Hitting The Jackpot Of Devastation

UsMenTalkBy UsMenTalkMarch 9, 20207 Minutes

In my bachelor days, as a former gambler, I enjoyed rolling the dice when it came to my money. I always believed I would win and had the confidence that I could recover from any loss. Ignorantly, I retained this mentality until the day I found myself sitting across the table conversing with my bankruptcy lawyer.

Hunger to Win

From as young as I can remember, I always enjoyed winning. When I was a kid I would say to my friends, “If I am right, I get X, and if you are right, you get Y.” As I got older I realized that I could get money for being right instead of being first in a lunch line. This ignited my excitement level.

Sports Betting

My first interest in betting was on sports. I convinced a relative of mine to let me assist him in picking the winners of certain sporting events so that I could hopefully earn some extra cash.

As time went on I began betting myself on major college sports games. I was addicted and having a blast. But shortly thereafter my losses were greater than what I had invested. In fact, I owed a bookie 816$ which I didn’t have. I tried avoiding him for a while, but he eventually caught up with me outside my apartment late one night.., and he was not alone.

He explained to me very clearly that this debt needed to be settled ASAP. I got his message loud and clear and did so the very next day by borrowing the money from my mother.

What I didn’t do was stop gambling. What I did do was increase the amount of time and the amount of money I spent on gambling.

Living on Credit

My gambling habit eventually took control of my income. I lived paycheck to paycheck, using virtually every dollar I got for gambling. I even emptied my savings account and stopped contributing to my 401(k) plan so I could fund my habit even more.

By this time in my life I had three charge cards. I used one to pay my bills and the other two I took cash advances from them up to the maximum limit. I believed that if one of my bets hit big, I would be able to cover all 3 balances on each of the credit cards by the end of the month. That never happened!

Personal Life

This next move was done to cover my losses and obligations. I began taking whatever items I could from my house and from my parents that I thought had value over to the local pawn shop. This created immediate cash for me to pay these other obligations and leave some money left for me to make that winning bet. This pattern continued for years.


Fast forward. I was 27 years old now, basically destitute, and with a suffocating level of personal debt. I lost my job, my wife, my best friend who I borrowed a large amount money from and never paid him back, and my mother who died from a heart attack.

When the dust finally settled, I had no one in my life except for my bankruptcy attorney. And he wasn’t going to be lending me money anytime soon either.

I found out what some of the causes were of my gambling addiction. It was such things as unpleasant feelings like stress, depression, loneliness, fear, and anxiety. I also learned there were other triggers like a stressful day at work or an argument with my wife. But now I know there are healthier and far less expensive ways to keep my unpleasant feelings in check.

These may include exercising, meditating, spending time with friends, taking up new hobbies, or exploring relaxation techniques.

For many of you guys, an important aspect of quitting gambling is to find different outlets to handle your gambling triggers. Even when gambling is no longer a part of your life, the painful emotions that may have prompted you to gamble in the past will still remain.

So, it’s worth spending some time thinking about the different ways you intend to deal with the stressful situations that would normally propel you to gamble.

Don’t end up like me. I lost it all! Today I am starting all over again

Okay guys, whaddaya think?

Have you had a similar experience? Can you relate? Share your thoughts, your stories, your questions and advice so we can all learn from one another and make better decisions. Plus, you’ll get some huge karma points for doing so.

Have a great day and a great life.

Larry Bryan
A regular guy, another opinion.℠