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This is a question Gambling

Broke the bank at Las Vegas, or won a packet of smokes for getting your tinkle out in class? Outrageous, heroic or plain stupid bets.

Suggested by SpankyHanky

(, Thu 7 May 2009, 13:04)
Pages: Popular, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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A cautionary tale
Firstly, apologies for lack of funnies in this, and apologies for the length. It’s gonna be a biggun. It’s also fairly cathartic. And yes, it is related to gambling.

Wavy lines back in time.

January, 2008. Specifically the thirty first of January. The day I tried to kill myself for the second time. But I’m jumping ahead of the story here. Let’s go back before that. I come from a family of people with mental disorders. All three of my parents (I have a stepdad, and a biological dad and a mother) are all affected in one way or another by mental illness, or in the case of my stepdad, physical illness too as he’s diabetic amongst other things. My mother always hid hers very well from me and my younger brother until fairly recently. My biological dad, I inherited a lot from.

I had been an odd kid. I did well at school to start off with, but then found the jumping through hoops that school taught to be boring, so I got into drugs as did a lot of kids my age. I hid this from my parents, as you do, but my grades started slipping, and I started to fuck off from school. I was being bullied too, for being the smart kid and all that shit, because nobody knew much about me because I kept myself to myself. All they knew was, I was the smart kid, and therefore got picked on. So school started to slip. I lost weight, I lost self-esteem, I started to lose things I couldn’t afford to lose.

I tried to hang myself when I was 16 because it was the only way out that I could see to all my problems. My parents caught me just as I was looping my school tie around my neck after hanging it over the curtain rail. They told me to stop acting like a fool and to grow up. I was stood on a small chest of drawers in order to hang my tie over my curtain rail, and jumped off. The curtain rail snapped on my descent down. In retrospect, it was a really bad idea to try and hang myself off a really flimsy plastic curtain rail.

After that incident, I took up drinking. At the age of eighteen, I almost ODed on ecstasy and decided to stop doing drugs. So I began drinking even more to compensate. In the summer of 2006, I got my first serious girlfriend, B. She was pretty, a year older than me and absolutely filthy in bed. I later found out that because she had low self-esteem too, she slept with a lot of people at university, including one time asking a randomer in a pub if he had a condom on him, and when he replied in the affirmative, sat on his lap, spread her legs and hoiked her skirt up and got it on then and there with him.

I finished sixth form at the beginning of the summer of 2006. I scraped enough to get into university. I can remember about half of the first day of Freshers week, nothing more. I remember unpacking, waving my parents goodbye, and saying hi to the people who lived in the rooms next to mine in the halls of residence, and then I started drinking because someone offered free drinks.

I cannot remember my Freshers week. I cannot remember much of my first, first year of university because I spent it in an alcoholic haze. Because I had no parents around to criticise me, I was free to do whatever I wanted. I hit the bottle big time. The girlfriend, B, wasn’t a restraint as she used to try and match me in drinking. There were times when I was sober, and I do remember some of those times. I remember spending more money than I could afford on shiny things for B, and alcohol for me. I was a fan of vodka, and used to get the massive bottles and work my way through them. I became a loner at my university, and because nobody really saw me, I could get away with drinking lots. I toned it down when I was over in North Wales at B’s university.

I fail my first year of university. My grades are too low to let me pass, all because I spent most of the year pissed out of my skull and rarely turned up for lectures. I used to teach myself online whenever I could remember to. I had talent at writing, which is always useful when you’re doing a journalism degree, but I let myself down with everything else. The uni agree to let me resit the entire first year. Essentially, I have spent a gap year drinking.

Summer 2007, and we celebrate our one year anniversary. This is important for both of us, because in my case, I’ve never had a proper relationship, and she’s gone through men like a monkey goes through bananas. By now, the cracks were visible. Our arguments were now becoming weekly, and because I was drunk a lot of the time, I wouldn’t keep quiet. B, when she was at university, lived in a four storey house at the top. People used to say they could hear me shouting when I was at the top and they were on ground level.

I go back to uni at the end of the summer, moving in with two girls I knew and talked to the most when we were all in halls. I tried to tone down my drinking, but then decided it would be easier if I just kept drinking but turned up to lectures. So I do so. I make a couple of new friends at university, not many though. But I fall back into my old habits, and by Christmas, have stopped turning up to lectures once again.

Christmas 2007 comes and passes quietly. By now, mine and B’s relationship is really strained, and I am becoming more and more depressed. She comes over in the middle of January, and for once, I remain sober whilst she is over. I can remember the last time we had sex, even though it didn’t seem that it was going to be the last. She was violent, and because I was sober, I felt it more and ended up losing it halfway through. You might say the Meltyman struck. We argue again, and things are coming undone spectacularly. She tells me she needs some time to herself and that I shouldn’t contact her.

I spend the next two weeks in bed when she leaves. I hit the bottle again. I can remember waking up on the 31st of January 2007 and thinking to myself “I’m going to go jump in the canal today.” I text B some depressing song lyrics and tell her to forget about me. She correctly assumes that something is majorly wrong, and comes over with a mutual friend. We argue, and she tells me we’re splitting up. I didn’t see this coming because I was stupidly naïve like that, and try to drown myself. I get dragged to the doctor by B and her friend, who says that my suicidal tendencies aren’t good and that I’m being referred to the local hospital to see someone there.

So I go to the hospital and see someone there, who incorrectly assumes that I’m in a bad way because of splitting up with B that morning. I try to tell him that these thoughts and feelings were there before, but he ignores them. I’m told to go home and then to go see my GP in a few days so they can sort me out with some anti-depressants. B leaves, and our friend stays with me for a few days to make sure I don’t do anything stupid again.

