I am 25182952 PTE CUNNINGHAM.
I joined 1 Cheshire in 2004 and I was deployed to Iraq Telic 4 based at the Shat Al Arab Hotel for the second half of the tour.
In 2005 we moved to Ballykindler Northern Ireland for a 2 year posting.
In 2008 I went to Iraq Telic 11 based at Um Qsar Docks for 7 months then my final tour was Afghanistan based in Sangin Province when my life changed forever.
I was involved in an I.E.D blast which was an 80lb device that projected my vehicle (Jackel) 15 foot high and 20 foot forward scattering all my team around our position.
None of us died which was a bonus but suffered many physical injuries, I broke 7 ribs, collapsed half a lung, dislocated my knee and popped my ankle out.
This could of been alot worse, All my team where casivacced to Bastion where we received a huge amount of medical attention and finally sent home to recover.
This is where my PTSD kicked in because I wasn't with my brothers to help them, I felt alone, I didnt want to know anyone or even talk to anyone.
P.T.S.D is by far the worse injury I've got, it never goes away, its invisible and it wants to control you all the time. It made me think I was worthless and better off dead. It nearly split my marriage up and turned me to drink and drug misuse.
I've been through lots of different types of help through the doctors and medication however its not the best. The best thing I found helped for me was to talk, stop drinking and smoking and take up a hobby. I found Carp fishing by far the best thing that gets me near to what I used to do and love. I get to sleep out under the stars in silence, bang the world to rights in my head , iron out the creases and wake up with a clear head (fingers crossed) ready to tackle a new set of events because everyday is different with P.T.S.D.
My Best mate introduced me to Blue Light Angling who accepted me for who I am and helped my mental health and wellbeing just by listening and making me focus on angling and positivity. Without Richie (best mate) wife (Rach) and kids I'd be in a ditch or worse not here at all.
So that's me, thankyou for reading my story there is lots more to it but thats all you need for now as I want to here about you and your experiences. Cheers Cunny.
Richie forma Lance Corporal serving in the British army & Blue Light Angling Member
I was injured whilst serving in Afghanistan back in 2010 and was casevac back to the UK
I suffered multiple spinal trauma, severe nerve damage and loss of feeling on my right side of my body. I was diagnosed post service with PTSD anxiety Depression and Hyper vigilance. This caused a huge strain on my family and I was subsequently medically discharged nearly 2 years to the date of injury due to unsuccessful rehabilitation and more damage to my injuries than first thought.
Part of my ptsd is triggered by the sounds of helicopters, and if I don't see them it causes flashbacks bringing me physical sensation, certain smells/tastes and makes my body hurt like I had suffered my injuries all over again.
Through the support of my Blue Light angling mentor and advice from my therapist, I have gained some control back, Now I can control my breathing and intrusive thoughts which help me enjoy my therapeutic time on the bank fishing.
I have a lot of thanks towards my therapy team and my angling mentor who has now become one of my closest friends.
This could be you, you could come and enjoy your time improving your physical and emotional wellbeing throught the support of Blue Light Angling.
Anonymous Story 3
While serving in the Army I suffered a major back injury.
I slipped two discs in my lower back which led me to be medically discharged in 2014.
I was diagnosed with severe depression due to me going from a fully fit soldier to not being able to walk for 3 months and then only be able function at around half of what I used to.
I thought I was over the depression stage a couple of years ago but in 2020 I was diagnosed again.
This has had a massive impact on my home life and even my work.There are days when I'm upbeat and many days when Im down.
With help from taking medication , help from my family and good friends I am slowly getting back to some sort of normality.
Angling helps me as an alternative addition to the medication to deal with my depression, the guys at Blue Light just make us all relaxed and in a good head space.