My name is Suzie. Since I was very young, I’ve struggled to communicate with my family and friends. For at least the last year, I haven’t even been able to even leave my own home. I just didn’t like coming out of my flat. I didn’t really know why I didn’t want to go out, all I did know is that when I tried to I got upset and it made me very anxious.
I would often see my friends who, like me, are enabled and supported by ubu to live with more independence, going out and about. They enjoy shopping and joining in with activities in the local community. Seeing how well my friends have been doing has helped to give me courage and to get motivated to do more myself. I started to realise that I want to be able to go out again and enjoy activities and hobbies outside of my home. My family and the ubu Enabling team could see how positive I was beginning to feel about achieving this as a goal in my life. I knew that I could rely on support and encouragement from the people around me, and that really helped me to start my journey.
The ubu Enabling team have been working closely with me every day. First of all, they helped me to understand that I needed to work on my communication skills. If I can’t communicate with my family and the Enabling team then how could they help me? So I have been trying different ways to communicate. Some didn’t work for me but that has never put me off trying. I knew if I am going to be able to do the things I really want to do, some changes needed to be made and this probably wasn’t going to be easy for me, at least not at first.
At the moment I am trying out an activity book with pictures that I can use to show other people what I want to do next. This feels like a good first step and seems to be working really well. I use the book to keep an eye on my daily routine which I have agreed together with my Enabling team and what other activities I have planned for during the week. I feel I have more control now and can make any changes to the things I want to do with much more ease.
Feeling anxious is the other big area of my life that I asked for support from ubu with. As I didn’t know why I couldn’t go out of my home, it seemed like a very good idea to begin with some small steps to understand it better. I started by thinking about what sort of things I like and don’t like to do. I knew I needed to work towards finding my own way of coping with situations that make me feel anxious.
Of course all this didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of time, courage and patience for me to begin to find ways to overcome my anxiety and feeling worried about leaving my flat.
In the end though, all my hard work has paid off! I have started going down to my local café regularly and ordering a drink and a bun or whatever catches my eye on that day. I order my food and then take it home with me. Although I haven’t yet got the confidence to stay and eat in the café, I know that by taking small steps towards it, I will be able to do that soon too. It’s a journey I really want to make.