I go to the GP. We have a chat. They refer me to the primary mental health care team. I go see them, and we have a chat. They diagnose me as being bipolar type two. They also try me out on various anti-depressants to see which ones I respond well to. I lie about my drinking habits, and carry on drinking extremely heavily. Even with my medication.

The third time I almost end up dead, is on the 24th of February 2008. I overdose on alcohol and sleeping pills and fluoxetine. I remember panicking, and ringing up the emergency services to get an ambulance before passing out in the doorway of my house. Since nobody else is home, because my two housemates have buggered off for a week in Ireland, I almost died from choking on my vomit and from hitting my head on the tiled surface of my hallway. I woke up in hospital, and swore never to drink again. I’ve been clean since then.

I found out a while after that, that I inherited my alcoholism from my biological dad, and my bipolarity from my mother, because whilst she doesn’t have the full thing, she does have a partial effect of it.

So here’s the gambling part. It’s gambling Jim, but not as we know it, but it’s the link here. Ever since I was a teenager, I have been gambling my life with a lot of major decisions. I could have died because I gambled incorrectly. I’m 21 now, and whilst I may not be dead, because of my gambling with drink and drugs, I am forever changed. I cannot form new memories very well, and I have a lot of trouble articulating my thoughts into speech. It often comes out incoherently or so badly phrased that I need to explain it to people. I have essentially gambled those away because I’ve been a fucking idiot and almost gotten myself killed repeatedly.

I don’t want people’s pity here, by the way. I brought it all on myself, and I’m a damn sight lucky to be sat here typing this as a warning to people, so save your pity for something else.

If you have problems, of any kind, don’t gamble with them and hope you get lucky. You may get lucky sometimes, like the first time I tried to kill myself by hanging myself, but at others, you won’t end up so lucky. I kept gambling my life, and now I’ve lost parts of me that I cannot replace. I am still young, and I have fucked myself over and cannot fix it. If you yourself have problems of any kind, whether its mental problems like mine, physical or whatever, or if you know anyone with problems, don’t gamble and expect to win all the time. Seek help, either for yourself or for your friend. The effects of your gambling may not be known until it’s far too late to fix.

Now for something more cheerful. I recently won a black fedora in a competition. Any ideas of what I should do with it? And what do black fedoras go well with?

Whew, that was a long fucker. Apologies again for length and lack of funnies. I just hope people take notice of it and don’t ignore it just because it's massive.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 13:26, 16 replies)
In no way do "I like this"
but that's all I can click.

with love and hugs from aus.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 13:53, closed)
I know what you mean about not liking it.

Love and hugs back from England.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 13:56, closed)
Im hopeless at saying the right things
but have a heartfelt hug x
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 14:05, closed)
I'm hopeless too
Hugs backatcha.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 14:30, closed)
I agree with Vampyrecat
I don't like this, but fuck me, I have a huge amount of respect for you for laying your heart on the line.

Unfortunately, as a paramedic, I have frequently come across the people who have gambled and lost. Remember you only have to lose once.

I really hope you are now doing better and getting the support you need. And if there is ever any time you need to vent again, then there are many, many worse places to come than here. We're a good bunch, by and large.

(, Sun 10 May 2009, 14:14, closed)
Thanks Carrot
Looking back on it a year and a bit later, it scares me how close I came to losing everything so quickly. And in cases like mine, once you've lost it, there's nothing you can do. You can't win it back. That's it.

I've put myself through a year of CBT, which has helped with dealing with the negative parts of my bipolarity. I did try a course of lithium to stabilise my mood but that only partially worked and so me and my doctor decided to stop that. Most other drugs tend to make me feel like a zombie, so I'm off the drugs and dealing with it with the help of my few friends and family.

And yeah, B3ta has been an amazing place. The previous QOTWs tend to let me forget my mood and enjoy myself. So hats off to everyone here.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 14:41, closed)
Some things we have to learn the hard way
They say you should never gamble with what you can't afford to lose; but sometimes it's only through loss (or coming damned close to it) that we realise the true value of what we already have... well done for getting through those hard times, and being able to look back and find meaning in them.

(, Sun 10 May 2009, 14:15, closed)
Sometimes you do need to go through the loss to appreciate the true value of what you have. I just hope that my story serves as a warning to others and helps out people.

Manly manhugs back.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 14:47, closed)
Your ability to describe the circumstances leading to mental illness is very, very good and I hope that it's cathartic for you.

Good luck, and keep going. I'm on SNRI but haven't tried lithium.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 17:25, closed)
Thanks man
It was extremely cathartic as I've never really told the entire story to anyone apart from the counsellors. How are the SNRIs working out for you?
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 19:41, closed)
300mg a day
Means I'm pretty emotionally numb most of the time but ... Well, better that than trying to throw a seven.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 23:30, closed)
Better than the alternative.
(, Mon 11 May 2009, 0:34, closed)
I wear a Black Fedora or a Top Hat most of the time
My suggestion? A decently trimmed beard looks quite good. And wear a comfy warm coat [black].

You'll look quite neat. Just the other day a proper london 'ardman stopped me in the street just to tell me that I looked fucking amazing.

It's happened a few times, but this was the first time it's happened in front of friends, so I'm pleased by that.

Clicking for the +5 awesome you have for your taste in hats.
(, Sun 10 May 2009, 21:21, closed)
Thanks for the tips
I shall need to find my nice black coat and bring it out again. I can't grow beards worth shit, so I'll stick with being clean-shaven.
(, Mon 11 May 2009, 0:35, closed)
That was quite a read.
Thanks for sharing that with us.
Best of luck in everything that you do. *Hugs*
(, Tue 12 May 2009, 9:57, closed)
Thanks a lot
For reading it. It is fairly epic. *Hugs back*
(, Tue 12 May 2009, 16:56, closed)

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