Look after it.
This is an extract from my short book about how I keep positive in life.
For me, I began a particular habit when I was eighteen and it plagued me for many years. That habit was gambling. Some people refer to ‘the art of gambling.’ Others call it the ‘silent addiction’ or even the ‘silent killer’ because it often goes unnoticed for a long time before it causes harm and becomes visible to those around you. For me, it was a steady player in my life for a long time but one day it suddenly grabbed me and took over my world.
I can almost pinpoint it. It was the day that I decided to log in to my computer and try online gambling for the first time. Having already been to a casino a few times and had the odd flutter on the horse races, I thought that I had control over my impulses. This, however, felt very different. It was dangerous and yet it reminded me of other computer games. The consequences didn’t feel genuine or likely. Each time I logged on and added a few quid from one of my credit cards, it just didn’t add up. It wasn’t until my monthly credit card bill arrived that I started to see just how much I had piled onto that online casino account. By then, of course, it was too late! I had already thrown thousands of pounds down the drain over many long nights of wishing myself to become a millionaire.
I suppose I really should give you a clearer picture of how this all happens. In my experience, I had loved visiting the casino with my best mates. We had always gone in with fifty quid and seen where the night took us. Sometimes it had ended early when we burned out quickly and on other occasions we had stayed long into the night, making a little cash here and there and buying a few drinks to make the whole experience more enjoyable, especially when we took a bit of a hit.
The online casino seemed a lot more promising and rewarding. I would put twenty dollars on my account and gently roll a few dollars at a time, mainly trying my luck on the roulette wheel while I built up a little, before then heading for a blackjack table and spending a few hours watching my balance go up and down. Every tap of the buttons felt simulated. In my head I was not using real money, it was just a computer world and I was having fun on a game that was more entertaining than any shoot-em-up or wrestling game.