Rock & a hard place

Rock & a hard place

LGM Aviation Ltd is teaming with Rock2Recovery (a not for profit company) to help ease Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) in the Armed Forces, veterans, the 999 community and their families.

Previously, we heard from Charlie Hobson how, in 2014 both Jamie Sanderson and Jason Fox (Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins) tried or seriously thought about taking their own lives. After an introduction to Malcolm Williams, a specialist change management coach who saved their lives, Jamie, Malcolm and Joy Jones (a Royal Marines mum) then went round the country finding Royal Marines veterans and helping them. They then decided to establish Rock2Recovery as a community interest company to provide coaching for free. So, in February 2015 Rock2Recovery was born.  

This week we hear stories directly from clients of Rock2Recovery to understand their perspective:

“The support was immediate and in a matter of months Rock2Recovery has helped turn my life around”

“As a former Royal Marine I was introduced to Rock2Recovery in September 2019. Being almost 50 I’ve spent a lifetime of childhood trauma compounding upon itself. The three years leading up to that point had been the worst, at times I felt lower than rock bottom and at serious risk to myself, even though I was having help through the NHS and privately, some therapies offered brief respite, some made matters worse, much worse.  I felt I had nowhere left to turn and that I was beyond help, but I was urged to make contact with Rock2Recovery for assistance by another former RM, the support was immediate and in a matter of months Rock2Recovery has helped turn my life around even though my issues were not service related.”

Rock & a hard place

“I was off work for seven months, beginning in Feb 2017. This was a particularly troubling time and I was not sure that I would even make it back to work. This was not the first time that this had happened. I had been off for three months at the end of 2014. I had pushed myself after that to get back to “normal” and full productivity. I thought I had achieved this successfully, but the 2017 health issues kicked me down hard.

After this I had totally lost all motivation and will or desire to make it back to a fully functioning state. I believed I could never make it again and feared/believed too much damage had been done to my psyche. I had accepted a “new normal” (at a time before we all did). I settled into a low level of existence. I accepted that I would not progress further in work and would strive to help where I could. I decided never to have a relationship again, as would not be fair to any future prospective partner. I did not go out, ever. I drove to work, I drove home. That was it. Rinse and repeat every day.

I did not feel sorry for myself in any way, this was all necessary in order to continue functioning at any level. As long as I continued to work and pay my bills, I was doing ok. I had seen therapists in the past, psychiatrists, art therapists, CBT group and they had helped, to some extent and in varying degrees.

After this most recent ill health in 2017 I did not wish to seek any further help. I received CBT on the phone during my seven months off. This had got me back to work, but now I no longer required more as I had no plans for progressing my health or situation. I had no wish to dig around my noggin and maybe set myself back again? I would tick along thank you very much.

Then my Chief Inspector, a particularly lovely lady, who had been very kind to me and I have great respect for, informed me of the Rock2Recovery pilot programme with the Met. Out of respect for her and an appreciation to the organisation for providing this service, I put myself forward. I did not have any expectations for a change. I would give it my all and commit fully, but was not anticipating anything to change.   

Due to the big change in the world this year, my first session and subsequent ones were to be conducted via Zoom. This was arranged through Carly who conducted my initial interview. This was a very good start to being introduced to the service as she was so friendly, kind, supportive and positive over the phone. Not the easiest thing to convey in voice only, but she did in spades! Just from this first contact I felt a long forgotten thought, hope.  I was intrigued and encouraged in anticipation of my first session, though obviously also nervous.

“Just from this first contact I felt a long forgotten thought, hope.”

The person I was to meet via Zoom was Jamie. How would this go? Compared to all my previous experiences and persons met, where would Jamie fit and how would it work via camera? Perfectly. Jamie is one of the finest, intuitive, thoughtful, observant, keen, positive, caring, mindful and excellent people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Right from the outset he was able, even via camera, to assess me and tailor the sessions to fit how my mind works and what would assist me best. Jamie clearly has extensive knowledge and skill and is able to effortlessly weave this into his sessions, constantly reacting and adapting. This always ensure the session flows naturally and in a relaxing way.

I was always nervous or a little stressed before a session, my own personal irrational fears, yet the moment each began I would forget all of this as Jamie worked his magic. The first session was over three hours long and tiring, but so so rewarding. Every session has been, in a strange way, a joy. Whilst it means addressing things and facing some blocks in my mind or attitude, after they finish, after things begin to settle, I feel so lightened. It is, despite the length so far written, difficult to put into exact words the impact that Jamie has had and how grateful I am. How impressed I am. How he will never be forgotten and that for years I will be singing his praises to anyone I can make listen to me!   

Prior to Rock2Recovery I did not go out at all, it was too stressful, I could not deal with people or crowds or noise. I decided never to have another relationship, as too painful and not fair to anyone due to my lack of ability in socializing etc. I rarely saw my parents or family. Last Saturday I spent all day at my parents, with my sister and her family and had one of the best days I can remember in a very long time. On Sunday I went to Bushy Park on a hot, sunny, busy day and met a girl for a date.   

Thank you to all the people at Rock2Recovery, you are a special type of magician! I can never thank you enough, nor praise you enough. Thank you, thank you.”