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How Gambling is ruining me

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Excuse the dramatic sound of the subject. This is going to be a long read.

This diary is about me and others in my shoe. I have decided for good that I will stop gambling, and this time I have decided to not only develop the will power but to hold myself solely accountable for whatever happens in my life and not anyone else. I am the captain of my ship, and whatever happens, I have myself to blame.

I started gambling during NYSC and I squandered all the money sent to me for my professional exams on gambling and more than 80% of the money I get from NYSC monthly goes to funding this habit chasing losses.

I got a good job post NYSC. I was so busy with life, that gambling never comes to mind, and I also live within my means.

Fast forward to 2021, I started gambling again. I came over bet9ja casino. I started with 50k, but soon I found my self with 2m in winnings. I wish I had never won, I thought to myself I have found the cheat code to beat the casino on bet9ja. Then I lost all rationality and then the losing streak started. I lost the entire 2m I won.

After this I felt empty, but I mean if I can win 2m with 50k, I can still do it again, right?. I just wanted to win the 2m back and call it quit. I got greedy or may be I was just getting addicted to the the high and low. Well I lost the new 50k, which means I have now lost a total of 100k. Then the lost chasing started (as at then I have saved 1.4m from working), but I lost it all chasing losses.

I was mad. I was angry,how could I be that stupid, why didn’t I stop while I was ahead? This was in 2021. I decided to quit for good, or did I? and suck my wound. The worst part of it was family didn’t know and so do friends. They keep asking for financial support but I could give NONE. I told them I don’t have, no one will believe, cause I didn’t explain. It hurts that I couldn’t help during those trying times, but I put this all on myself.

Fast forward to March 2022 after quitting gambling for like 5 months, I have saved upto 2.3 million. I resumed again. I wanted to run an expense I didn’t budget for of 100k. So I thought why not just play 2 odds with 100k. It’s just a one off. I will win and I will quit, I am not going to be addicted again, or so I thought. I played zoom and I won, and I kept winning then I switched to lucky dice in casino, I won and won and won till I was up 3M. The Dopamine rush was too intense and I just couldn’t stop, I lost it all (but actually it was just 100k from my money that I lost , but you know it still feels like I lost 3M). Then I started chasing losses and lost the entire 2.3M I had saved from 6 months of work over the course of gambling in just 2 weeks.

You can say I was stupid, I was greedy, I was …. I really do not come here for judgement. I already know everything you all will be saying to be true. I have taken full accountability for my actions. I am just doing this to document my highest lows, to put up a diary and start a daily target to help me quit.

Well after the event above. I just couldn’t move on easily, I mean I have lost 3.7m in the pace of a year. Money people would use to start something up. I failed myself and those around me. I took full responsibility or did I? . I borrowed loan from L credit, Okash, Fairmoney just to quickly recover my losses, loans accumulating to about 500k and Iost them all on bet9ja casino lucky dice (even or odd). Then salary came and I gambled it all with the hope of recovering the money so I can pay back these loan apps and once again I lost it all.

I have a good job but I am still broke, I am still broke because I made stupid decisions. What hurts the most is not the money I have lost, it is the time I have wasted, the opportunity missed, the emptiness that follows and the inability to tell anyone else. I was knee deep in addiction and I just don’t know how to quit, or may be I don’t want to?

I quit again, after the above episode, or did I? Ain’t it stupid? That everytime I have quitted or decide to is when I had already hit rock bottom?. So pathetic.

Fast forward to September this year, I have saved 1.7m and I went back again.. I can’t move on. If I had not gambled I would be in 3.9m by now. (2.3 I lost in March and the 1.6 I have saved now). So I went back chasing what I have lost. I was ahead upto 3m and then it all went crashing, then I went back and deposited more and more till I have deposited 1.3m of my own money chasing losses. With the last 300k I won up to 3.4m, then the losing streak started and I had 1.5m left on my bet9ja account. It was at this point I decided I will quit with a bang. Let whatever happen happens but I am so done. Not the money, but just the uneasiness, the emptiness, the time wasted, the loneliness and the anguish that comes with this addiction. I staked the entire 1.5m on zoom for a 2.8 odd (just 1 game) and I won. I won 4.2million. What did I do? I quickly withdrew, I told myself I had earlier decided to quit if I had lost it, I should still do the same now that I have won or the cycle will only continue.

I withdrew the 4.2, I self excluded and closed the bet9ja account. I moved my funds to an account where I do not have access to immediate withdrawal or transfer unless I visit the bank.

I have recovered almost every money I have lost? But I can’t recover the time wasted, the feeling of being lost, the moments I couldn’t help family in need and all those times I have lost focus on things that matter.

Things I have learnt in the past 2 years battling this addiction

1. You will never win because you will never stop. Even when you do win, you will lose because you will always keep playing, and the odds will at one time surely be against you.

2. Chasing losses is a major sign that you are addicted. I got lucky that in the end I recovered almost all I have lost, but trust me it wasn’t worth the emotional turmoil and the time I have wasted. I could have easily LOST IT ALL AGAIN.

3. Just stay away from Gambling. There is nothing like play responsibly or play only the money you can afford to lose. As humans, we just don’t want to lose, however small, and that’s where the chasing losses emanates from.

4. Quit while you are ahead. Most of the times addicts only quit when they have lost it all and hit rock bottom. But once new influx of cash comes in, we go back again. So quit even when you have money, it is the only way you can truly know that you have quit.

5. Gambling can be a serious addiction. But you need to take accountability and responsibility for your decisions. You can’t keep whining and asking people for money that you will stop gambling. You can’t blame your predicament for while you are gambling. You have yourself totally to blame. You have the resolve to quit, the Willpower to stop. You just have to want it so bad. To play is to lose and to lose is to relapse. Make an effort to quit.

6. Nobody gets rich by gambling. Check Forbes list again. It’s nonetheless the easiest way to lose your hard earned money. You know Archie Karas? He was one of the biggest gambling winners of all time and yet one of the biggest losers of all time as well. You will never win unless you stop. The bookies are steps ahead of you, the house always win and as such your winning streak will surely end.

7. Live your life one step at a time. Chase goals and work for it, stop looking for an easy way out.

8. Most addicts don’t gamble for the money, they gamble for the Dopamine rush they feel whenever they gamble. We only use greed as a cover, but it is the feeling you get when you gamble that we are addicted to.

9. Count your blessings, you don’t need to gamble to survive. It will only ruin you.

10. Ignore all the “I used N100 to chop 12million”, and all the “I have 2 sure odds for sell” (if it is sure, shouldn’t they stake their entire lifetime earnings in it instead of selling it for N500), it always ends in premium tears. The easiest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.

11. This is 15days since I have quit gambling but it is the first time I have quitted while I am ahead. I have decided never to gamble again, it’s been tough, the urge to go back is still there. But I know to go back is to lose and it’s not worth it. I have to, I need to and I want to STOP. This time I must.

I will post here from time to time my journey towards quitting for good.

This time I will win, because this time I have stopped.

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