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Its a rainy Tuesday, around 1 in the afternoon. I am headed back downtown to my secret place. While in the car, I pump myself up by blasting the music, running over and over in my head how I see the next 4 to 5 hours going. I begin my mantra "be smart, be up $300 and leave. Don't stay for too long. You always lose more the longer you stay, In and out. You got this, no one can beat you. Play smart". I pull up to the second floor of the parking garage and as I step out of my car I catch a glimpse of the lights, now all of my sense's are engaged and my mantra continues... "I am ready to win today, let's go." I step into the elevator with the music playing and the Las Vegas photos all around me. Ding. the elevator door opens and I am there, the outside world does not exist. I am whoever I want to be, there are no worries. 7 hours later I step back into the same elevator, music still playing with the same Vegas photos and all I want to do is scream. The dream I had 7 hours ago in regards to how the day would turn out has turned into my nightmare. I open my car door, take off my jacket because I cannot stand the smell of the casino and the memories it brings back. I start my car and head home. I stop on the way home with my last $20 I have on me and use it to put gas in the car. Reality sets in, what just happened? I can't believe myself! Then the shame and the embarrassment set in. 2 days ago I told myself that I "would never go back, I'm done for real this time." Obviously that worked... Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I have spent 3 years in this pattern of thinking things would change and be different. Thinking just from a little win one day that the tides have turned, "lady luck is back in my corner, I am back on top, I am in control." We have all felt this way, felt like things could change, should change, yet we ALWAYS go back for more. We think we are untouchable. The thing is though, we are not. We are constantly assaulted by our habit, by our addiction. I lived in denial for 3 years about my "secret." When someone asked me what I was up to, I was always "at dinner" or "busy" or I would simply ignore the inquirer and focus on the high I was on the poker table. The purpose of the this blog is to share bits and pieces of my story with you. To let you know that you are not alone, to let you know that there is a way out. I am not here to fix anyone, I am here to offer my insight and tips on living a better life; one without a secret. From the mountains to the valleys of living life addicted to the lights, sounds, smells, and environment of the Casino. From one addict to another. TheGamblingAddictionblog.com -C