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My journey with YSAS

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Anonymous
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Hey everyone, I'm going to remain anonymous. I am a previous and thankful client of YSAS.

I have had issues with alcohol and other drugs since I was about 13, first it started off with sneaking out my window to get drunk with older boys, or getting stoned on the oval at school.

This may have seemed like harmless fun but this quickly escalated into drug overdoses (GHB) while I had been out clubbing underage after being kicked out of home because of my drug use. I started taking ghb daily, even at school during class.

I had not 1 care in the world, I’d take anything and everything I could get my hands on, I had no comprehension of the danger I was putting myself in and what the repercussions could have been, after msny many nights spent sleeping on the streets of the city, couch surfing, crime, wagging school and being at the mercy of the people supplying my drugs, normally an older male I fell pregnant with my first child and disappeared from the drug scene and cleaned my act up.

The peak of my drug use occurred when child protection took my first child away because of my mental health issues due to being victim of domestic violence. I was also self-harming and drinking heavily. The only thing that had managed to keep me clean was being pregnant and having a child to care for so when she was torn away from me I reverted back to all I knew, this time even harder than before. I started using ICE daily and begun participating in paid sex work to support my habit.

All through this time I was a regular resident at YSAS. I knew it as my safe place. Still to this day I can’t put my finger on what it is, but there is such a warm and welcoming vibe about the residential unit that just makes you feel at home, I used to say “Honey, I’m home!” every time I entered back into the unit.

Even though every time I left the unit and told the workers I wouldn’t be back and the next time they would see me I’d be a youth worker like them & I had finally got my life together this time, Id still end up back, and every time I was still welcomed with open arms and smiling faces ready to help me all over again.

I never felt judged or looked down on while in YSAS, the staff were great at making you feel like an actual human being & saw you for who you are and the potential you had, the drug addiction was secondary.

The very last time I entered YSAS I was 20, pregnant with my second child, working as a sex worker, smoking ICE daily, didn’t have my first child in my care & had next to no support as I’d lost all my close friends and family because of my drug use. This was my rock bottom, and I knew what I needed to do. I needed to go to YSAS to get the help and support I needed to get clean. It wasn’t about only me this time, there was a precious little person growing inside of me.

My last detox was the hardest, I will never forget the pain both physically and mentally of an ICE detox while pregnant. It was defiantly challenging but I started noticing positive changes almost straight away.

The workers at YSAS were with me every step of the way & during my stay they helped me address all aspects of my life from my addiction, mental and general health, finances, legal matters and putting appropriate supports in place for when I exited the programe. At the start of my 14 day stay I was unable to see any positives in my life & had no sense of direction, by the end of my stay I left feeling optimistic & like I was ready to tackle whatever tried to throw my way. I left rested and CEAN!!!

I am now 21, thankfully clean and have a beautiful healthy son who lives with me fulltime and was never removed from my care as I was able to stay clean, my first child also returned home because I was clean. YSAS allowed me to discover my potential and identify my strengths and what I want to do with my life, which has lead to me spending the last year studying and FINALLY!!!!

becoming a fully qualified youth worker as well as Community services worker (Both cet 4).  I always told the workers I would be a youth worker, and they always believed in me even when I didn’t even believe in myself. And here I am, I did it! 6years later as promised id be a youth worker too, ready to start the rest of my life by helping people who are just like I was once. Ill never forget where I come from & will never be able to thank YSAS enough for being the only consistent thing in my life and helping me to get back up on my feet when I lost my way a little.

If you are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, give YSAS a call, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and it has completely changed my life, it might have taken me a few times to get it right but I got there in the end & it scares me to think where I could be now had I not accessed this service.

It might seem scary and put your anxiety through the roof but just do it, pick up the phone, ask for help. As soon as you ask for help people can start to help you & you can turn your life around and get back on track. If I can do it, anyone can.

 Every single day I am so thankful for the service YSAS provides. They have not only improved my quality of life by helping me, my children have been provided with a mum, my friends got the old me back and most importantly my family got me back, the real me. A big thankyou from not only me but other residents as well to the  amazing workers! We might have given you a hard time at some stages, or we may have clashed heads at one stage or another but I hope all the staff know how thankful each and everyone of us are. “see you on the flipside!!”

PS; if you get sick in the resi Haylee makes a mean lemon and honey tea that will make you feel instantly better ;)

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