Sunday, February 21, 2010

Les jeux sont faits

Hi.  My name is Ken and I'm a compulsive gambler.

I don't know how this happened.  Somewhere in recent years--and especially since I retired--I've begun frequenting casinos way too often, and usually with wretched results.  I have lost a LOT.

Rationalizing has usually been fairly easy:  I'm old; I have several chronic illnesses; I'm bored; I'm useless; Everything is going to hell anyway; I'll win next time; etc. etc.

But the remorse is becoming overwhelming.  It's actually making me sick to think that I have wasted so much money when a) my own brother is unemployed, b) my nephew needs financial help, c) there's a possibility that, despite my gloom, I might live another decade or more and, because of my self-indulgence, find myself dependent on family members.  Mostly, after I return from one of these slot-machine frenzies, I hate myself even more--and wallow even more in self-pity.

So I've got to stop.  I cut up all of my player's and check-cashing cards.  Now I need, above all, to find a focus for my life--because the gambling is just Pascalian divertissement, I think.

Maybe tutoring at the high school.  Maybe some kind of volunteer work at the library.  Dunno yet.

I just hope that I can do this cold turkey, without recidivism.

And people like me can't actually go to "rehab."  "Rehab" is for famous folks who earn at least six figures and who suppose that going to some spa in the desert (and spending five of those six figures) will automatically restore them to health, wealth and prestige.

Rehab reminds me of high school tutoring, actually.  Grace's parents think that she should be an A student in English.  Grace, on the other hand, hates English, doesn't study and lies to her parents.  So the parents hire a tutor for $50/hour.  The tutor "works" with Grace twice a week.  Grace still doesn't do anything and consequently her grades remain unchanged.  So the parents fire the tutor because he/she didn't really  rehabilitate their daughter.  Rehab and tutoring probably can't work very well unless there's some honest commitment involved on the part of the "rehabilitee."

I hope I at least have that commitment.

Wish me "luck."

1 comment:


    And, more importantly, I hope you do find that new focus soon. I've really liked reading your blog, if that helps.