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Collateral Damage
Last week I had a ruff day, I was finally doing the paperwork for my divorce.  In doing so I had to get some financial information from my wife.  The information she sent came as a blow to me and kicked in some guilt feelings.  She is now reduced to working part time and had to mortgage her home. Now the mortgage payments and fewer hours has thrown her deep into the financial crises that many of us face. 
Her information brought to light an added aftermath of my gambling. If I would have only addressed my depression at the time instead of escaping from it by gambling, blindly allowing time and inattentiveness to destroy our relationship, there is a good chance that I would have returned to our home and the two of use would now be in a better position to face this problem together.   Now I have to live with the knowledge that, though maybe not entirely directly, compulsive gambling also added to this problem of her’s.
Another realization of how later results of gambling affects my current life came about this same week.  This example is far less serious with a whole lot less impact then the events above, but, nevertheless it is an added consequence of my gambling.  I wanted very much to attend the wedding of a friend in New Orleans.  For me to go I would have to take off work an spend extra money for my trip.  With my current tight budget, that is set up to pay off my gambling debts and bad checks, I could not afford to absorb the extra expense and loss of income without putting me in a next-to-nothing financial position for the next couple of months.  I am afraid that having to live from day to day would give me too much of a temptation to gamble again, to try to supplement my reduced income.  Another temptation that it would place in my path would be gambling while in New Orleans, gambling for gambling, not for the chase of elusive winnings.
The year between my leaving France and my family, and Hurricane Katrina forcing me to Saint Louis, is the time that my compulsion reared its ugly head.  During this time my visits to the down-the-street casino became almost daily and playing the video poker machines in the bars and restaurants was a daily happening with multiple visits each day, eating away all of my income, time and sanity.  
While the casino would not be a draw for me, I think that the poker machines in the bars might prove to be a problem. I got to where I would have what I called my $10 drinks.  For each drink I had, and this was quite a few most days, I would pay a couple of dollars for a drink and the other eight would go into the poker machine.  When I won, if it was a small amount, the winning would go back into the machine; if a larger amount, I would walk down the few blocks to the casino and gamble it away, plus a lot more by casing a check to win back what I lost. Therefore, my past gambling has denied me a pleasant trip to a friends wedding.
I know now that I will probably encounter more after affects and will have to deal with that guilt as it happens ; The Collateral and Resulting Damage of gambling is a dreadful truth. 

"Day Two Is Another Day Away" – With the help of a Higher Power, My 3G’s – God, GA, and GT, I will not have to relive a Day 2.– 10/27/2009 4:28:20 AM: post edited by paul315.