I am still to this day receiving treatment for my PTSD and anxiety that I hope will end very soon. I have also found the strength to return to employment, and I hope to continue to share and raise awareness over social media. Life is never simple but understanding yourself and believing in your own strengths to keep fighting for the support you deserve is the best way forward.

 

**TRIGGER WARNING** Blog contributors share some of their own lived experience and some content may be triggering for readers. If you feel uncomfortable with anything you read, then please stop reading. You may also want to consider exploring our need help section.

On June 9, 2009, my world collapsed. I was involved in an IED bomb blast whilst serving in Afghanistan, the second blast to hit me within six weeks. The blast was huge, tearing my armoured warrior apart, blowing the turret I had been standing inside of, commanding my men to clean off the vehicle. I was blown about 20ft landing on my head. I died inside a rescue helicopter as a result of the injuries. I was lucky that day and it was only this year when I finally let go of everything that had happened.

As a result of my injuries which included a broken skull, a traumatic brain injury, spinal and neck injuries, shoulder injuries and a splenectomy, I was induced into a coma. When I was brought around 8 days later my life had changed. My treatment was very poor and I was literally dumped by the military. I quickly fell into isolation and all the horrors I had witnessed and been involved in took over my mind. I hated waking up. I hated breathing. The support wasn't there for me, the military charities distanced themselves choosing visible injuries over non-visible. I became a shell of the man I once was which left me fighting my own war. With endless setbacks and lack of support, I found myself on top of Pen Y Fan mountain about to jump, something stopped me and pulled me back as I stepped forward to end my suffering. From that day forward, I promised myself I would fight back and prove to be someone again.

In March 2019, I released a book called Broken By War available on Amazon. I had been writing the book since the day I became isolated, the book was written to help me work out my horrors. I had lost nine friends in nine years in the worst of ways; many I saw die in front of my eyes. The book was only supposed to give me a sense of achievement again, I wasn't expecting to sell any nor was I expecting it to make an impact on anyone else's life. In September 2019, I picked up the Silver Award for inspiration of the year at the Veterans Awards. The book had inspired a number of cadets whom I had not met, to raise money for charity back in July. I had tried reaching out for support for many years but always missed out, the book and the awareness of PTSD has brought the support that I had always needed. 

I am still to this day receiving treatment for my PTSD and anxiety that I hope will end very soon. I have also found the strength to return to employment and I hope to continue to share and raise awareness over social media. Life is never simple but understanding yourself and believing in your own strengths to keep fighting for the support you deserve, is the best way forward. Never give up... never give in.

Follow @BrokenByWar

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