Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Nuts and Bolts of How I Ruined My Life, Part One.

First, in a continuing series:

In the way of prefatory remarks, I feel obliged to address some of the concerns / comments sent in by readers via email. (By the way, I urge you to use the comments section rather than flooding my personal email box...) First, I've been accused of being too glib about everything -- my financial troubles, my addiction, "ruining my life" you name it. To a certain extent, it's a fair observation. But how else can someone talk about personal cataclysm? What are my options? To be hysterical? I made my bed and now I'm sleeping in it.

Anyway, yes, I'm a relatively young man. And I can say in a very real way that my life has been ruined by gambling. Not temporarily sidetracked. Not detoured. Ruined. That's not to say that I want to kill myself, or that I can never be happy. It just means that I had life X lined up for me, and now the possibility of that is dead, never to return.

What, precisely, is Life X? It is, I'd imagine, a life in which you are not an addict. One in which you don't have all seven of your credit card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes committed to memory. Suburban house, picket fence. It is about being responsible. Most of all, it is about being able to enjoy things that don't involve risk and uncertainty. Swimming. Reading. Sex. Just sitting around. Hell for me is a week-long stint at the beach with nothing to do but "relax." I cannot enjoy things. That's the real sickness, and it's why people like me inevitably relapse.

Next Installment: Why I don't have a law degree.


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