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Real Life Diary: Quitting Gambling

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Day 1 August 4
Today is the day. I don't know why I think this day is any different from the countless other times I've decided to quit, but for some inexplicable reason, this time I really feel I can do it.

There isn't one single straw that broke the camel's back. However, with two casinos within an hour's drive, I am just sick and tired of feeling guilty and ashamed. I am not taking food away from my family, but the money lost over the years has been significant.

For the first time ever, I actually write down the pros and cons of gambling. Guess what? The pros side of the list is awfully short and the cons quite lengthy. Sure, winning is fun! But over time, I am definitely a loser and a loser I no longer want to be.

I know why I gamble – the same with most gamblers, I suppose. It's a brief escape from reality, a mini-vacation, the excitement and anticipation of a big win.

I take the casino membership cards from my wallet and throw them in the trash. Symbolic I know, as the cards are easily replaceable at the casino. Of course, I am not going back.

Day 2 August 5
Everyone who knows me also knows that I love to gamble. I see two good friends at the Y and they ask how I did over the weekend. One look at my face and they know. I tell them I am done and they can see that I am not my jovial self, but deadly serious.

I am a retired teacher but currently work part-time integrating disabled men and women into the community. The work is mostly enjoyable, sometimes stressful and basically low paying. Yet the little extra supplement I earn is wasted each week in the casino. Enough already!

I get a text message about a hold-em poker game this evening (an illegal one at that), just TWO minutes from my house. I text back and ask them to please take me off their list, I've quit playing. A return message advises me to let them know when I'll be back…

Day 3 August 6
I am feeling down today. I don't exactly know why, but I find myself forming tears for no particular reason.

In the mail I get an upgraded card from Hollywood Casino. Lucky me. I can get free valet parking Sunday – Thursday. It too goes in the trash.

Otherwise I have been having a busy day – two classes at the Y, delivering ten meals on wheels, lunch with my mom and then working on the community sign in the town park.

Day 4 August 7
Still feeling down and still forming tears. What's that all about? Am I grieving the loss of gambling? Too bad, time will help.

So far today I have asked to unsubscribe from three online casinos and have contacted the two local casinos to request they stop sending promotional flyers to my home.

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