The third day of my gambling binge was a blur. I was high on meth and drunk, and when an anthropomorphic firework told me it was the Fourth of July, I panicked because I’d already spent $5,000 on fake gems at Casino World.com. The social casino site, which uses play money to skirt online gambling laws, was where I turned after I was laid off and I joined to distract myself from drinking my feelings away. I quickly got addicted to the site, gambling away on more than 40 free games. I soon became used to beating impossible odds and feeling like a billionaire high roller, all from the comfort of my own home. But then, my luck ran out and I started losing. I hit zero and began paying real money for bundles of Casino World “gems” just to keep playing. I thought nothing of it, as I was still waiting on my first unemployment check.
My addiction began when I was in high school, and it followed me into my adult life, eventually leading to me getting fired from a job in New York. I returned to the West Coast, unemployable, and spent time in rehab before turning my life around. However, when I lost my job this year, everything came crashing down. I fell back into old habits, using alcohol as a crutch and eventually turning to gambling on Casino World to distract myself. It all escalated quickly, and soon I was spending real money on fake coins just to keep playing. I ignored my bills, debts, and job applications, focusing only on the game in front of me. It was easy to waste hours on the site, ignoring the world outside of my computer screen.
In essence, I was back where I started, consumed by my addiction and unable to break free. And as much as I tried to rationalize it, in the end, I realized that my downfall had come full circle, leading me back to the dangerous habits that had once consumed my life.