All In Or Naw: The Gambler

Are you all in? I recently watched The Gambler with Mark Wahlberg and watching his character ride the self-destruction train was fascinating. Wahlberg plays the role of a novelist turned university professor who grew up with money but somewhere after the loss of his grandfather begins to lose himself. His weapon of choice, gambling. For him, this time consuming hobby was not a just some hobby or occupation. It was a drug. His high wasn’t even the hopes of winning money but instead he would sit there for hours and hours until he left poorer than when he had first arrived. How you ask? Well, he would borrow money and then go lose it all, every loss digging him further and further down the rabbit hole until he owed a few different criminals/gamblers money. He kept getting enough to bail himself out of the hole but his need for self-inflicted pain would drive him to lose it all betting it all on red or black again digging himself further into the hole.


I wasn’t able to completely identify myself personally with his behavior or life but I know people that have this knack of choosing self-inflicting decisions to some degree and suffer. It’s like they don’t think about ways to be happy/live because they have become so consumed in their own mind/grief. For Wahlberg’s character, his drug was losing because he had so much grief that his obsession with loss was all he could manage to feel. He knew he had a problem. The “creditors” would beat him up, threaten to take his life, threaten the lives of his family members, threaten the loss of his job, loss of his house, and still, he couldn’t quite snap out of it. He felt trapped in his life and trapped by those around him, i.e., his mother. So in order for him to break-free he created his own drastic way of doing things. Like I said before, though you may not completely identify with his character, it’s definitely worth a watch. You might gain some compassion for those around you who can’t seem to snap out their rock-bottom.

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