Brian's Story

‘Makes me get a bit out of my
comfort zone, but I’m willing to take the risk now’

When I first started support with Karakan 12 years ago, I was a very different person. I used to have bad times, times I used to get frustrated I just didn’t know how to communicate and then suddenly all my pent up worries and anxieties would come to the surface. It meant I became less confident in myself, I didn’t believe I could do things, and all because I wasn’t able to communicate what was really bothering me.

So I began support with Karakan 5 days per week. Over time I have worked on tools to be able to grow as a person and gain the independence that I want. Everything is easier now because I know what makes me frustrated and I know everyone gets frustrated and that’s OK, but now I can think ahead and almost see it coming and take steps to avoid it. I am now supported by Karakan just 2 days every fortnight, I have come so far.

Things that have really helped have been my love of music, I have always enjoyed listening to music. I don’t have a favourite type of music what I listen to just depends on how I am feeling that day. Over time I have been encouraged to play and now I play keyboard, I can feel myself relaxing as soon as I start playing, it keeps me positive. Maybe one day I might join a band.

My family and friends are a big part of my life and they have always encouraged me, I have always wanted to grow and learn new things, and everyone around me has helped to get to where I want to be, but that desire to do things comes from me, I have never given up trying, even when it doesn’t quite go to plan. I suppose that is where Karakan has helped, it feels a little like a 2nd family, I trust them and feel secure, so I am willing to get out of my comfort zone and go for things. It makes me happy to think that other people will have the same guidance and help as I have to be able to grow as a person.

I learn from all my experiences and give back to my community, as I have gained so much. I now volunteer at my local Mormon Church. I love it, I meet new people and have to push myself to learn new things, it would make me sad if I didn’t have this in my life now. I would like to do more volunteering, as it really gives me purpose and that is what is next for me, more volunteering and doing it alone. I want to see how I can live completely independently without Karakan to support me, just a break first of all, but ultimately I want to be completely independent and I know I can do it.

‘I don’t like the thought of getting old though, I want to get young, just so that I can experience more music, meet more people and do more things.’