Ron migrated to Australia thinking he would settle in quickly. He believed there would be no problems and that money would come easily. He thought life would be comfortable, he would have a happy family, good friends and the future would be bright.
Unfortunately, things did not turn out the way Ron wanted them to. He found English a very difficult language to learn. He got a factory job to support himself, but over time, studying and working became too difficult and he decided to stop studying. Ron found himself feeling isolated because of his lack of english, so he began withdrawing. He also avoided people from his own culture, as he believed he was not as successful as they were. Occasionally Ron sent money and happy photos of himself home to his family to assure them that everything was going well.
After a Christmas party at work, Ron joined a number of people at the local pokie venue. He was greeted warmly by the friendly venue staff and made to feel welcome. Ron felt he was in a different world. He then started visiting the venue alone, on one visit he even won the jackpot. Ron would come home full of excitement. He then started to go to the venue constantly and was spending more and more time there.
As Ron's gambling increased, he began having financial problems. He had spent all his savings and was behind in his rent and bills. Ron borrowed money from Ray, his father's old friend. He made many excuses for needing the money until Ray discovered the truth. It was with Ray's advice that Ron came to counselling.
Ron knew that the gambling was getting him into trouble but he still hoped he would have the big win. He promised himself to stop gambling once all his losses were made up.
It took Ron several months to really decide to stop gambling. Only when Ron spent time talking about his life, did he realise that gambling performed a very important function. As a young boy, Ron had disrupted schooling back home, and as the eldest son of a big but poor family, he had to help his parents support their family. Ron worked hard at whatever he could do, very often feeling intimidated and powerless.
Ron wished that one day he could show the world that he was a successful and respected person. Gambling became his ‘rescue boat' after his dream to do well in Australia had not come true. Gambling also helped Ron to forget his loneliness and escalating isolation.
Ron's story is not straightforward. It took time and support for him to decide that he really wanted to stop gambling and to then actually do it.« back to testimonials list