On licenses from Copy right and Publishers,
made a partial amendment and carried from
"ADDICTION - The story of 35 persons"
editor Inada Nada, Takashi Yosioka, Masako Tokunaga.
Chuohoki Publishers 1998.
The original of this book is Japanese.


My first marriage was that when I was twenty years old. My husband was seven years older than I was. He was self-employed and I worked, too. I lived with my husband and his father, and mother. Their only pleasure was gambling, such as betting their money on horse races, playing packinko, mah-jongg, and flower cards. They were the ones who liked to bet on them. I played pachinko with them because I liked it, but I never did other gambles. Since my father ran through his fortune for getting into hose races and cycle ones, I asked my husband not to do those gambles. Fortunately, he did not bet on them for me.

I was purely and simply thinking that I wanted to give birth to four children and had a peaceful family when I got married. Sadly, we did not have our babies easily than we expected, so we went to see the doctor in a university hospital and had test for sterility. As a result, the doctor diagnosed and said, "First things first. It's your husband who is sterile. It is highly unlikely you will bear your child, I'm afraid. It's one ten billionth. You should change your mind, that is to say, both of you live a life worth living even if you do not have your children." Since I believed that the child was Heaven's gift when I got married, for a moment my sight dimmed darkly when the doctor said so and tears suddenly came to my eyes. I sobbed and cried my heart out in front of the doctor. Although I loved child, I decided to give up having child and started a new life for two of us. I have four brothers. Each of them had children one after another after their marriage.
When we got together, very young nephews and nieces played cheerfully around us.
It was a lot of fun for them to be there, but I envied them and fell into a melancholy mood. They read and realized my thoughts, and said, "We will not talk about child in your presence". They felt for me and sympathized with me like this. Gradually, I was estranged from this gathering. It was the saddest thing for me to hear that father and mother in low grumbled lonelily, "We want to see your children. Why don't you try to get a special treatment, such as having an artificial insemination or a fertility drug."
After that, I tried to do some things to find purpose in life. For example, I changed my occupation, went to cultural schools, enjoyed sporting, kept dogs and mated them with another, and took a correspondence course of high-school education and graduated from there, etc. I struggled to do things like above to live a meaningful life, but to no avail.

Eight years passed after we got married. When we were thinking about a business that we could do together, there was a shop left vacant in the neighborhood. We opened the shop as a public bar: Izakaya, as we call it. I mainly prepared foods to be served for customers and my husband came over the Izakaya to help me with my part after he finished his job. The first Izakaya was comparatively small: it seated 10 or so.
But, our Izakaya was luckily popular among customers who liked a family atmosphere.
Four years passed after opening. At that time, there was a land for sale in front of our Izakaya. Then, we bought the land, built the new Izakaya that could accommodated about 30 customers, and also hired young women. Happily, our business prospered well. My husband was substantially a pleasure seeker. Regular customers admired my husband for getting along with people. He often went out with customers for drinking at the second party, playing mah-jongg, singing at a late-night Karaoke bar, and playing games at all-night cafe where began to be popular in those days. But, he was diligent in his work in the daytime. At the beginning, I took it for granted that this life cycle was natural, so I used to go home alone after locking doors of the Izakaya.

After a while, I began to feel fruitlessly that I went home alone at midnight. Since I hated this kind of loneliness, I tried to go out for doing something with my husband and customers. Although I had not drunk essentially, I was willing to drink with them because I wanted to go home with my husband. I boldly sang songs at a Karaoke bar and played games at a cafe. At that time, I sat besides my husband playing games and just take a look at the scene. He said to me, "I give you 10.000 yen, so just give it a try." But, as I thought that playing games was just like throwing the money away, I did not do quite often. After all, I did not find pleasure in going out and doing something at night by any means. I could not get rid of my stress; on the contrary, I felt to be getting under great stress.

Just at that time, I heard from one of customers that my husband seemed to have a secret love affair. I asked him what he really meant. He insisted, " I am NOT doing such a thing; Never!" When I was about to believe what he said, I happened to see my husband and a woman intimately walking on the street. As soon as they noticed me, they ran away. Eventually, my husband did not come home that night. Since I was miserable from waiting my husband, I ran away from home to my sister's home. When I was seriously thinking that I got divorce from my husband, unexpectedly he came over my sister's home to pick me up and said, "I want to live a plain life with you because I am sure to be separated from that woman." Then, I asked him, "I want you to think about a child. I want you to think about an adoption with me." But, he did not seriously discuss an adoption with me. Again, I often had to go home alone after locking doors of our Izakaya. Whenever I got home, I talked to myself, "What on earth am I back here for?"

