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For the vast majority of my adult life I have lived in a constant state of tension due to a number of extremely operationally focused years in the Royal Marines. I have suffered interspersed periods of depression, extreme alcohol intake and many other forms escapism from my mental state at the time.
The majority of my physical tension and mental intensity over the years became what appeared to me as normal and a constant life style, only to be highlighted as abnormal during times of overwhelming emotional distress. I would cover paper over the cracks and carry on as “normal” living in a constant state of intensity which affected many areas of my life in ways I did not want, such as my thoughts and feelings towards people, situations and life in general.
After I left the military it was clear that all of my emotions and the stress endured followed me into my new life and after a further traumatic event working in Libya it became clear I was at a point of desperation as I had lost all control of my thoughts, feelings and my ability to remain calm and composed throughout situations which to the majority of people would be second nature.
I was really left in a state of shame, self doubt, anxiety, confusion and low in confidence.
The Save Our Soldier coach was very quick to identify some of my barriers and work with me. He reminded me of what really matters in life, such as the ability to love ourselves for who we are and to remain balanced and receptive within the present moment. His sessions really helped to open my mind, increase my self-awareness and physiologically reduce the tensions I had within.
The coaching will put you in a position to reflect and work with yourself, subconsciously letting go of troubles and pains of your past, providing you with more constructive and realistic suggestions to aid you in the future or more importantly in each “present moment”.
I recommend Save Our Soldier’s coaching unreservedly, we could all benefit from his techniques and life experience. I am in a far better position to move forward with my life in a more constructive way. I could not thank him enough.
Thank you very much for spending more time with me, it certainly helps. The new techniques you showed me have been severely put to the test this past week. I have braved visiting Chester Zoo twice and went into the City Centre shopping with the family.
We can’t thank you enough for your help. You have that calming aura about you, it reassures me that there is help out there and I am so grateful!
Just wanted to let you know how CB is doing. He has got a job at a gym and he’s loving his music and recording his songs. I feel I have got some of my old CB back. I know it’s not gonna be plain sailing but I feel there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Again a very big thank you.
Royal Marine (Mother)
The Save Our Soldier motto does what it says on the tin. I was in darkness but they brought me into the light.
…. these guys have done extensive training in strategies that work. They have successfully, in only a few sessions per individual, treated people suffering with PTSI
I therefore would whole heartedly, and without reservation, recommend these guys to any person suffering from PTSI or any organization looking for help in this direction.
In summary, there are a lot of service and ex-service personnel out there that are in great need of help, to reclaim their lives. The reality is that there simply aren’t enough effective interventions available, and what this organization can offer is on the cutting edge.
13 Years including the regiment
As you are fully aware I have suffered for many years from a great difficulty in sleeping which I believe was brought on initially by work related activities and developed into a negative attitude towards sleep. The nature of the problem and sleep deprivation I was suffering had started to seriously affect my working life and …. started to impact on my family life.
I can only say thank you to you but this doesn’t go far enough in explaining the gratitude I have for what you and your sleep system has done for me. The feeling of waking up the next day feeling un-fatigued is incommunicable!
….. I will always be indebted to you and will have no hesitation in recommending you to my colleagues. Best regards to you ….
WO2 Royal Marine
I’ve been a police officer for over 10 years and like all emergency responders I’ve experienced my fair share of traumatic incidents. I realised I had changed but thought it was just one of those things that happened, after experiencing the darker side of life for so long. At first I didn’t recognise that anything was wrong. My partner noticed the changes more than I did. I was unable to sit in a cafe or restaurant unless I could see the exit and my back was against the wall – just in case something happened. If I heard a noise at night I had to check the patio doors were locked and then lay awake, unable to sleep in case someone was trying to get in the house. I became more cynical (ok I know police are cynical but I went far beyond that) and genuinely thought that people were out to cause me problems if they could. I struggled to trust people if I thought they had betrayed me once. I couldn’t eat chargrilled chicken as the smell made me feel physically sick. There were other signs as well that something wasn’t quite connecting but again, these were just shrugged off as “One of those things”.
I knew something wasn’t right but didn’t want to admit it. I’m a big tough Psu officer. PTSD doesn’t happen to me, it only happens to weak people or to soldiers. I’m not having flashbacks and we all know that’s what PTSD is about. How wrong was I! Then I saw a special forces soldier on TV talking about his experience of PTSD. This started me thinking about some of my actions, but once again I convinced myself I was fine. Another couple of months went by and I found myself at the doctors for a separate matter. He started talking to me about PTSD after I had made a throw away comment about my stress levels. I was now faced with a choice – medication to calm anxiety or look for a different way of addressing this problem. I started looking around and was put in contact with Save Our Soldier.
Once the call had been made I started worrying. Was I wasting their time? Can I talk about incidents I’ve dealt with at work? Do I want to talk about work incidents? Do I really have PTSD? I needn’t have worried. I can’t praise Save Our Soldier (SOS) enough. They have always been very responsive to my contact with them. The coaches talk with you, not at you. You are listened to without judgment or pressure. They can arrange for a coach to come and see you at home at a time to suit you. There is no pressure to discuss any incidents. In fact I was actively encouraged not to, so I didn’t relive the trauma and reinforce the feelings. This was a huge relief. All the stereotypical counselling was going through my mind, half expecting to be asked “So, how did that make you feel?” It wasn’t like that at all and I was in control of what we were talking about and where the conversation was going. Save Our Soldier, like many others refer to Post-Traumatic Stress as an Injury, not a disorder (PTSI). This helped me come to terms with what was happening,
By the time we had finished the first session I felt remarkably different. We arranged a follow up session a week or so later. I noticed I didn’t have some of the feelings I had before and the world seamed brighter. I have to admit, I was very sceptical about how long this would last. A week later I was still free of the feelings or the signs I had previously had and my wife also noticed a huge difference. After the second session I felt a lot calmer.
I’ve been careful who I tell my story to as there is still a stigma surrounding PTSI. I’ve seen how some others have been treated. The most asked question has been “So are you better now?” The answer is yes. Am I cured? Once you have PTSI I don’t think you are ever totally cured. It’s always in the back of my mind that the next incident I go to may be one I have to spend extra time to debrief and put to bed. I no longer have any of the symptoms I had before. I no longer have to check my locker 5 times just to make sure my belt kit is in there. I can sit anywhere I want in a restaurant without having escape plans. I don’t feel like I am on a heightened state of alert when we go shopping anymore. I’m nowhere near as paranoid. I worry less over things and also realise now that the events I have seen or been involved with are in the past, whilst I’m in the present – the list is quite literally endless. I’ve been given tips on what to do in the future if I, or my wife start to see traits coming back. Save Our Soldier is just a call away if I need some support.
I really can’t praise Save Our Soldier enough. They have helped me immensely. It’s not just me that has noticed the difference but friends, family and colleagues as well. The first step to getting some assistance was the hardest part for me, admitting something was wrong and I needed help, but Save Our Soldier were an email away and made no judgement – and for this and the help they have given me I will be forever grateful, I just wish I had contacted them sooner!
A Police Officer’s Testimonial