What most people don’t realise is that PTSD doesn’t just affect those who are suffering from the symptoms. It can also have a ripple effect on the sufferer’s family and friends, who are often pushed away and left watching helplessly as PTSD takes a hold of their loved one.
Below are some accounts from our divers and their families about their journey with PTSD – Progress Through Scuba Diving.
So where to start with even being able to describe what Progress Through Scuba Diving has done for me.
My journey with PTSD - Progress Through Scuba Diving started from a desperately unhappy, alcohol dependant, rage fuelled PTSD nightmare. I couldn’t leave my sofa and I was stuck in life. In all honesty, I felt like I was going to be part of the tragic number of service men and women that have taken their own lives and I had gone as far as making the plans to do exactly that. There was urgent medical intervention at that point and a stay in a “smooth room” where they don’t allow you so much as your shoelaces or anything to shave with, I was prevented (for now) ...... That’s where Progress Through Scuba Diving found me, in an absolute pit of despair, fresh out of a secure facility with no hope.
Before my trip the work from the PTSD team started - Slowly, slowly with constant communication and gently guiding from Kevin and a lot (a lot!) of work behind the scenes from PTSD. I arrived on Long Island...I wanted to feel more excited and upbeat than I did but I didn’t know what to expect or if this would even work!
The dives built up slowly, slowly and Kevin was a constant source of calm, professionalism which instils such confidence in you, that you start to believe in yourself again. He builds on this, and I went from strength to strength to strength. The “fog” of PTSD that I felt in my brain and behind my eyes was lifting day by day.... I started to feel like my old self again, my confidence and my “can do” attitude started to re-emerge - I hadn’t seen or felt like this man in such a long time.
I felt safe, looked after, listened to, and understood much more than I had done with any of the countless “professional” head doctors and psychiatrists I had seen.
The experience is not just the diving, Kevin, and his wife Audrey’s commitment to the charity is just awe inspiring, nothing was left to chance and every detail was meticulously planned from start to finish during my time on Long Island.
So, here’s the real proof in the pudding....
I am still PTSD free; I am the happiest I have even been in as long as I can remember, I have a fantastic job, a gorgeous partner and I have a future that’s full of promise and amazing times to be had, I have my life back!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to PTSD - Progress through scuba diving, everyone who made this happen with donations, the supportive messages and phone calls and to Kevin, as to be honest without him I wouldn’t be here today, you saved my life.
PTSD - Progress Through Scuba Diving - Registered Northern Ireland Charity No NIC108392.