66. Gambler (Empathy, Lent 7)

66

Gamblers do not walk around with “I am a gambler” tattooed on their foreheads. Your everyday addict isn’t easy to spot. The only time I’ve really come across them is after they have fallen headlong into the place of no return, when they’ve lost their spouse/kids/family home. I haven’t had much experience of them, I don’t have an addictive personality myself, and I know that makes me fortunate. So it is hard to stop and think about how it might feel to be one.

I’m not one of those people who say “I can stop any time I like.” I know I have a problem. I do have a system, but it is failing me. The trouble is, it’s like I started rolling down a hill, and now I can’t stop, even if I wanted to. I am out of control. It’s like I had ten drinks and I think the next one will take me to Wonderland and everything will be fine and I’ll finally be able to stop and enjoy the high. If I were next to a red button that said “do not push,” I would press it. I need to see what happens next. I need the danger, the risk, otherwise my life is boring, pointless. Maybe I’ll win big and my whole life will be different. You can’t tell me for sure it won’t. People win the lottery every day.

 

Photo and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

Incidentally, if you missed me yesterday, I was “on strike” for International Women’s Day.

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