I swear I’m not a prude. And, the truth is, I’m not a compulsive gambler. But I have made a decision that I will not spend $2 for the one in 292 million chance of winning nearly a billion dollars.
This article in USA Today might help explain why I feel this way.
Bu I can sum it up in two words from the article: “Frenzied ticket-buying.”
As a compulsive spender, I cannot afford to rile up my adrenaline over a purchase. And I don’t see how I stay sober and in fit spiritual condition once I hand over that $2 for a ticket.
Look at this picture of what you could buy with a billion dollar winning. OK, so it’s only 900 million, and after taxes, for a lump sum payment, you’d be left with a paltry $419 million.
Still and all, here is my truth, as I’ve mentioned many times in this blog: Give me $419 million and I GUARANTEE you that I will feel an urgent resentment in short order that I don’t have $419,000,0001 million.
Since becoming sober with money in 2009, I have been to a casino twice and my husband gave me $10 to gamble with each time. Once, I won; once I lost. I felt that yearning to keep going welling up, but for some miraculous reason, I was able to get up from the table.
But I don’t want to push it. I know all too well that my addiction can jump like a frog from substance to substance. Why should I chance waking a sleeping beast? The fact is, thankfully, casinos are not in my life. But I could be buying lottery tickets week after week. Heck, day after day, if I started living in that fantasy!
Happily, I had a sponsor a couple of years ago who refused to let me buy a lottery ticket. She said she couldn’t sponsor anyone who gambled, even if they weren’t a compulsive gambler … because it might trigger her demons. And that is when I really began examining this issue.
I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble. Maybe you will be the one in 292 million. It can happen. But the odds I’m concerned with are those that might topple my recovery. And for a $2 ticket, the odds of my sliding back into the addiction of compulsive spending, which will inevitably end up with my compulsively debting, are way too high for my comfort. And even if I don’t act out on it, the odds of my becoming restless, irritable, and discontented (i.e., ungrateful) are astronomical.
I’m sure many can walk this line just fine. In fact, I knew someone who was definitely committed to sober spending, and allocated a portion of his income to recreational gambling. And he had no problem with it. So, if you buy a ticket, I do wish you the best of luck … both in winning and in staying committed to your recovery in thought and action.