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by TWonline

I never thought things would come to this… but here I am, writing.

At age 25 I found out that I had to have urgent open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. I was in 60% heart failure without even knowing it and could have died at any time. I had the procedure done, and am alive and kicking… though I opted for a tissue valve (so I could enjoy a higher quality of life) and was told that it would only last roughly ten years. It is now three years later, I just turned 28, and post-traumatic stress disorder finally kicked in. I moved to Vegas (something I always wanted to do) a year after my surgery and had the time of my life… for a while. Gradually things started to get worse on a personal front, I became depressed about where my life was going, and I turned to gambling.

When I moved I was roughly $30,000 in debt but could easily pay my monthly payments and it didn’t bother me. I was working my way out of it and things were dandy. My credit score was in the high 700’s and nothing could stop me… until I started gambling… in search of a quicker way out of my debt. It started small and progressively got bigger and bigger. At one point I was gambling $15 a hand playing video poker and tossing thousands of dollars into the machines. I was always able to stay afloat thanks to my good credit and extensive credit lines on my cards. Yep, I started taking massive cash advances. Winning taxables became an obsession. I was always looking for that next big hit. At one point I had cleared all of my losses and even told myself that I needed to stop before gambling became a problem. I stopped for a few weeks, but then the bug bite me with a vengence and I slid down a terrible losing streak. I started chasing my losses and before I knew it… my cards were maxed out and I was an additional $30,000 in debt. I’ve even gone so far as gambling my money for bills in the off-chance that I’ll win and be able to pay them.

Nothing seems real anymore and I feel like I’m living in a bad dream. I am in denial as to what I’ve done to myself and am waiting to wake up from the nightmare.

The reason for all of this? I’ve become tired of living in this world and all of it’s hardships. I’m tired of dealing with the idea of having to undergo another surgery in 7 years with an increased chance of death. I’m tired of paying bills that don’t really go down.

I got a second chance on life, lived it up, and in a few short months thrashed it all to pieces… forced to live in misery with what I’ve allowed myself to do. I feel like having to deal with the knowledge that I overstepped the boundaries that I set for myself is worse then being dead.  Suicide runs in my family and it finally hit me. My uncle killed himself, my dad tried to kill himself twice (i saved his life before it was too late the second time), and my cousin is severely depressed. I should have known better, but never felt this way until 2009 hit. It was all downhill from there. I have hit rock bottom. I have betrayed my friends, my family, and most importantly myself. I thought about driving my car into a wall numerous times on my way home from a hard night at the casino… but what would my family do? It would devastate them. Thanks for listening.



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Peaches 7/28/2009 - 9:14 am

you are very lucky, having the surgery and all. this is just a rough patch for you- everybody falls. after getting a divorce from is wife (who cheated on him) my father also lost custody of his kids. he went into a horrible drug habit- sometimes not even leavign his apartment and going on day- long drug binges.
then he met my mother.
my mother hated drugs, and he quit almost immediately.
everybody falls. you just have to get back up, and seem like a very strong person, so i have confidence you will.

pulling the plug 7/28/2009 - 5:18 pm

The important part is having somebody to care for you. As Peaches says above, her father’s life changed around when he met her mother. He didn’t do it alone – he did it because he had somebody who wanted to be with him, someone who loved him, someone who cared about him and took care of him.

In our culture we are taught to be self-sufficient, but nobody is. So we believe that we *are* self-sufficient, even when there are people around helping us all the time.

Conversely, when we’re *not* getting the help we need, we tend to blame ourselves because of this same myth of being self-sufficient.

Don’t buy into the myth of self-sufficiency – it’s a lie.

Don’t blame yourself.

Always ask for help, and keep asking til you find someone who will help you.

People who do not help you in times of need are not friends.

People who do not help you in times of need do not love you. Please get rid of them, until they shape up. If they never shape up, then don’t let them back in your life.

Notice that the times of most pain come when someone you trusted or needed something from let you down or hurt you in some way.

Notice also that the times of greatest joy come from someone doing something nice for you – as small a thing as a kind word or gesture, a smile. Or bigger things, like helping you solve a problem or giving you money. Or lending you an ear when you need to be heard or a shoulder to cry on. Or hugs – hugs are especially good. Notice how when someone gives you a good, kind, generous, loving hug, you feel like a little plant does when someone waters it.

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