Story of a Gambler (Chapter 9: Help)

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One morning on my way to the casino, I thought about stopping to grab a quick cup of coffee to hold me over. I really needed a coffee that morning considering I gambled until 5 AM in the morning, and I was on my way back there. I had the jitters.

That means that I could literally feel my hands shaking, my stomach turning thinking about playing on a machine or better yet sitting down at a poker or blackjack table. These jitters didn’t just occur out of the blue either; it happened every time I thought about gambling.

I decided to run in and grab a cup of coffee, and as I was waiting I was looking at the corkboard that happened to be covered in business cards and flyers, and one of the flyers read, GA-Gamblers Anonymous meetings every Tuesday. I contemplated in my head for what seemed like hours but in reality, it was only a minute or two on whether or not I should jot the number down on my phone. I hesitated because if I took the number it meant I was admitting to myself that I was a gambling addict, but if I chose not to take it perhaps I would never get help and this would be my life for the next forty some odd years.



My first meeting was the following Tuesday, and it was probably the most nervous I had ever been. I walked into that room sweating, and I felt like vomiting. I got there a bit late only because I almost didn’t show up, I almost backed out but thank god that I didn’t. I sat down in one of the chairs in the back of the room, hoping that nobody would notice me coming in. However; everyone turned around as I sat down on a very squeaky seat that ended up interrupting the counselor who was talking to the group at the podium. He welcomed me and told me that if I was comfortable just listening at the back that would be more than okay. I nodded my head and said thank you, and I listened to him and some of the stories that were told that day. It was both uplifting and frightening at the same time, but I learned a lot about myself, and my addiction. It turned out to be the beginning of my journey to recovery.


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