“How would you rate the thrill you got from gambling, on a scale of one to 100?”
“And what about the biggest thrill you’ve ever had outside of gambling?”
“How would you feel about living the rest of your life with a max of 20?”
“OK. 20 is OK.”
In the movie Owning Mahowny, this is part of a conversation between Dan Mahowny (played by the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman) when he receives counseling after embezzling money from a bank to feed his gambling addiction. The most difficult thing I’ve had do deal with in my emotional recovery is my inability to find joy in my experiences. It’s difficult to be motivated. I sometimes think of this quotation. It’s difficult to decipher whether Mahowny is legitimately fine with living the rest of his life with a max of 20. For me, there are days when I’m comfortable, and there are days when I’m not. I’ve accepted that’s going to be part of the journey.