This might be the hardest thing I’ve ever written outside of the soliloquies I did for my siblings. It isn’t travel related, but certainly Vegas related, so hope TA will not pull it too soon.
I love Vegas and all it has to offer, but will probably not return. It isn’t because there are too many children, too much smoke or too much vulgarity. It isn’t because I’ve been long hauled by a cab driver, not compensated for some slight by the casinos or because I’ve done all there is to do there and am bored with it.
The fact is, I am one of those people the warning signs are aimed at, a problem gambler. I am coming to terms with it and Ray is very supportive. I’ve fought the battle before and, like anyone with an addiction, thought I could continue with some control. It worked for a long time, but when things in my life got too stressful, I escaped to the slots and lost control. Now, when you find yourself going to the ATM and looking over your shoulder to be sure your spouse doesn’t see you, that’s wrong! When you are not honest with your spouse about how much you lost or won, that’s wrong! When you spend more at the slots in an hour than you make in a day, that’s wrong! When your brother has to forego eye surgery, because his fixed income doesn’t provide enough for him to afford it and you have gambled away more than it would have cost, that is wrong! ...and that is ME! I was well on the way to putting us in severe financial jeopardy, but gratefully have come to my senses.
I am not looking for any sort of sympathy, of course, but wanted to share with those of you I have come to consider as friends. That will be my greatest loss of all, not getting to meet with you in Vegas. If, however, you plan a trip to New Orleans, I will gladly meet you somewhere other than Harrah’s. Just let me know when. I will still be on this forum, occasionally, but will be planning trips to places like Nashville and Orlando.
As I said in the beginning, this hasn’t been easy to write, but I do care about you and don’t want you to fall into the same trap. Those of you who can set a limit and stick with it have my greatest admiration. I, also, didn’t want any of you thinking that I had ditched you and this site because of any experiences I have had on the site or at our M&G’s. I didn't want to be like many regulars who just seemed to disappear after awhile and we never knew why.
I feel better about myself, now, than I have in a very long time. There is life beyond gambling.