I’m surrounded by several casinos in the Seattle area, all offering a good mix of video slot machines, card and table games. Over the past few years I’ve gotten to know all of them pretty well… and that’s a problem. The lights and sounds and music… and the excitement of getting the right cards, or the dice landing on the right number… I loved it all! But, with the number of things I want to do in life, going to a casino is a sure-fire way to keep pushing those things back further and further.
The problem of gambling generally hasn’t been a big issue for me, yet lately I’ve started to accept that I’m spending a lot of money for no guarantee of a big win. And the times where I do win (and trust me it’s happened a few times… especially making my taxes fun for 2020…) I tend to play it right back and not leave with anything. Aside from a few smart decisions such as getting a long overdue eye exam and new glasses, and a new Macbook Pro, let’s just say I could’ve wiped clean all the debt that I have accumulated with what I’ve won.
My next journey in life is to pursue a career in trucking, which I want to share with you on the blog and maybe even on YouTube. I could have easily put myself in a school to get my CDL and I would be on the road now if it weren’t for my dumb choices with gambling. I could’ve done so much… and here I am with not much to show for the success I did have.
Do I have a disorder? If I were to answer the criteria questions on my own, I would certainly come to that conclusion. I love the excitement of winning, and taking bigger and bigger chances. But I would chase the losses to try and make up for it, and feel incredibly remorseful when I went back to my car with nothing other than a full belly from the comped meal and sodas. I would look forward to having just enough to go withdraw a few hundred bucks to go play with, at the risk of barely staying afloat of current obligations.
Those behiavors keep me where I’m at, and not where I want to go. So I have to change that, starting right now with this blog post sharing with the world that I have a gambling problem. Acknowledging it publicly and openly is the beginning. The cards I have are going to get shredded up and thrown away. The emails I get and the promotional mailers are all going to get deleted and recycled. And I’m going to create a financial plan to help me look forward to the things I want in life rather than chasing a thrill with no guarantee.