Travelling from Northern Ireland, I felt proud to represent the other side of the water. To be asked to come across and do this film, it was a total honour.
I’d never shared my story on camera before but after everything that Combat Stress has done for me, I wanted to give something back. They basically saved my life. I owe everything to them.
In the build up to the day, I was apprehensive, wondering what it was going to be like talking in front of the cameras. When I got to the studio and met the Combat Stress team, they were so warm and welcoming.
I was a bit anxious before we started filming but once the cameras were rolling, I forgot they were there. I was so focused on the other veterans. It was invigorating listening to the guys and being able to open up to them. It reminded me of being back at the treatment centre.
Some of the stuff I said in that interview really shocked Laura. Without the opportunity to do this film, she wouldn’t have known what I’d gone through. She didn’t understand how I could have felt like that and not told anyone. It helped her understand me better.
The highlight of the day was being interviewed with Laura. Four years ago when I moved out of the family home, I was a completely different person. I wasn’t there for my kids. Now thanks to the support from Combat Stress I can control my PTSD better and I’ve got to the point where I’ve started to change.
Hearing Laura say in that interview that she can see a difference in me, how I’m becoming a better person, it made me feel proud.
After filming finished, Laura and me had time to reflect on the day before going to the airport. We had a chat about what had happened. It was a good bonding experience for us, being away together.
When I got the chance to watch the film, I was really emotional. My God, if that doesn’t move people, to see what we go through and what Combat Stress can offer veterans, then I don’t know what does.
To those veterans with mental health issues, please, please pick up the phone and get in touch with Combat Stress. It’s the best service out there for us all.