Hi my name is Bayu. I am 23 years old. I am currently studing at RMIT, doing a diploma of community service. I started off gambling when I was the age of seventeen. At that time, my friend was in high school as well. He just asked me to come to the bar and I just thought that there was a bar but there was actually a TAB in there as well.
It just started off from that day and the rest is history. I realised I had an addiction when my friend actually told me that 'You gamble too much'. I thought that my behavior was really the standard of being Australian I suppose but the amount of money that I actually gambled everyday is something that I could not afford in long time.
I would earn around about five hundred dollars per two week and I would gamble off around about like six hundred per week. And it's something that I didn't even realise until I actually could not afford to buy food anymore and that was the point, that I thought that I might have some issue.
Gambling did make me feel often feeling sad, feeling excluded, feeling I suppose segregated from others where I thought you know that there is no one that can help me out. There are so much of stigma and shame behind it, so I feel really really hopeless.
I opened up to my friend about gambling and the compassion and the receptiveness that she showed ignited me to change. It opens up a lot of avenue, you know being able to navigate our way through. When you can't help yourself, at least trust the other person to help you.
I think the most important thing is, talk to your friends about it, and being open is scary. It's very very scary but at the end when right person comes, and you find that right person, everything should be fine and everything will be fine.