The Dietician’s Affliction
Gambling is a problem that can strike anyone, any time. You do not have to be closely associated with the ordeals of gambling to start a relationship with it. It just comes about, and when it does, it sticks with you, slowly drawing all your hard-earned money, and your life out of you. Together with spincastle.com we looked at the tale of one Mr. Andrew, a nutritionist, and dietician from Argentina. He had quite the usual life till he had his first run on a slot machine in Las Vegas in 2007. The first run in the slot machine gave him enough dopamine rush to start an affair with gambling that was bound to last a very long time and cost him much more than money.
Mr. Andrew was out of bounds with gambling. He reconciles that in a morning in 2017 he drops a picture on Facebook captioned "Waking up at the crack of dawn has its visual benefits!" The image was unfiltered and true, but the sad part was he was not waking up to it. In fact, he had spent the whole night in one of the casinos in Las Vegas gambling away everything he had on him- half his paycheck and two maxed-out credit cards.
Though it all started way back in 2007, he would still visit the casinos rarely. That was, till he got a job as a nutritionist in Las Vegas in 2012! The only thought driving him when he was taking on this job was that he was going to Las Vegas for his job and not to fuel his new gambling affliction. This thought consoled him, soothed him, and gave him the power to take a job in Las Vegas. However, the thought was a carefully constructed lie by his mind, as could be seen in his slow downfall into gambling over the coming weeks.
It all starts slowly
At first, it was just a few hours on the weekends on the slot machines which very slowly but steadily progressed into long hours throughout the week. It is important to mention at this point that he never neglected his job. But his afflictions had already started to interfere with his daily life. He knew that once he sat on a machine, he was a different person altogether. All that mattered at such times was the thrill of gambling, the thrill of winning back all that he lost, the winning of spending just $1.6 on a machine to get a return of $1600.
Mr. Andrew vividly remembers the first time he had an extended gambling spree at one of the machines. That fateful night he had entered the casino with $2000 in his checking account and was left with nothing but a mere $200 when he left early in the morning. He remembers this so vividly because there was a point in his spree when he was up by $600. However, the extra winnings do not matter to a gambler in ways it does to a normal person. A normal person would treat himself with some extra cash, maybe get that piece of tech that he had been dreaming of getting for a while. However, that is not the case with a gambler! All the winnings that a gambler gets, they spend it all for a few more runs at the slot machine. Every dollar earned at a gambling table or a slot machine is used up by the gambler for some extra time at gambling.
The bright lights of the machine, the magnified celebratory cheering from the machines, all work together to give you a dopamine hit. The moment Mr. Andrew would sit in a machine, space, and time would cease to exist for him. He would be wasting away his money and go on pressing buttons till he had barely enough left as if in a frenzy! When he would shamefully return home at the end of such sprees, he’d rationalize saying things like “this was the last time” like all addicts. And, like all addicts, he would go back the next day.
In the City of Sin
Mr. Andrew was living alone in Vegas. No family, no friends, nobody to answer to. Even if he had to interact and socialize, gambling is a fairly easy addiction to hide. All one needs to do is put on a happy face. There is no stench, no white powdery deposits around the nostrils, no walking randomly or anything. And thus, such an affliction goes unnoticed by anyone. Mr. Andrew had lost his mental peace, his sleep, his zeal to socialize with people, and everything else. All he cared about was gambling and gambling alone.
Every bit of free time that he could get, he would spend it gambling. Every time he was paid a paycheck or got any money, he would spend it gambling. When his mother once asked why doesn’t get a better car he silenced her using ideas of living in a materialistic world, and that he was happy and comfortable with his ride. But, deep down, he knew the reason for his outburst was his terrible financial state and how he spent nearly all of his paychecks in gambling.
In the end, Mr. Andrew was lucky to get into a twelve-step program that helped him get rid of his addiction. It took him months, and even after that, there were times when he had thought of rewarding himself for being so good by gambling once. But just like all other addictions, it never is just once! Mr. Andrew's life shows us how gambling destroys your finances along with your physical and mental well-being.
It is important to learn from his life and to stay the hell away from gambling!