Alex*

In: Our stories

In the last eight years I haven’t stayed in one place for very long. I was in a residential home but then my behaviour got worse and I was moved to an inpatient hospital and put on Section 3 of Mental Health Act. I was on Section 3 twice because I was a risk to myself and others. When I recovered a little bit, I was moved back to a residential home before moving into Willow Court.

Residential Service

I have lived at my residential service since 2012. I love my room here, it is my private space and having my own bathroom is really helpful to keep my rituals a bit more private. I have much more freedom here and can make choices about what I want to do everyday. The staff understand me and know how to help me when I am having a bad day.

When I first went to the service I was still struggling with my condition and behaviour. My rituals, tics and stutter made me very frustrated and I would get angry and upset. I would refuse to take my medication and when I got really angry I would hurt myself and other people. I did not get up in the mornings and it was a struggle to complete my personal care because of the length of my rituals. I was scared to go out in the community because I felt everyone was looking at me and laughing so I never went out.

I needed lots of support to get up in the morning and do my personal care, my laundry and room management. I was not able to do any cooking for myself because my personal hygiene stopped me being in the kitchen. I always said I wanted to go to college but I thought it would never happen because I was scared of people and my behaviour was not good.

My Staff team and therapists have worked with me closely. I really like my sessions. Over time I have learnt more about myself and developed ways to deal with my emotions, my stutter, my rituals and my tics. I have learnt how to talk about my conditions and my emotions and ask for support when I need it. I have learnt about my medication and why I need to take it. I feel like I have learnt more skills now thanks to the help of my staff team.

Things are much better for me now. I have been going out in the community much more and I’m more confident to order food and ask for things in shops. I have learnt to ignore other people looking at me because I am different. I go into the kitchen daily and make my own meals when I want to.
I feel much better about myself and this means my confidence has improved. I am friendly with my fellow residents and enjoy sitting with them and chatting in the lounge. I am doing literacy, numeracy and cooking courses at college and really enjoying them. Next term I am going to do other courses that I chose with staff. I feel better about being different.

I am looking forward to the future and feel much more positive about my life now.