It’s not every night that one of your best friends calls you to tell you he has a gambling problem.

I picked up my cell just like any other night, usual phone call from someone I consider to be my older brother. He didn’t even say hello and just blutered out a hasted phrase, “I have a gambling problem and I just lost everything I had left.” I’ve never felt my heart sink so low so fast, and not only because of his problem, but because I found no words to say. That had to be the first time that I didn’t – and I still don’t – have any advice to say to someone I care about in regards to facing their problem, and the frustration is unbearable. Yes, he is an idiot and yes, he brought this on himself because he has no reason as to why he would need to gamble pretty much his life, but he did. And I can’t do anything about it other than worry.

There is no feeling that compares to hearing genuine fear on the other side of a phone line. It’s kind of feeling chills down the spine, but with a sinister connotation and a taunting from every hair that raises from the neck  that seems to laugh and say “There’s no hope for him anyway so why do you even care?” Unfortunately I can’t bring myself to not stress about his issue, but at the same time I know it’s something he has to deal with on his own. 

I’m still shaken by his voice. He’s 18! He shouldn’t be worried about debts to well, certain kinds of people – and I really do hope he exaggerated that phrase of my overactive imagination is getting to me. All I can do is wonder how he fell so far and how the hell can I help to pull him out of something that could end up suffocating him. The saddest part is I know how he fell, sadder than that is that it’s probably my fault as much as any of his douchy friends. He was never one to have much, but all his friends do, and as much as he convinces himself that it doesn’t matter, I know he cares. Apparently betting and gambling was the only logical way for him to make enough money to be on the same level and the asses he calls friends. The things I’ve said to him haven’t helped at all either. 

I’m not sure what he got into exactly and I’m scared for him.

And that’s all I can be. 

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