One night, I went to the game cafe doing business the 24 hours system to have some coffee. I knew how to play cards with the poker game machine because I had been to the game cafe with my husband and looked at him doing games beside him. Since then,
I often went there. I was kind of getting excited about playing games and thought, "He plays doing the game. I do, too." And I felt pleasure like this; " the game makes me comfortable." After that, I actually spent 300,000 yen by playing games. I began to put money in playing the game to take that amount of money back. Since I was entrusted with the management of all the affairs of Izakaya, I freely drew out money from the bank and spent it. Initially, I artfully outwitted my husband, but my conduct gradually interfered with preparing foods service for customer. Finally, I could not open Izakaya on time. I told part time employees, who waited at the closed door even Izakaya's opening time passed, "I pay you a daily allowance, so you go home tonight." As soon as I told them like that, I went back to the game cafe again. My husband told me, "Forget about money you lost. You NEVER go playing games instead!" As a matter of fact, I spent more than 8 million yen in playing cards with the poker game machine in these last 6 months. My husband quit his daytime business and we gave exclusive attention to Izakaya business from the opening time. On the other hand, he continued to have relations with a usual woman. But, since I had inferiority complex that I spent a large amount of money, I could not blame him for his unfaithfulness. I believed a daydream that I would have royal straight flush again. Then, I outwitted my husband and went playing games again.
Since I was detected in playing games, my husband managed bankbooks, seals, keys of house, keys of Izakaya, and a title deed, etc, and in consequence I had nothing. Although I had no money, I borrowed some money from regular game cafes, suppliers, and my husband's relative to do playing poker games. My husband cleared off those debts that I borrowed. "You borrow money from your relative, not my one if you want to do playing poker games." shouted my husband. I had never borrowed money from my relative. One day, my mother's birthday party was held. I had been playing poker games at a certain game cafe just before my family gathered to have her party. I temporarily reserved the poker game machine that I was playing at the game cafe, and took a cab to the place where the birthday party was held. I had a pleasant talk with family for a little while, and then went back to the game cafe so quickly to continue to play poker games. I knew what I did was wrong; I should have stopped playing poker games. I felt fear of my conduct, that's why, I called "telephone of life" many times to help me out, and also I called the police and asked them to arrest me. Furthermore, I sometime sneaked into a church nearby at midnight and prayed God to help at a chapel. All efforts were made, but to no avail.

My husband thought that he would no longer conceal my gambling disease to his relative and decided to have a meeting between the two families. The meeting's theme was that what they would have to cope with my case. Since I dimly perceived the meeting, I got away it, and went to game cafes. In the meantime, my sister ran about everywhere and found out a psychiatrist who worked for a public health center. I went to see the psychiatrist for counseling with my husband. The psychiatrist said, "I know a good hospital. I hope it suits you." He recommended one mental hospital for me. I discussed this issue with my husband on our way home and I decided that I tried to stop my gambling disease without going to the recommended mental hospital this time. In spite of having sworn within myself not to play poker games, soon I borrowed some money from a few suppliers and began to play poker games again. At that time, my brother and husband dropped in at many game cafes in the amusement quarters to find me out. When I was playing poker games at a certain game cafe, I noticed that my husband glanced around the game cafe to detect me. He did not find me out and got out of the game cafe soon because I was playing poker games in a corner of the game cafe without being noticed by anyone. I thought if I were detected, I would not be able to play poker games anymore, and then, I changed from game cafe to game cafe to continue to play. My brother detected me at dawn after all. "Go home with me." said my brother. I had complicated feelings about myself. It was a feeling that I feared for my conduct and meanwhile, a feeling that I wanted to play poker games. But, in fact, I was absorbed in doing poker games. "What the hell are you doing here? You were so sweet girl, but you are not," said my brother. "You are my sister. Go home with me right now," he said with tears in his eyes. I said, "I want to play porker games. Give me 1000 yen, please." "No, I won't," said my brother. My husband rushed to the game cafe soon. When they got out of the cafe to prepare a truck, I asked a young man who worked at the cafe, "I wanna play. Give me 1000 yen, please." "I also do play porker games, so I know what you feel. All right. You need 1000 yen. Here you are," said the young man. He gave me 1000 yen and I continued to play porker games with a minimum bet because I did not want to lose that money soon. They came back and said, "Cut it out!" I ignored them and asked the young man again, "I wanna play. Please give me 1000 yen." They tried to drag me out of the game cafe because I clung to the game machine tightly. "What a amazing power you have!" said my brother. I screamed, "I wanna play!" In the end, I was powerless against my husband and brother. I was pulled out of the game cafe by them and pushed onto a bed of the truck. My family made preparation for my hospitalization and after all, I was taken to the hospital for treatment.

