This is her story:
My name is Edna Wallace, I am 61 years old, and I was addicted to gambling.
I played the pokies for about 20 years, using it as my outlet and as a way of avoiding my family-related issues.
I wouldn’t even have $1.00 left after pay day because I’d sink it all into the pokie machines. But when you’re down and out and gambling like I was, you just don’t think about the consequences of what you’re doing.
Instead you continue living in your own little dream world and covering it up, telling lie after lie after lie.
I knew I had hit rock bottom in my life, and I finally decided I needed help. I was referred to Nga Kete about a year ago and I have since been receiving gambling counselling.
The counsellor has given me encouragement and it has helped so much to be able to talk about it with someone. Since coming to Nga Kete I have had just one slip up.
I was also referred on to Whanau Ora. The staff have helped me with my family-related issues, guided me, and given me suggestions. They have just been wonderful. It’s such a good feeling knowing I have the support of the staff, who have always been prepared to support my family and I with anything.
Whanau Ora staff even attended some appointments with me, which made me feel comfortable and well supported.
Whanau Ora staff assisted me in creating a PATHWAY plan, and it’s been great to see the achievements my family and I have made in that process. It made me feel proud, and it’s given me the encouragement to speak up when I need too.
I intend to attend the weekly Coffee Group and the Problem Gambling Support Group, and I have recently started Art Therapy.
This month I was a participant at the Hikoi te Hauora Addiction Recovery Camp, where I was nicknamed “super gran”. I was so proud of myself for getting involved in all of the activities including the 12km walk and waka ama. I really came out of my shell and it helped immensely towards my recovery. It gave me so much confidence in myself!
Life is back on track now. I love taking my grandchildren out to McDonald’s on the weekend because I actually have the money to take them there. I would never have done that if I was still gambling. I even go to Budget Advice now, which is really helpful. It’s something I’d earlier put off because I didn’t want anyone to know how much I was spending on the pokies.
I have hope for my future now, which I never would have if it wasn’t for the staff of Nga Kete. I wish I had known about this service years ago!
I used to be ashamed to tell people I played the pokies, but now I don’t mind admitting I had a problem, talking to people about it, and recommending they seek help at Nga Kete.
Thank you Nga Kete, for all that you have and are continuing to do for me and my family.