I have a gambling problem.
I’m writing this because I find if I make this issue public I’ll be able to get a better grip of my problem. It’s not only a need – I WANT to stop this horrible habit because it is ruining me financially.
I know I would be about $100,000 richer and done more productive-meaningful things in my life (time wasted) if I didn’t gamble.
It is SUPER CRUCIAL that I must stop this time because I’m starting my own business venture this summer. Every cent I spend must be spent wisely towards a business purchase / decision. I am fortunate that, till September 2014, I will have steady income being deposited into my bank account.
However afterwards – gulp.
Therefore, I am telling you that I have a gambling problem. I’m going to tell you my story of why I got into it, what it has destroyed, and how I will fix it altogether. I hope sharing this will help anyone else who is dealing with compulsive disastrous habit(s) / disease(s) such as gambling.
My gambling addiction is a game called poker. It doesn’t matter the game or if it is live play or on an Online Casino, NoLimit to Pot Limit High/Low to 5 Card Draw. If there is a poker game, I want to play.
I started when I was 17 years old when I first played the 3/6 Texas Holdem limit games at Barona Casino in San Diego. I would usually buy-in for about $100. Then, I started getting into the 1/3 Texas Holdem No-Limit Games. The entire year I would sneak into the casino and sit on the tables.
It was so much fun!
See, I was a very sheltered kid who was homeschooled till 10th grade and then did Independent study / Community College classes from then on forward.
My routine involved me going to academic things, then a volunteer program, then back to my neighborhood to work (cutting people’s lawns / watering / mover / laborer…). I’m not going to lie when I say that I didn’t have any friends. I really didn’t have any friends.
The only place where I could escape and find comfort… was a casino.
It was there that I would talk to the “regulars” and random tourists who were at the tables. I would have lengthy jovial conversations, joke around, and think that I was making friends with the people on the tables.
How Did I Afford This Habit?
I had about a $2000 saved up when I was 16 – 17 from all the odd jobs of that year (mowing lawns and things). In addition, for the first year I played – I was a winning player. I didn’t make a lot of money but I averaged about making $25+ when I played.
My biggest winning session that year was about $1,000.
I went to a great university called UC Berkeley! As of right now, and the time I went, it was the #1 Public University in the world. Sadly, for those first three years of my life – I spent a majority of it WORRYING about gambling.
I started getting into ONLINE POKER. Unlike real-life gambling, online poker was just more enticing and addictive because it seemed like I could never leave. It was always there calling my name. In addition, I remember a TON of my college friends who were somehow making their living / paying off college debt by playing poker online.
I wanted to be just like these peers. However, time and time again – I would deposit money and BOOOOOOOOM lose it all. I even used my school loans, spent all my saved money from my school and summer jobs, and even sold my books to stay in action.
Here are just a few examples of how gambling affected my college years:
I remember the many times I blew off girls to gamble (I COULD HAVE GOTTEN LAID MORE). Yes, I would ask them out or we would do something prior – and then when it came time to see them (again)… I was usually blowing them off to a gambling session online.
I remember crying on November 8th, 2008 in the corner of my room because I lost about $5,000 to someone online. YES, I played poker all day and night during ELECTION DAY (OBAMA 2008!). I even missed the massive UC Berkeley festivities that happened afterward. I MISSED HISTORY because I was gambling.
I remember missing crucial points and information in class, not because I didn’t go, BUT BECAUSE I WOULD BE PLAYING ONLINE POKER IN CLASS.
I was (am) pathetic.
I decided to take a break from gambling during my senior year because I had a few more responsibilities to take care of that year: moving my mother to a new place, being a senator at the University, making sure I had a job for when I graduate… important things.
Once gambling was out of my life it seemed that my overall happiness changed. Senior year was the best time of my life! Everything was coming together. I took like 6 classes each semester (needed to catch up), I held two after school jobs, I was able to hold a stable relationship, I did really well as student-body senator (will tell you the story later), and was pretty popular amongst my peers.
It was awesome.
Graduating and Turning 21:
I graduated in 2010 and was also now 21 years old. This meant that I was able to go into any casino and play in any card room in America. I basically fell back into gambling.
Even though I was employed – I took every paycheck and spent everything in a card room. My first job paid me about $1,500 a month – BOOM gone. Then $2,500 a month – BOOM GONE.
No matter how much I made I always blew it on some fucking casino. There were times where I could’ve used the money to see friends, travel to places, see my girlfriend (long distance), network with great connections – start a company with the funds I had.
4 Years Later – 2014:
Here I am. I’m not really struggling financially but I am almost broke. And, I know that if I continue gambling I will definitely go broke and lose any (if not all) opportunities that come my way this summer: I want to really buckle down because I’m starting my own projects (which you’ll know about as I will be writing them here).
I feel like if I don’t buckle down then I WILL NEVER BE SUCCESSFUL. I feel like I have so much potential, ambition, and a great network that I can utilize to make these projects happen.
I JUST NEED TO STOP GAMBLING.
I WANT TO STOP GAMBLING.
I WILL STOP GAMBLING.
What I’ll Do:
If you noticed – on the sidebar of this site I’ve put an announced proclamation of how many days I’ve been sober. It should and will always be greater than zero from this date – May 31st, 2014.
I cannot do it alone. I have a Gambling Sponsor who I haven’t called in a while. I’ll talk to him at least once a week. In addition, I’ll attend Gamblers Anonymous meeting: I’ve gone before but this time it’ll be different.
I must be able to be humble and hide my ego. Basically, it’s going to be up to me to make sure I do not relapse. Period.
The next few months I’ll still write about my projects, my musings on life, – but I’ll make sure to always continue to update you regarding my gambling habits.
It seems that writing is the #1 thing that keeps me away from my any harm I do to myself and others.
In Gambler’s Anonymous we are asked twenty questions to determine if we have a gambling problem. The questions seem to be applicable to anyone who isn’t even a gambling addict. However, in my case I feel that these 20 questions have really put me in a position to realize the many faults I have and how much I’ve allowed gambling to take over my life.
Before I share these 20 questions, I want to let you know that the biggest issue I had due to my gambling habit was – i) I could’ve given MORE MONEY to my family. I’m an idiot and I’ve only given the minimum. They deserve more!
And ii) I feel this is THE BIGGEST ONE – the time I wasted. Money comes and go but my time will never-ever be given back to me. Alright, moving forward…
Time for the 20 questions:
Please answer the following questions.
1. Did you ever lose time from work due to gambling?
2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7. After losing, did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8. After a win, did you ever have a strong urge to return and win more?
9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
12. Were you reluctant to use gambling money for normal expenditures?
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
Yes (of myself).
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you planned?
15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance your gambling?
17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments, or frustration create within you an urge to gamble?
19. Did you have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
21. What sites you can recommend for gambling?
Check top online casino Malaysia
Most compulsive (problem) gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.
If client answers “yes” to at least seven of the 20 questions, the client may have a gambling problem.
Thanks for listening.
See you tomorrow.