I knew the place where I was hospitalized was a mental home. The name of my disease was called psychogenic reaction. During my hospitalization, I looked up the name of my disease, psychogenic reaction, in the psychological book, but I did not know at all what kind of disease it substantially was. One day, I had an opportunity to read a book by chance, which was authored by Ayako Miura. And besides, I frequently visited the protestant church near the hospital to appeal to them for help and I was baptized. I left the hospital having a firm resolution: I would never play porker games. My husband said in the car on our way home, "I will not play porker games either." Although my husband said so, he did not come home that night. Then, I walked around the amusement quarter to find him out. When I managed to find him out, who was playing porker games at a dimly-lit game cafe, he looked at me and said with tears in his eyes, "I do play porker games, but you do not." I thought that I was ill suited to work kind of in a bar or nightclub, so I began to work in the daytime. But, I felt fruitlessly whenever I got home. Then, I habitually went to pachinko parlors for diversion on my way home after work. Eventually, it did not take so long that I plunged into playing pachinko with a dreadful zest by spending all money I had. I was just the one who had been an addicted gambler before. Needless to say, I quit my job and did not attend chapel naturally.

I was hospitalized again, which was of my own will. When I was in the hospital, I made the acquaintance of a male inpatient. We promised that we would get married after leaving the hospital and were discharged from the hospital at the same point of time. When I got back home, I seriously asked my husband to get a divorce from me. He took in my extraordinary seriousness and said, "I will part from that woman. I will think about an adoption earnestly, so we will start over again." He apologized to me for his previous attitude with a prostration. But, I bombarded my husband with a phrase; "I want to have a baby." My father-in-low was red with anger and said, "Never show your face again at this house." On the other hand, my mother-in-low wept upon my shoulder and said, "I believe you can make out in your life on your own. I am sorry about my son." We had two million yen left in a savings account. I promised that I would never demand payment of the settlement. And then, we shared the money half-and-half and went to the city hall together to submit a divorce notice.

We rented the apartment near my parents' home since there was not enough space to live together with us in my parental home and besides my father was under medical treatment at home. I had gotten a divorce from ex-husband and believed to get married with him this time. But, he gave me an unexpected remark, like "I am sorry that I do not get married with you 'cause I do not have confidence to get along with you for rest of my life. Your are the one who can make out in your life on your own. So, forget about me." He lit out of me. I got a job in no time. I got religion that my mother came to believe in a religious organization, and seriously recited a sutra and performed the ascetic practices. A Buddhist monk recommended that I would get married again and prepared a marriage meeting for me. The partner had goodwill to me and asked me to keep company with me. However, I had NO confidence to get mermaid with him and then declined his offer with thanks.

Even if I moved to land with where I was not familiar, I understood a shop having poker game machines at once. When I exhausted my salary: 250,000 yen at one night, I borrowed the same amount of money from a manager of the poker game shop. At that time, my mother negotiated with the manager for payback of a half amount of the money and paid that money to the manager. In a situation where I made a profit of 300,000 yen and paid 200,000 yen back to my mother and said, "You do not have to worry about me. I just have a sense of play, not gambling." My mother seemed to be relieved at my answer. Poker game took a lot of money so I switched to play pachinko instead. It was just one time that my mother, who had an antipathy against entering pachinko parlors, came to get me the pachinko parlor. When my mother said, "Go home with me." , I answered, "Come on, Mom! Let's play pachinko with me." Then she went back to home. My mother became to manage my salary. We arranged to get together the station on my way back from the office. But, I watched for an unguarded moment and amused myself at a gambling.

