My journey began with Deptherapy when I was on the cusp of either getting out of a very dark place, or falling straight back down. I was introduced to the charity by a mutual friend, Chris Middleton, a friend who I had met earlier in the year and had deep conversations with about how I was feeling. From that point on my journey has been one of striving out of the dark hole, once in a while I seem to put my head back in there for brief condor moments, perhaps to just remind myself of how bad things can get when I’m lacking perspective.
The support I’ve received from Deptherapy started before I had even put my head under water. With the nature of my condition my mood dramatically changes in swift spikes, I have medication to regulate the curvature of the highs and lows, however I can go from taking the world on to deep depression in a matter of minutes. Richard was my point of contact and would on a daily basis manage my hopes and dreams as they spiked through the roof and picked me up when I spiraled into low points. My career took me into low places as I adjusted back to a working life, I had left the Army and for years been addicted to drugs (cocaine, MKAT, MDMA) and alcohol. Although the structure was good for me, the thought that ‘normal’ life was what I had and that I would never be Rifleman Green again was like a dagger to the heart that physically made me feel sick. I would regularly message Richard telling him that I didn’t think I could continue. Two years later and I have been promoted three times, managing two shifts in a global distribution network and still progressing. I have also finished my first book ‘Bombs for Breakfast’ and working on another.
When my head first went under the water in Egypt, I felt like all the stress that I had suffered with was lifted, the slate was wiped clean as my mind was set free, living as part of another world. I believe this realisation that PTSD was not who I was gave me hope. If PTSD did not plague me under the water, then why should it plague me out of it?
Before Egypt, in Egypt, after Egypt, in the water and out the water, the Deptherapy team was there to support me, a team that I am now proud to be a part of. Deptherapy did not take me on a trip then sent me down the road with a certificate, they allowed me to grow with them, they are a family community. Sorry, we are a family community. I started as an Ambassador for Deptherapy, helping recruit members and change their lives. As I have naturally gravitated toward and grown with the charity, I had the honour of being elected as a board member and trustee on behalf of the troops. As well as this, I was also chosen to be an Ambassadiver for PADI. These roles have really helped and encouraged me to progress in my professional and personal life.
My life did not begin and I’m sure will not end with Deptherapy. I have a family and girlfriend that support me every day as well, but without Deptherapy I honestly don’t believe I would be where I am today, a professional man that accepts his PTSD and refuses to let it beat him. All this could not be possible without the support of the public and those that financially endorse the charity, such as the Endeavour Fund which has helped three wounded soldiers get their dry suits. This will enable us to further our diving here in the UK. It has also enabled more wounded in service veterans to have the same opportunity that I was so fortunate to have had. We will soon be setting off to Egypt to learn how to dive wrecks in the sea, all build up and progression ready for the Deptherapy expedition to Truk Lagoon. Generosity, family ethos, time and faith is what makes Deptherapy so special.
To find out more about how to get involved with Deptherapy, please visit http://www.endeavourfund.co.uk/get-involved/deptherapy/.