Paul's Story

Paul's Story

I met Paul at our offices in Salisbury. He is one of the clients who is supported by Alabaré’s Home and Community team

By Rachel Houston


He started by explaining a bit about his childhood

“As a baby I had trouble breathing and my development was slow. So, when I went to primary school I had extra help with some subjects. When I got to senior school, I was lucky because my parents got a place for me at a private school where the class sizes were a lot smaller. At GCSE I managed to get some of the grades I wanted but everything took time. My whole life revolved around practice, so everything I’ve ever had to do, I’ve had to practice, and I’ve constantly understood that practice is always there and so I’m always practising. Even now, Alabaré has helped me to understand that I basically have to just keep giving things a go, like keeping on top of my flat.”

How is his life is today?

“Alabaré has helped me to basically get to where I am today. They reassure me about things that I’m not happy about, that I’m concerned about, they’ve been there to suggest different ways to do things like washing up – washing the cups and cutlery first and then the bigger things. They help me to put things in a sort of order because I do deal very well with things being in an order. If I realise that something isn’t working then I have to walk away.”

Paul explained that he suffers from anxiety

“I have to walk away if something causes me anxiety. I suffer from anxiety, I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and Asperger Syndrome so I’m constantly coping with challenging thoughts. It means that my behaviour is related to my mood. If my mood is very good I’ve got more capacity to be able to deal with things better. If I’m not in a good mood, then it’s the complete opposite. And then you get halfway in between the two, which is like half and half. So, my thoughts and everything else are changing all the time.”

How does Alabaré support you?

“When they come in they ask me how I am, which is a good thing. I tend to be very honest. Then they make sure that we have set things to do each day. When they come in to support me, we do either the kitchen or living room or bathroom or whatever the case may be. A lot of how they help me is reinforcing that I can do it. It’s just that my mood and everything gets in the way of things at times.”

Paul explained that he has many hobbies and interests

“I’ve always been interested in art and design. I’ve always liked music too to a certain degree. I like poetry now and again and gaming, but lots of these hobbies I know I use as a distraction. If one doesn’t work, I use another one. So gaming, video games, drawing, poetry, a bit of reading – I try to think of something that will help me. I also like watching documentaries and at the moment I’m interested in a book by Douglas Murray, who’s a political commentator. He has studied culture in the UK and how we navigate through life. I’ve always been interested in why people look at things in a certain way. What is it that people like? What do people want out of life?”

What does it mean to Paul to have the support of Alabaré?

“It certainly gives me the thought that somebody cares. And it gives me the thought that there’s someone actually trying to help and it’s great that they’re there to help. I think it’s very helpful to me but also probably rewarding to the staff as well! I would say that everything I’ve done as of late has been because of the support of Alabaré. Everything they do is so helpful.”

How has Paul coped during the last 16 months of Covid and lockdown?

“I’ve actually, as far as the lockdown side, I’ve actually enjoyed it even though it’s been kind of alien. I’m getting used to the idea of being in lockdown. I know that some people don’t like it, but for me, I don’t have to worry about other things. There’s just me in my flat and I quite like being by myself. And the Alabaré staff as a whole have done a brilliant job in trying to get me to understand that you’ve got to try and wear a mask and to wash your hands as much as possible. I’ve also been taking lateral flow and PCR tests. I’ve agreed to do that every time because it makes it easier for people to keep track and keep an eye on things for my well-being. I think that’s been helpful.”

What are Paul’s hopes are for the future?

“Well one of the things that I’m fascinated by is how having the support from Alabaré is allowing me to get into an ideal routine for myself, which then allows me to do the things that I want to do. Basically, what I would say is the biggest, biggest hope for me is that I can keep practising and understanding what I am capable of doing because that will allow me to do everything I want to do. Some people may say they want to ski in the Alps or bungee jump in New Zealand but for me, it is more subtle. I want to keep looking at how I work and keep developing from that. That’s my hope for the future.”