Read about the latest updates from Walking Home For Christmas
By Walking With The Wounded on
Shaun was 19 when he joined the Grenadier Guards in 2008. He was twice-deployed to Afghanistan and during both tours he experienced significant, traumatic events. The physical demands of military life also took their toll – he had a knee replacement and started to suffer pain in his ankle which over time became chronic and eventually he handed in his resignation papers.
‘When I first left the army I felt lost and alone, I had no support network, friends or colleagues and I became totally isolated. After starting my own business and becoming a father in 2016, I really went downhill.’
Shaun returned to civilian life and started to work very long hours. He began to suffer continuous disturbed sleep which drained every little bit of energy he and his family had. He would wake up 10 to 15 times a night having nightmares, hearing children screaming, and he would stand disorientated in the room. Shaun found if incredibly difficult to deal with his daughter’s crying when she was a baby - it brought on panic attacks and he was unable to sleep until he knew she was safe and asleep.
‘I totally relied on my fiancée which put so much pressure on her but if it wasn’t for her intervention and WWTW none of these life-changing events would have ever happened and I don’t think I’d still be around.’
Tracy, Shaun’s fiancée, took matters into her own hands and contacted a military charity without his knowledge. Tracy saw that Shaun was really struggling in his home and work life. Shaun was referred to Walking With The Wounded’s mental health programme and began seeing his therapist, Anna, in January 2018.
Shaun has run his own business since 2016 and is the Director of Chamber Health and Wellbeing. He has learnt a lot from his own negative emotions from the past and has channelled these to develop his skills as a Life Coach. He now advises those who may also need help. As a direct result of therapy, Shaun now feels like a normal Dad. He can play with his children and this year he took his daughter back to the park for the first time.
‘I just cant thanks Walking With The Wounded enough. You’ve changed my life and my family’s life. My role as a partner and father is now far better than I could have ever imagined.’