The Trade Addict

Trade [stuttering] I’m a trader… Oh! nice to meet you too. “That was awkward”, I thought. How did she know I was a trader? I rarely meet people who just automatically figure me out. The first encounter was a strange one.

[Feet shuffling, Choo-choo… clickety-clack—train bawls]

“Attention, passengers: this is your conductor speaking. The train is about to leave the station. Please stand clear of the closing doors.”

I’ve never really left the state—you know, ancient times and all. My life has been an endless maze or better yet—a labyrinth. Don’t worry, heh—still working on the nemesis. Taking a break—Cos’ I’m going to college soon or is it therapy. Yeah, I need help!

Judith suggested it by the way. We had our little note chat—that’s how we communicate now. Since all Jamal wants to do is sleep, Judith feels like I’m insane for even shutting my eyes. I wake up to injuries from stabbing myself or rather—Judith stabbing me. I have a problem and it’s addiction. Funny! it isn’t drugs—I think I’m addicted to trading.

At first, it started from social withdrawals, then I started feeling less motivated to do anything. Heh—became unbothered about my personal hygiene, money obsessed—due to unexplainable financial problems, and my sleeping habits changed, Cos’ I became a “market watch-guard”…

Want to know my biggest issue as a trader, “I’m always seeking for perfection”.

Are You A Trade Addict?

[Jamal narrates]

You know, being a drug addict and trade addict isn’t all that different. It just so happens that—some people (traders) don’t even know they are addicts.

How can you tell?

Addiction involves craving for something intensely, loss of control over its use, and continuing involvement with it despite severe consequences. The brain experiences changes first by: over-turning the way it registers pleasure and then by corrupting other normal drives such as learning and motivation.

In a layman’s term, If you’re addicted to something, It means, “You are a slave to that thing”.  Most believe that—people can only be addicted to powerful drugs both liquid (alcohol) or not. Here’s a spoiler: You can also be addicted to pleasurable things. Stuffs like: sex, gambling, food and even weird s-h-i-t like shopping. Yes! even that.

A person who isn’t addicted to trading can usually—identify a negative behavior and get rid of it. This is not the case with someone with an addiction. Rather than admit the problem exists, they’ll find ways to justify and continue the behavior.

Can you tell if you control trading or it controls you? Are you that self-aware. A speaker once said, “you can only free yourself from prison when—you realize you’re locked up”. Mr. Brett gave me an advice he said, “if you find yourself unable to control your trading—Your emotions, financial and social status, they hit rock bottom—it’s really not passion. That’s the first sign to trading addiction”.

So, are you a slave to trading? You know…

Oomph… My life before trading was simple but boring—I won’t lie; My life as a trader, well—I’m telling the story. We both know it’s an interesting history I’ve got.

Before Trading

The kid at the back of the class, yeah! that’s me. The term, “back-bencher” was made especially for me. Days where I wished the “time” was Usain Bolt so—I could finally leave school and make money.

My valley days were full of: greed and deceit, impatience and stubbornness, ambitions and dreams… I wanted more from life but—All I took were shortcuts. Funny how these characters can be easily spoken about—now, then, I just thought nothing was wrong with wanting more from life.

My life before trading was—monotonous. The routine lifestyle—you know, the wake up, eat (sometimes), go to class/work, and come back then—repeat.

Naturally, I won’t tag myself a social person… I really only speak to people in my field because—the discussions are more relatable. I struggled with really finishing some task… You know, I actually really struggled with a lot of things.

Before trading, I wanted more—had no idea how I was going to achieve such but—I guess it’s because I needed to prove a point to myself. You know when you day-dream and try to make these dreams a reality. Yup! that was yours truly.

It’s Friday. My favorite day.

Escaping from reality is something I do often—because it’s a constant thought, it was manifested. I’ll leave school to search for dance competitions that I could win… the money, always spent on useless material things.

Incomplete task. That’s all the litter I left in my life. Before trading, I was a mess. Trying to figure out—where I belong; trying to fix my life…

After Trading

Have you ever started reading a book and just lose interest?, Picked up a movie and the first emotion/turn-of-event sends you to sleep. That was literally my life. It’s like something was missing. Had all this ideas but—wasn’t able to complete one. I was literally aging back-wards: the earth was moving around it’s orbit and mine just stood still…

The pressure was much. Funny, I’m the one pressuring myself. I expect so much from myself that it looked like I wasn’t trying at all. Any loss I made—requires three hot slaps on my cheeks. I’d yell, “How many heads do other trade professionals have?”.

The life I’ve envisioned for myself came with it’s challenges but because—I’m used to the shortcuts, it became an unending journey. “No!”, I screamed. I must see this one through.

Me discovering trading was like: the gold-diggers discovering gold. There’s just one goal “the money”. I really didn’t care about the process my eyes were literally… “on the price”. I brought my attitude to life—to the market and I, got served. Before trading, all I knew was, “I wanted more”…

After trading, it was looking in the mirror and saying, “eww” to myself. Addiction comes easy to me—even if it isn’t about trading. You know why?… because I’m obsessed with perfection. I believe that sometimes, we really don’t know what we look like; till we look in the mirror. Even after looking in the mirror, it’s reflection blinds us. Could it be ego? Maybe, instincts. Who we are is just right in front of us.

It’s in my hopeless days I discover that—candles do save the darkness.

The Root Of All Trade Addictions

“Attachment”—[Jamal smirks] I found the root.

Attachment is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness. Though it gives you the power to love something more than yourself, it becomes difficult to live; when you lose something you are attached to. Replace the word “something” with “your trades”.

“Nothing belongs to us and will all be returned one way or the other”—Read that ten times till it sticks!

Do you get it?

Let’s compare the trader who even in the face of losses—keeps trading in an attempt to recover said losses… How different are they from someone who drinks to stupor—even when he’s clearly lost himself.

Two words: needs and want. Let’s make a sentence shall we? Now, “I want to trade” and “I need to trade”. The difference is—the later is a necessity and when things become necessary—you get easily attached to them.

If you need to trade—it means you’re an addict. Most people use trading as a means of filling up the voids in their messed up lives. In the process, it becomes a “need”—where they get satisfaction. That’s how you realize; you need help. 

When you can’t refrain from trading, even when losses are mounting—even when there’s no opportunity, when your edge doesn’t give a go ahead… Honey, you’re an addict. Like me, you need help!

“Illusions” are created from attachments; you become detached, reality hits you. Thanks to Buddha I know that—“you only lose what you cling to”… made that one of my body tattoos.

The Trade Addict

After several thoughts, I decided it’s therapy. Once again—“I need help”. Judith suggested it, but I feel like I need to actually take the wheel. A friend said, “these characters are a part of you”. Yeah!, “Judith”, she exist because of me—Not to be rude, but, “she got to go”.

One question though—Who goes to therapy for trade addictions?, Who is willing to tell neophyte traders or active traders that the profession (trading) can ruin their lives; leave them scarred by addiction? I’ll answer that—“No-one” Instead—all they do is sell hope. Back to reality…


Don’t get me wrong Judith’s amazing—in-fact she’s been the reason for most of my successes. What happens when her voice no longer exist?

There’s some kind of attachment I feel when I’m scared, My next phone dial is, “Judith” Do I really want that?

Might as well be addicted to her then. Anyway,

My name’s Jamal, I’m a trade addict and that’s my addiction story. “Nice to meet you Jamal” [In unison], Yep!—I found myself in a group home.

All my articles are entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of lazyluchi’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities are entirely coincidental. 

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