My friend fixed me up for a man in three years after I had divorced. (I did not dare to say that I was a gambling maniac.) The man was a mechanic. We went out together for a while and decided to get married. I just told him that I had been hospitalized in the mental hospital twice by Psychogenic Reaction. "I will reclaim you from gambling disease," he said dependable words. We decided that the new house where we would live together was near my parent's home and moved there. When we had a party, he drunk too much because he strained the party to his own advantage that this party was for celebratory drink. He drunk himself blind. That sparked my concern. We decided the date of our marriage. When I was trying on a wedding dress, I was struck with scary feeling: "Am I psyched up for wearing this pure-white wedding dress and going our to the reception?" In spite of receiving his dowry of meney on that day, I went to the game cafe with that money and did not return home for two nights. I did not spend the full amount of meney, but he got my number. His brothers also knew what I did. His relative and friends were totally against our wedding. We went to his friend's house and his eldest brother's one to explain my unavoidable circumstances. I got down on my knees and talked seriously to them, "I will never do gambling for a long time to come, so please allow me to get married to him." I sworn off gambling earnestly at this time, too.We cancelled the reservation of the marriage-hall one week before the date of our wedding originally arranged and we just went to foreign countries for our honeymoon. I saw a psychiatrist irregularly. I came to borrow money for gambling from a consumer finace company for the first time. My bad conduct came to light to my husband and mother at once and I was put on the blacklist not to borrow money from the consumer finance company. I had leave of absence from office and I was willingly hospitalized, which was my third hospitalization. When I saw the doctor in charge regularly after leaving the hospital, I did not tell the truth that I never did gambling. He, the second husband, turned nasty when drunk as usual and my sense of uneasiness was increased. The doctor in charge strongly admonished against giving birth to a baby, but I became pregnant. My husband and mother were glad that I was pregnant and I was pleased about it at the beginning.But, while the baby in the womb was growing, I came to have the reverse Mind, which was, "I want a baby for the first husband, not for the current husband." The stronger my feeling like that was, the worse I felt about my pregnancy. In other words, I had a hatred for having the baby. The better a near relative took care of me, the deepter I immersed myself in gambling. I went to a pawnbroker with precious metals for getting money to do gambling. Even if my mother and husband negotiated with the master of the pawnbroker and paid the money which I borrowed back to him for the adjustment, I repeatedly borrowed some money from the pawnbroker. In addition, I went to a medium and small sized enterprise something, which was the dubious finance company, to borrow some money. Since I knew that the finance company was sure to call the company that I worked for to make inquiries about my finance status, I gradually became the talk of the company and was timid with it.

When I was in the fifth month of pregnancy, I was totally immersed in doing gambling than before. That's why, I besought my husband and mother for being hospitalized, which was my fourth hospitalization. For me, this hospitalization took one and a half year. I was placed in isolation ward for the first time because my death wishes was getting stronger day by day. In the meantime, I had surgical abortion by the doctor at the maternity clinic near the hospital. The operation ended soon than I thought because the medicine: "abortifacient" worked at once. The doctor had a good word to my healthy body. But, I felt miserable at the bottom of my heart. My obsessive idea that I was entirely worthless as human and as a woman was getting stronger, so I wanted to deny the existence of myself. The hospital allowed me to return home for a while. But, while staying my house, I frequently went out for gambling. When I went to the game cafe, I tighten my grip on wads of cash and clung to the porker game machine shiveringly. A shopman of the game cafe who was looking at my behavior called to me, "Are you narcotic?" Even if the shop man abused me for not coming here any longer, I went to the game cafe later and spoke out, "I have money to play, so let me in. I wanna play." I put small amount of money on Pachinko. If I won, I played porker games with the seed money. One day, I pilfered some money from my second husband's wallet when he was sleeping and went to the game cafe to play porker games. Occasionally, I had my husband wait outside and played porker games. To raise money for my gambling, I prompted my husband to borrow some money from his brothers. I got kind of a trick to tap someone playing games for money at gambling spots. There was a man who gave me 10,000-yen bill away freely. I remembered that my attending physician had advised, "If you continued to act this way, you would prostitute yourself." I thought, "That is my ace in the hole." and I prostitute myself several times. When I got out from the hospital, I went to the pachinko parlor and played pachinko from morning till the closing time. Not to mention, the curfew was over. And then, I went to Shinjuku with remaining money and played porker games through the night. I sold my wristwatch to the shop man to raise money for playing porker games. But, in fact, I told a lie and got money. On the following morning, I called to the hospital before getting back to there. When I went back to the hospital, I was placed in the isolation ward. I was always overcome by an impulse to die after I gambled. I looked for spots with a tie where I could hang myself, but I could not kill myself intentionally. I stood on the edge of a bold cliff to jump into the sea, but I shrank back in fear. I drove a car at a terrific speed toward sea dyke to suicide, but I put on the brake. I tried to scrag myself with a tie, but I could not. I had just a mark of the tie around my neck and had severely bloodshot eyes. I lifted my eyes to high-rise building and thought that I jumped to my death, but I could not to do it in fear. I shouted myself hoarse many times, "God or Buddha! It does not matter either way. Tell me how to find a way out of morass of gambling."

