you really do put the emotive state of a gambling addict so perfectly into words.

  5. I don't think it's self pity in the posts but honesty and as far as I can tell, that's the whole point of the blog.
    Personally, were I to find myself in this situation I'm not sure I could write a blog about it and subject myself to so much exposure of the gambling community so you should take some confidence from the fact you've stuck at it despite more temptation than most other ex-gamblers will have to face.

    There's a lot of talk about regulation of tipsters at the moment and whilst I don't think it will amount to anything, I'd certainly welcome it and suggest it mandatory that a % of all subscription based turnover go towards sponsorship of bodies like GA as well as to the formation of newer more progressive support networks.

    Good luck in your efforts mate, and focus on the positives.You clearly have a superb wife and highly supportive family and it's only ever the "little" things that matter in the end.