Day Five – What’s Your Addiction?


One more day without gambling!

It has really just occurred to me that it was approximately a week ago that I made a real error of judgement with my gambling that cost me dearly, enough to then go and ‘chase’ what I had lost/

I was feeling in great spirits as it was the Friday evening before a bank holiday weekend. Also, the weather in the North East of England was verging on the balmy side and the outlook was good. I was also looking forward to a day of racing at Newmarket the next day where I hoped to lay a few short-priced favourites and win some of my money back.

The only thing negative that was praying on my mind was my worry about a very close friend who I had spoke to during the day. She’d been to the bank for a loan of £10,000 as she was in dire straits with her finances and unfortunately the bank had turned her down. I’d been assisting with advice telling her to make sure she told the bank that it was to pay of her credit cards which were costing her a fortune each month in interest alone. Unfortunately, the bank refused her the loan – so I went into my normal mode of hoping I could help her by winning some money for her over the weekend. I was absolutely confident I could.

I spent most of Friday evening looking at all the form for the races on Saturday and looked on the exchanges for horses I would normally trade against winning (lay) and it seemed that Saturday was going to be a day full of short-priced favourites that would not win their races. The bookmakers dream, and exchange layer’s. So I was happy, confident I could help and settled to watch a film. As it happens it was the film ‘Molly’s Game’ with the brilliant Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba telling the true story of Molly Bloom an American entrepreneur and author of the 2014 memoir Molly’s Game. The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, and once budding Olympic skier.

I loved it and as I watched the true story of Molly. In one part of the film I felt a twinge of empathy or sadness when I heard of one compulsive gambler who lost such a significant amount of money that he committed suicide. This is always awful to hear in any situation, the fact that someone has reached such a low point in their life that they believe the only way out is to take their own life. At Gamblers Anonymous it is always said in the meetings that ‘amounts lost’ should not be mentioned as for everyone who is an addict the scale of ability to lose money is vast, but the pain whatever the amount just the same. At one meeting I heard a guy tell of how one day when in London he needed to get the bus home, the weather was awful. He had £1 in his pocket, but it was his very last £1 he had. The bus fare home was £1.60, so sure enough as a compulsive gambler he found it logical to go to a bookmakers and put the £1 stake onto a very low price favourite at the odds of 4/6 .Odds on, so a high probability of winning £6.66 back as well as his stake. As happens the horse of course lost the race and the guy left the shop in the pouring rain to walk home. During his walk home, his worry at losing his last £1 he had as well as every addict’s feeling of self-loathing, stupidity and hopeless drove him to put his head onto a railway track. It was only just before the train was seconds from ending his life that he decided that he actually preferred life and took his head from the track.

As a compulsive gambler I can relate to these suicidal thoughts as I’ve felt them myself, but each time I have thought of them I have also thought of the pain I would put my mother and family through, who I know love me, should I take my own life. At times this has been the only thing that stopped me. But now I actually believe suicide is never an option and that always, no matter what, there is hope.

But I digress. The film was very good, and I had drunk a few cans of cider and was feeling very merry as I settled into my bed and completely by accident hit the remote control for my TV in my bedroom. Up came the Australian racing being aired at about 2am UK time. Immediately I heard the commentators talking about a favourite which looked dodgy and that it did actually have some stiff competition in the race, so the price may not reflect the horse’s chances of winning the race. A lightbulb went off in my head and immediately I went for my laptop, logged onto a betting exchanged and layed the horse, betting for it not to win, so that my return would be £500. A small step to helping my friend out, and yipppeee the horse lost. To be honest I have to say sometimes when winning I can’t say that I feel ‘yipppeee.’ Often I feel just numb and the rush comes at the moment just before the finishing line when you see if the horse you have layed loses or wins.

So I’d in seconds won 50% of my target to send to my friend the next day. Immediately it went to another race on another Australian course and this time I had enough funds not to lay the favourite but to lay the second favourite which was running at odds of 4/1 and this time I thought I’d go for it big time as I may be on a streak, so put a sizeable amount of money – all of my betting bank in on this lay hoping that if this comes off, then I’ve made more than I could have dreamed of in moments. It seemed logical as well. It had been a lovely night and I was happy and only just won £500. How could it win.

I watched in dismay as the finish was a photo-finish and so tight between two horses that the steward needs to examine a photo to see which horse hit the line first. In all honesty though I already knew. Most people who study photo-finishes do know and I could see that the horse that I layed had won. I prayed for a while until the steward quickly announced that yes, the official winner was the horse that I layed, and suddenly my very happy evening and whole planned bank holiday weekend dissipated into abject misery and self-loathing. I went out into my garden and smoked about three cigarettes one after the other wonder what the fuck I could do now, and also how much I hated myself for having gambled while partially drunk.

So, after a while of not sleeping and watching the sun rise in misery knowing I’d never sleep until I could somehow get this back, I planned the seeds for Saturday’s racing in the UK the next day and my ultimate, and I hope final, demise.

It’s curious as also today I’ve thought a lot about addictions and types of addictions. I drink but I’m not addicted to alcohol but am addicted to other things. Why is that? I also wondered just how many different forms of addiction there are.

The Oxford English dictionary defines the word addiction as (Noun: The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.)

As a curious person I wondered if anyone reads this blog if I can do a survey on not only how many forms of addiction there are and whether being addicted to something relates to a particular personality type.

If reading this and feel like doing my survey please do, it will be interesting to read.

What’s Your Addiction

What’s Your Personality Type

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