During this hospitalization, my attending physician referred me to the Addiction Seminar for treatment. "It's up to you whether you go there or not. I think the seminar helps you from gambling. Your husband has drinking problem, so you should attend the seminar with him," said the doctor. We attended the seminar as a married couple. My husband went there from his house, on the other hand, I went out of the hospital based on the doctor's approval. When I asked at the information desk, the receptionist said that I would take counsel from a psychiatrist. I had a personal interview with a psychiatrist. I took it for granted that the psychiatrist cheered me up. But, he said, "You will never recover as long as you live, so you should have a farewell note anytime." What he said was the thing I little expected. But, he gave me information as to Self-Help-Group Gathering. At the gathering, female narcotic addicts and chronic drinkers described their own experiences. I was surprised that their story was just same as my experience. I sympathized with some people. But, on the other hand, I was embarrassed at their cheerfulness: "Why are they in a rosy frame of mind?" A man addressed audience from the platform, "Attention, please! To the people who have gambling problem, we have arranged an another room for meeting. The meeting will start soon, so please gather right now." I immediately went to the room. There were two men in the room. One was a gentleman with glasses of imposing stature and the other was a man who addressed from the platform. That was a Gathering of Gambling Addiction. As a result of attending the meeting, I realized that I was a chronic gambler. I felt intriguing on my way back from the seminar: "I may possibly stop gambling." I went back to the hospital harboring a little expectation. I got an envelope at the gathering, which enclosed various pamphlets. Especially, I was impressed by the flow chart specified in the AA Handbook: "Process and Recovery of Disease" and sobbingly read the Handbook with intense concentration. It seemed to me that the Handbook was a Bible for me. I wrote a letter to the person who recovered from narcotics addiction. I received a quick response from her, which said, "When you are out of control, you should rely on the AA." I knew that an institution for narcotic addicts was established near my parental home. Since the hospital allowed me that I visited the institution, I went there immediately. When I got the institution, the chief of the institution said to me, "You are welcome to our institution. Go along for the ride." and he shook my hand. At that time, I noticed that his hand had no thumb.

The date of my discharge from the hospital was decided; it was nine months after attending the first seminar. But, in fact, when I was discharged from the hospital, they gave me two conditions: 1) Attend a summer seminar hosted by a civic movement. 2) Join an institution for narcotic addicts. What came up in real life was that my husband spent all the salary for alcohol, and in consequence we had no means of support. As a last straw, I called for help to the executive committee of the seminar. "I will introduce a female member of the AA who suffered from gambling," the receiver said and gave me her phone number. I immediately called her. She said, "Let's make it this coming meeting." We got together at the station and attended the AA meeting. Of course, it was the first time for me. I asked her to be my sponsor because I thought she was a reliable person. Fortunately, she agreed to my offer willingly. She gave me a suggestion and I followed it. Then, I lived apart from my husband and went back to my family home.

