A must-read ‘Gambler’s Tale’ from a new recovery friend I have met. As a matter of fact, my friend David gave me permission to share the whole post which I will do right below the REBLOG for all my recovery supporters and blog friends. WHY? It not often I meet other recovering compulsive gamblers who will speak about their addiction and recovery due to the continued STIGMA around this cunning disease!
So, meet my new friend David S. and please visit and follow him on “DAVIDS PLACE”…
A COMPULSIVE GAMBLER: A Sad Tale ~ By David S.
Back in 1947 my Mom and Dad had sex. I was the result and now I sit in my little apartment almost 70 years later barely surviving. What a remarkable unforced error that act of love created. I have had a life filled with many wonderful benefits that most can only dream of. Yet, I have screwed it all up.
I was born into a family where there were already two older brothers twelve and thirteen years my seniors. Then, when I was only twelve, my daddy suddenly dropped dead leaving my two older brothers in charge of a very profitable family business that they already had been working in. My mom, myself and the two brothers all were willed equal parts of the business and of my end being entrusted to my mom until I was twenty-five…
I was not a normal kid at all. I hated school and was always in trouble. I was not a bad boy just a clown and a spoiled brat. I did not care about school unlike my group of upper-middle-class friends who mostly went on to become lawyers and doctors. I continually flunked courses and barely graduated on time. I only cared about playing ball and gambling.
I developed a pathological taste for gambling the first time I ever felt the rush of it. Gambling instantly became and continued to be my greatest love. That has a lot to do with why I am severely depressed, alone, and lonely most of the time. I lost my mental health along with a fortune Thanks to a wealthy family and a rich lover who now treats me as her child I survive nicely.
I was about eleven when I started playing poker with my little friends. I almost always lost because I was a compulsive gambler from the get-go. I was also a terrible gambler. I could not ever stop playing until I lost all my money. I bet on horses, craps, roulette, blackjack, and sports. I gambled at everything I could, even among other gamblers I was regarded as a chump.
I finally surrendered to my powerlessness over gambling, quit, and started going to Gamblers Anonymous about nine years ago. I have not made a bet since 2009. Stopping gambling is my shining accomplishment of a mostly wasted life.
Compulsive. gambling is the hardest addiction to give up. I know. I have also been addicted to cocaine, pot, alcohol, sex, and overeating… Gambling is the toughest and cruelest addiction. It is a silent destroyer… If you refuse to stop gambling you end up insane, in jail, or dead without anyone ever knowing. The compulsive gambler must get help. One cannot stop permanently on their own.
I never had any reservations about losing all my money because my rich mom could never say no to refilling my empty pockets after my desperate marathon crying sessions to her… She bailed me out of debt time after time for years. When I was about twenty-three I went into the family business. I was given a fat salary, a car, a nice office, insurance and they even paid my taxes. I should have been set for life.
My middle brother Lou who I idolized forever because of his brains, athletic ability, popularity, physical toughness, and total coolness set me up as an important employee. With a wave of his hand and an introduction to the gigantic staff, I was a new family member to be respected.
My brother Lou set it up so that I had all the amenities of an important businessman at my fingertips. He wanted me to feel good so I would be happy and make the business lots of money. He had become my second father as soon as my dad died. Lou was always the brains of the growing and continually more successful family business.
Lou has been the ultimate perfect person to me as long as I have been alive. He loved me so much when I was a little kid and took me with him everywhere. He was a great athlete, a good-looking very popular guy and smart as a whip. I idolized him. He has always been my hero. He has also always intimidated me brutally just by his presence. But, I have been trying to get his respect for my entire life. He is superman to me.
He was a great golfer and very early on made me feel that manhood and golf were synonymous. I would stand and sweat as I stood in the tee box as he watched me dribble out one pathetic shot after another every year on my birthday when he would take me out to play. I would wait for that one day all year and then play like crap. I cannot put in words my self-loathing for being incapable of hitting the ball well around him.
I just froze as he watched me in the box. I would want to puke my guts up and throw a tantrum because of the frustration I felt walking down a fairway after fairway while playing like crap. Lou never commented as I fumbled around the golf course. His silent acceptance of my inability made it worse. Ironically, I was actually a very good golfer away his presence.
