Planning to Fail

So, I’m planning a gambling trip to the casino. Why? WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?

Almost 7.5 months free. Is the the access to money? Yes, that’s part of it. OK, so maybe drop the credit card off with my husband.

Is it boredom? Yes, that’s part of it. OK, so what’s something you’ve wanted to do for a while and haven’t? A sewing class. Could I take a sewing class tonight? OK, not tonight - but there’s one tomorrow. But it’s during the time I should probably go to a GA meeting.

Speaking of, I should go to a GA meeting. There is one tonight, but not until 7:30, and I’ll be done with work at 4:30, so what do I do with myself for 3 hours?

OK, let’s walk through this. What it looks like if I gamble:

I go to the bank and withdraw $400. “Big bills, please,” I say.
I drive down to the casino, trembling with excitement and fear.
I park, pay my $15 to park, and walk into the casino.
I hand the guard my license to check me.
I’m so nervous, that I have to hit the bathroom.
I come out, finger the bills in my pocket.
I walk around and look for a machine that speaks to me.
I find one - probably a cascading reels machine - and I sit down, putting in $100.
I play, and maybe I hit small, $10.
I feel good, like God wants me to be gambling.
I keep playing. I’m am down to $50, but it’s OK. If I am just patient, it’ll hit.
It does hit - $100. I’m back, up by $50.
I could go, take the $50 and no one would ever have to know I slipped. It doesn’t even count, really, by the time I factor in parking and gas and maybe a quick bite to eat, I haven’t really won anything at all.
But since I haven’t really won anything, I should stay and see if I can hit. I mean, really, if I’ve blown 7.5 months, then I might as well make it count.
I cash out and move to a different machine.
I put in $100, and it plays down to $50. I don’t feel good about this machine, so I find another.
I mean, really, this is the last time I’m ever going to play, so I should say goodbye to all my machines “one last time.”
I put a fresh $100 into another machine, and it plays down to $75.
OK, this machine isn’t working, either. Find a new one.
I put the $75 in, and it hits for $50.
Of my $400, I’ve still got $225, so I’m OK. I mean, I can afford to lose $175 at this point.
But since I’m here, let’s try another machine.
I put a fresh $100 in, and it plays down to $30. I keep playing because it’s “got to hit soon.”
It does not, so I put another $100 in. I’m up, then I’m down, then I’m up, and then down.
OK, fuck this machine. I’ll find a new machine. I’ve got $25 left. I might as well try another machine.
The new machine does not hit.
Well, I’ve got $400 I can get from the credit line.
I take out $400. Repeat of the above.
I have lost $800, and now I have to go home and tell my husband that I blew 7.5 months of abstaining.
He takes away all of my cards and even considers taking the keys to the car.
He’s not mad; he just doesn’t trust me at all.
I have to go to a meeting and give a new clean date and feel judged and that I proved them right; I can’t do it “my” way and be successful.
Feel shame, regret, fear, worry (we needed that $800 really).

Or, let’s say I do even hit big. Then what? The story becomes, “Honey, we have an extra $4,000 but I got it from gambling.”

I still have a husband who doesn’t trust me and a new clean date. The money won’t solve anything.

Or will it … this is where I get tripped up. We could put $4,000 toward a personal loan and still pay an extra $1,000 to my credit card. It could alleviate some stress.

But how many times in my gambling career did I win big jackpots? Three? Four? Over how many years? The odds are not in my favor.

And even if I did win, there’s no guarantee I’d escape with the money. I’d probably put it right back in and walk away, with nothing or worse, at a loss.

So, what am I really feeling here? Bored. Worried.

Could I alleviate the boredom by gambling? Yes.
Does it cost money? Yes.
Could I alleviate the worry by gambling? No. I’d have more worry.

Could I alleviate the boredom by taking a class? Yes.
Does it cost money? Yes.
Could I alleviate the worry by taking a class? No, but I wouldn’t have additional worry.

Could I alleviate the boredom by taking a going out to eat? Yes.
Does it cost money? Yes.
Could I alleviate the worry by going out to eat? No, but I wouldn’t have additional worry.

Could I alleviate the boredom by taking a going shopping? Yes.
Does it cost money? Yes.
Could I alleviate the worry by shopping? No, but I wouldn’t have additional worry (though I would spend more).

Could I alleviate the boredom by going to see a movie? Yes.
Does it cost money? Yes.
Could I alleviate the worry by going to see a movie? No, but I wouldn’t have additional worry.

OK, so it’s clear there are multiple ways to alleviate boredom that would still cost money but not create additional worry for me. I might not be happy with myself for spending money on a dinner out, but I sure as hell wouldn’t have to lie to my husband about it or change my clean date.

Resolved. I won’t gamble tonight. That’s about all I can promise, though.

 
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