I guess my story isn’t that different to any other that you have read so far. I joined the army aged 16 and opted to join the parachute regiment. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the paras but always wanted that bit more. I served in various locations around the world and progressed quickly through the ranks.

I did junior Brecon at 20 and senior at 22, but having completed that I still found myself wanting more. ‘I found that I wasn’t happy any longer in the paras but far from wanted to sign off and leave the army. I was talking to a close friend one day and he told me he was considering selection, an option I had previously thought of myself. Having given it a little further consideration I decided that this is the way I wanted to go and took the bull by the horns. I went on selection and passed on winter selection 2002. The first place I deployed to was Afghanistan and this opened my eyes right up. Then I went to Iraq and back to Afghanistan.

This is where it all came undone for me. I lost a few close friends along the way and the environment in which I was exposed to was highly intense. I didn’t really feel things until I was away from the job but I am far from saying that symptoms were not present. I was a changed beast – friends and family all commented on the fact that I wasn’t my self. I was more aggressive and intolerant, I was unapproachable. I thought it was them with the problem and they had to deal with it. Then the dramatic changes started to happen. I was experiencing nightmares and flashbacks. I was unable to explain why this was happening and tried my best to ignore the fact this was happening to me. At this point in time I was a single bloke which made life easier but all the same this problem continued to escalate and I continued to deteriorate.

I just tried to carry on as best as I could. My way of rationalising and dealing with it was thinking that because it was all so fresh in my memory it was just a passing thing. As time passed it didn’t get any easier. If anything it was getting harder. I felt unable to confide in any one I was serving with because I had a fear that I would be laughed at but in reality I now believe that if was I feeling that then underneath of all the bravado and bollocks that goes on then I really wasn’t going to be the only one. But in essence you keep your mouth closed through fear and pride, the fear being that you be put on platform 4 and the pride because you don’t want anyone else knowing that underneath it all you are breaking!

I found my self carrying this huge invisible Bergan of emotional neurosis and I was completely unable to get it off my back. As I already said I was unapproachable but now I was also angry all of the time. Family relations where put under massive duress and I found my self retreating from every one I loved and cared for and I was getting further away and didn’t know the way back. I left the SAS in 2007 as a result of a knee injury picked on my last tour of Afghanistan. I came into civy street and carried all of those issues with me and tried to rebuild my life in a way that can only be described a turbulent. The issues of night mares and flash backs had intensified in this time.

Every night at least twice I would wake up in a pool of cold sweat and not know where the hell I was. This time was a living hell . My partner was taking the brunt of it and not understanding why. The person I love most in this world being subjected to vile mood swings and verbal assaults for no good reason and her having no involvement in my past. I was at the point I just wanted to fight the world and anyone else that opened their eyes at me and it was totally out of control.

I came across T2M whilst watching sky news and I caught the interview with Rob Paxman saying that the issue of PTSD was bigger than everyone realised and that he along with Mick had developed a cure. Well having been diagnosed with PTSD and told that medication was going to be the only answer I have to admit that I was extremely sceptical. But having been through the Talking2Minds process I have to say I am completely reformatted and have to say I believe in this process whole heartedly and have become an practitioner my self. I also know what I have subjected my family to and want to take this opportunity to thank them from the bottom of my heart for standing by me.

You are nothing on your own. Also thanks Rob and Mick for the part they played in my recovery. ‘If you find your self reading these bio’s and feel that this sounds like you or some one you know then I strongly urge you to get in touch with Rob and Talking2Minds because if you allow them to find a way in, you will find your way out !!!

Strength and Honour!