He knew I was a gambler. He was a gambler too but not a compulsive gambler like I am. I made no secret of my gambling. I was constantly telling Lou war stories of my gambling exploits. He was indifferent not knowing how sick of a gambler I really was and how much money I had been getting from my mom to cover debts and gamble with …
Then my mom finally busted me. She had run out of patience with my episodes of nagging and crying for cash. She explained to Lou how much of a degenerate I was. I had gone through $350,000 of her money in a few years. I was only twenty-four and also making a good salary and totally broke and in heavy debt.
Lou walked into my office, leaned over my desk and hit me in the mouth without saying a word. I fell out of my chair bleeding and looked up at him. He said “I just talked to mom”. . . he wrapped his hand around my neck and screamed that I would be fired from my cushy, no brainer, very well paid sales job in the family business and never get a dime of the equity I was going to inherit if he ever heard of me gambling again.
Then, he said the worst thing he had ever said to me. He told me that he was giving up on me forever. He screamed that I was on my own and never look to him for anything. “We’re finished”, he screamed as I shook. He spoke words I dreaded but hoped never would be spoken to me. He said that I had been a failure in everything my whole life. He said he thought I would straighten out after coming into the family business but that he was wrong.
I did not know my ownership of the business could not lawfully be confiscated and I believed he could do anything he said, he could. I also lived for his approval with everything I did. I loved him so.
Now, he had defined every fear of his opinion of me. I felt at the time as my self-esteem went to zero. I wanted his respect and admiration all my life. I thought I had lost any chance of getting it back. I decided to try to prove myself anyway. I was determined to become a good employee and a respectable human being.
I stopped gambling for a day or two but I could not stay stopped … as I began stealing, lying, embezzling, and doing everything else I could think of to sneakily keep myself in action. I ended up stealing over $200.000 from the business over the next three years. Plus, I owed a fortune to friends and relatives. Also, I had started borrowing from juice men (loan sharks) …They were chasing me and I was scared.
I finally confessed to Lou what I had done when I was terrified as the bad guys were chasing me to get paid. He said nothing. He just stared at me with the look of a person who was DEAD to him. He only asked how much I owed the loan guys. He settled with them. Then, he pointed to the door for me to leave and I did not say a word as I walked out knowing I was finished with me …
Jack, the other brother just sat there smiling watching the whole show from his fancy desk.. Jack had always hated me and bullied me my entire life until one fateful day when he tried to intimidate me and I responded by smacking him in his big nose.
“From then on we never spoke in any form for the rest of his eighty-two years.”
He rode Lou’s coat-tails his entire life as he had gotten rich because of Lou. Jack and his family acted like Jack had made his millions with his own brains. He was actually just window dressing who had been born right. He knew that I knew he was a fraud and I reminded him with many sarcastic remarks.
Lou was stuck with him but he never demeaned or embarrassed him because Lou did not need to do that. He was too classy. His ego was solid as a rock as it should have been. Everyone knew that Jack would be selling shoes part-time and need 10 other jobs just to make ends meat if not for Lou’s brains.
Everyone except Jack’s three kids and loudmouth wife knew he was a just putz …He was in the business only because of his inheritance and his role was to do simple things only and to be quiet, be happy and to live under Lou’s leadership. It always remained a mystery to myself and many others that Lou did not figure a way to get Jack out of the business. But Lou accepted Jack as his fate. However, I went on. I drove a cab, did some odd jobs, and kept trying to make a score gambling with whatever money I could find. As a few years passed.
“Then, one night I met Julie, the girl of my dreams.”
I soon realized that I wanted a normal life. A few weeks after meeting Julie I walked back into the family business and into Lou’s office. He never looked up at me. “What?” he asked quietly. ” I would like you to give me a chance and give me my job back” He stayed silent.
“Please, I muttered. “I’m in love” “I need another chance,” He said quietly “Go sit down and go to work.” I loved him more than ever. “OK,” I blurted out smiling widely. He still had not looked at me. I again believed I could make everything right with him, with Julie, and make a life …
‘But, I still loved gambling more than anything including myself’ …
Back in 1947 my Mom and Dad had sex. I was the result and now I sit in my a little apartment almost 70 years later barely surviving. What a remarkable unforced error that act of love created.
I have had a life filled with many wonderful benefits that most can only dream of. Yet, I have screwed it all up.
I was born into a family where there were already two older brothers twelve and thirteen years my seniors. Then, when I was only twelve daddy suddenly dropped dead leaving my two older brothers in charge of a very profitable family business which they already had been working in. My mom, myself, and the two brothers all were willed equal parts of the business with my end being entrusted to my mom till I was twenty-five..
I was not a normal kid at all. I hated school and was…
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