I frequently visited an institution for narcotic addicts from my parents' home and also made regular visits to gathering of the NA, AA, and GA. I did not drink, so I was not interested in the session of the AA; I came to thoroughly hate it. At that time, I started to have a consultation with an addiction specialist. I lavished my money on gambling, so I was reluctant to be given a costly treatment. I stopped having the treatment in a short time; however, I experienced a feeling of relief, "At last I've met up with a doctor who understand my feeling."

I was faced with a big setback; it was six months after attending the institution. One day, I splurged on gambling and pennilessly got my parents' home at dawn. The reason why I came back home was it was not just that I finished playing poker games; it was just that I wanted to continue playing games more; I intended to go back to the poker game cafe if I had managed to borrow some money from my mother. As usual, my mother waited up for me. "Can I borrow just 30,000 yen?" I said. "No!," my mother said. "I'm going to play poker games so just give me 20,000 yen," I said. "I say NO," she said. "Then, 10,000 yen, no?5,000 yen. Uh?. What about 1,000 yen," I said. "What can you make just 1,000 yen? Honey, listen! I say NO means Absolutely Not! You don't eat anything, do you? You should have something to eat, anyway," she said. Since my mother had been getting touch with my sponsor, this time she got tough with me, which I had never seen that she acted that way. My father who was sick in bed yelled in anger, "Cut it out!". "You spent a bomb on gambling. I did it just as you did. What's wrong with that? Who do you think you are?" I exclaimed against him. When I was going to get out of my house, my mother pushed me back into the house. She pushed me down and place herself over me and said, "Please give up gambling once and for all in exchange for my life." She had been intoning a sutra for about one hour and a half. I had power to jostle her away, but I could not; because her serious features overcame me.

"All right, mom. I quit gambling," I told her. My sponsor suggested that I should go to a care institution for alcoholic and narcotic. I visited this institution with my mother. I thought I seriously intended to participate a meeting three times a day. My mother allowed me some money for season-ticket charge and an allowance of 1,000 yen a day. I got starting to attend the institution's program. My last gambling was a week after that; I had entered a pachinko parlor near the meeting place and spent 1,500 yen on pachinko before I went to the evening AA meeting. I went for broke; then, I hit the jackpot on the pinball machine. I made a profit of 20,000 yen. I crossed my mind for a moment that I stopped playing pinball and went home with that money; but, I continued to play pinball. I flashed many fellow members' stories that I had heard through my mind. I had a feeling that fellow members admonished me against gambling; I woke from decadence: "That's just as they said." I realized that my propensity for gambling had nothing to do with the cost involved. When I was playing pinball, I was running out of money; but, I got back the money that I'd had initially. Intriguing feeling came and went and I slipped away from the pachinko parlor.

In this institution, I felt like relaxed and homey atmosphere. If I were to use one word abstractly, it was kind of mother's tender-heartedness that helped a babies develop in the womb. I had received costly treatment to date, but this institution provided me with the treatment free of charge. I had gotten a lecture from numerous counselors, but I had no preach in this institution. What I did here was just speak truthfully and listen to members' stories. When I called my sponsor, she listened my story with all her ears. I obediently realized that for me, INITIAL Gambling dragged me down into the gutter. My closed affection was getting to open up gradually. My sense of self was changed: "I am somebody." After attending four months in the institution, a suggestion of social rehabilitation came up and I was back in circulation. Since then, I got divorce from grass widower.

I had quit gambling and been participating in the gathering for alcoholic and narcotic. Rewardingly, it made me understand naturally that what I had done before and money that I had spent for gambling was irreparable. Once I was gradually developing a consciousness of self, strange to say, I found that I could not get what I had been wishing so much so far; but, now I could get it by degrees. I can realize that I am being supported and watched over by many people. Looking back my conduct, I had gotten wrapped up in gambling for ten years and spent about 20 million yen. Resultingly, I borrowed approximately 1.5 million yen from consumer finance companies; however, I cleared off the debt in seven years after I had quit gambling.

I married again; that was a third marriage for me. (I met my husband in the AA.) Now I became a mother and got a peaceable and clean life. I am healthy physically, emotionally, and mentally. Looking back at my life, at that time, gambling was a last resort for me to live on. If I had continued a decadent way of life, I would have been as good as dead. Since I was involved in the GA and have been keeping to give up gambling once and for all, I could make a clean start. The bottom line is that I do not want to lead a miserable life that I had before. Never, never, never?