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I used to play poker with this lovely guy.
At dinner, he would go into his local bookmakers and play the electronic roulette machine. It would eat his wages, as he munched on his burger.
Over time, he started going down the casino to play poker. During the break, he would play roulette.
I spoke to him, today, for the first time in years. He told me that he was still playing poker. I asked him if he still played the wheel.
“And how is it going?”
“It’s killing me.”
“You do know that you can’t win playing roulette over the long run,” I said, “It’s a game of luck.”
“So what are you playing for?”
"I watched this reality show about a family who won millions playing roulette. Every wheel has a particular groove, over time, where the ball is more likely to end up. If you study the wheel long enough, you can guess where the ball will end up."
I call this the deaf effect.
I see it with gamblers, smokers, and drinkers.
They tell you about their problem.
You point out the irrationality of their thoughts.
Then after agreeing, they disagree in a passive aggressive way, usually with a tale like the one my mate told me.
It's highly unlikely that the wheel in my friend's casino has a groove, or that he spends his days monitoring the groove. His resistance created the story to keep him hooked. Without the story, the rationality of his behaviour becomes apparent, and resistance won't allow that to happen.
The same happens in drinking.
It alleviates stress.
It helps me sleep.
It tastes great.
It gives me confidence.
I can’t have a good night without it.
Alcoholism is an invisible, violent, and dominant belief system.
We allow it to be invisible because of the deaf effect.
Stop searching for the groove.
It doesn't exist.
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