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      I am a 55 year old mother and grandmother, addicted to slot machines.  I am divorced and live basically alone, though my youngest son is in and out at will.  I drive 100 miles each way, at least twice a month, to gamble away my money.  I have managed to stay on top of my mortgage and other bills, but there is never anything left for anything extra.  The casino gets it all. Just Friday, after work I drove to the casino, and didn’t leave there until 6:52 Saturday morning…with $3.00 in my purse.  Needless to say, I was winning all night, but I don’t possess the ability to get up and go home when I’m on top.  That’s because gambling is not really about the money for me.  Instead, it is a diversion from my problems and my concerns.  I thank God for protecting me in these travels, but I know I need to stop.  I can see I’m escalating my behavior.  The hook for me, too, is the casino offers comp money each week, twice a week, with an expiration day/time.  I try hard to get every "free" dollar offered around my work schedule.  That only feeds my need to gamble.  I rarely come away a winner…stay until I’ve given it all back.  Yesterday’s mail brought the September comp guide for me.  I am thankful the amount has been reduced so low, it’s not worth the gas.  Now I worry about my ability to do something else, with joy and sincerity.  I want to master my life, not have anything master it for me.  Right now, I think about my upcoming gambling trips all the time…while at work, at home, with the kids, whatever.  I sometimes feel that if I had a social life, my time would be shared by someone else and my gambling desires would shrink.  I don’t know about that and I know that at my age, there aren’t many prospects around for me.  So, my routine has been, work all week and run to the casino on the weekend!  That is SO not living.  I need help desperately to feel the passion I feel for gambling for something more in this life.  I am a Christian and I am so ashamed of myself.Life is too short to end up like this.

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