YoDAA’s top tips for surviving the waitlist

You picked up the phone and things are in motion. Well done! But sometimes there can be a wait until you can have an appointment or get into into a program. It can be really frustrating and tempting to chuck it all in. You might even feel relieved that there is a wait – reducing you use is a pretty big thing after all. Here are some common thoughts and feelings that people experience while waiting to see a service and our top tips for turning the wait into being worthwhile.

Getting support from a service does not necessarily mean they will tell you to stop using. They are there to support your choices

You may want to give up

It’s totally understandable that you may feel angry, frustrated or bummed out as you have asked for help and it hasn’t happened when you have needed it. This can feel similar to other times when you have felt let down and you may think about giving up. You might have other people like your parents or boy/girlfriend give you heaps of pressure to make changes, to make this call and to get things happening. They may not understand that you are doing everything you can and that the wait actually isn’t your fault. Other people may have become so frustrated, they have said you are not worth it and they may have wanted to give up on you too.

Don’t believe them. You have gotten this far, (it takes guts to make that first call!) Don’t give up on yourself - Hang in there! You are worth fighting for.

You may have loads of confusing feelings

It may feel you are ready to change but are scared that it’s not possible or that you will fail. You may be afraid about having someone else telling you what to do or that you will be burdening them with your problems. Sometimes you can feel ashamed at your past choices or behaviour. This can be a time where you find yourself re-thinking how you see yourself and may need time to get your head around changing things without necessarily doing it all right now.

Be gentle on yourself. Confusion and mixed feelings at this time are normal! It means that your mind, body and heart are all having their say about an issue that is really important to you.  You don’t have to have all the answers today but being kind to yourself is a great first step.

You might worry about what other people will think of you

 Losing closeness with best mates who are still using, or being judged by friends or family who don’t, is a common worry for lots of other young people.  Using might have caused you to lose the trust of people in your life or caused arguments that you are not sure you will be able to mend. You may worry you will have to cut out close friends, because their drug use goals are totally different to yours.

Close supportive relationships are an important ingredient in any plan for change. Just because friends use, doesn’t mean their love and support can’t give you strength (you just might have to hang out with them in a slightly different way).

Services like YoDAA help the people who are most important to you understand what you might be going through and how they can be a good support at this time.

You may want to keep using

A big part of you could want to keep using and not want to give it up. It’s totally understandable. Just to let you know, getting support from a service does not necessarily mean they will tell you to stop using. Their role is to support you in whatever choices you make. They may give you information, help you with strategies to make things easier, support you to find ways to keep you safe and be a go-to person if things get hectic.  

Talk to someone

Letting your family, carers or friends know where you are at and how you are feeling can be a great way to get support. If you don’t feel like you have anyone on your side who can get what you are going through, get online  or call and chat to someone. It can feel weird talking to a stranger at first but often it can help make things feel better and you may start seeing things differently.

Get busy

Getting active is a great way to feel like things are changing. Have a look at this great article for all the things you can do to get things moving. You have got the ball rolling! Give yourself some credit, asking for help isn’t easy and you are on your way!