Change is easy to promise yourself, I know, I’ve done it hundreds of times since my injury.  The hardest part is actually doing the deed especially when you are in complete agony and you just want to curl up and die.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve just wanted to die, to be free of the pain, the misery and the memories that haunt me.  I’m not saying this lightly.  I’ve fallen down the pit of depression so many times, tried to crawl out only to be kicked in the teeth and fallen lower than before.

I’ll warn you now that this post sounds like the irritating whining of a selfish, woe-is-me weakling, which it is.  A friend once told me that pain is weakness leaving the body.  I have a lot of weakness!  I’ve given fair warning and read at your own mental peril!

Whilst I was in Headley Court the psychiatrist told me to start a journal in order for me to articulate my feelings in writing.  It didn’t take long for me to get bored writing, “Hurting and pissed off”.  The psychiatrist had a go at me and said I wasn’t trying, I asked him how hard he wanted me to try?  “Express your feelings” he told me.  “I have” I told him back.  Needless to say, that conversation didn’t get very far and neither did my ‘articulation of my feelings’.  As I mentioned in the first part, I’m not very good at showing my feelings.

Once again, the full story can be read at or click this link


The Start

How do you start a personal series of events when you are not a ‘sharing’ kind of person?  How do you be frank and honest for the first time in your life when you’ve always hidden behind a mask, a facade?  I’ve never allowed myself to get close to many people, having lived my life in semi-isolation from the majority of society as did many of my colleagues.  The work I did defined me and my outlook on life.  I did not share personal details.  Period.

That was then and this is now.  My life has changed to such a degree that trying to pretend that the way I lived my life before my injury is the way to continue is folly.  I’m not the person I was seven years ago and whatever dangers that I believed existed have paled into insignificance compared to what I now face daily.  I’ve decided that the personal me needs to explain some things because of something I have decided to do.  An undertaking and an obligation.  So the best place is to start not at the beginning but somewhere near the end; the last few weeks before I lost all sensation in the lower half of my body.


The link takes you to my own website

Why a different website?  I wanted to have a website with unrestricted space and no adverts.  It still uses WordPress and you can still log in with your WordPress account, it’s just hosted by me so that I have full control over it.  Nothing else.

Fragile World

The horrific, recent events in Japan have captured the attention of the world. News services rarely headline good news, but headlining a humanitarian issue rather than one of war or corruption, can actually help in some ways.  An earthquake that actually shifted the Earth on its axis and measured 8.9 on the Richter scale (although some say it was higher) occurred as the Asian continental plate buckled, around 100 miles east of Japan.  This sudden upward thrust of the plate caused a tsunami that radiated across the Pacific ocean.

Japan has been subjected to numerous natural disasters. It’s location on Earth means that it is more susceptible to Mother Nature’s wrath than other countries. It’s not a massive island and when something like this happens, it affects the whole country and not just a region. Any loss of human life is terrible and the loss of thousands is so much worse. The problem is that when a single person dies, the name becomes the headline; when thousands die, they become statistics and the news, unintentionally I’m sure, dehumanises them to mere numbers. There are just too many names to list and it is a shame.

The natural disaster that caused the Tsunami soon fades into the background as the humanitarian issue becomes more prevalent. Once everything has calmed down, the actual realisation of the numbers of people lost become more apparent as bodies are found and more people are noticed missing.  Sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles, they are all parts of families that have already lost so much and have more heartbreak ahead.  I am sure that the most of us wish nothing but hope and good luck to them all.

To add insult to injury, Japan also had to contend with a problem with one of their nuclear power stations.  As a result of the tsunami, the power station immediately shut down and diesel generators began to cool the radioactive rods that provide the power for the plant.  Unfortunately the tsunami smothered those generators and the rods no longer cooled.  This caused problems including explosions and radiation leaks.  The Japanese tried their best to control the situation and many brave people, knowing the risks, volunteered to stay and help resolve the problem.

That was over a week ago now.  Japan is now taking account of the huge humanitarian disaster as well as economic.  Brave people continue to battle at the nuclear power station, risking their lives each day, not from immediate harm but the slow and lethal harm of radiation poisoning.  Those in communities that have been wiped off the map sift through the wreckage, some seeking anything from their former homes that is salvageable, other seeking family members, hoping against hope for their survival but realistic about their chances.  Rescue workers from around the world help, but their role as rescuers has been replaced by that of recoverers.  As the seas calm and those people that were lost to its violence just days before are washed back onto the shores, their bodies are recovered, usually with a rescuer saying a short prayer for them.

Throughout it all, the people of Japan have remained stoic and calm.  Rescue shelters housing hundreds of shocked, homeless people are doing their best to feed and keep those affected warm and safe.  However, the infrastructure took a severe battering and supplies are slow in getting through to the areas worst affected and still the people remain calm and composed.  They accept what little they have to eat and drink and share it with a loved one, all the while and all around them lay the reminder of the carnage that changed their lives forever.

Elsewhere in the world, doomsayers and selfish, self centered people worry about themselves.  Some worry about a radiation cloud that will never reach them, claiming all the time that the Japanese were at fault and the risks to their own personal comfort is at risk.  All the experts know that there is no risk but there is no telling these people.  They should be ashamed of themselves, but they are too conceited to know that.

Others in the world are doing everything they can to help.  It amazes me that humans can be so generous and caring yet have the capability to hate and war against each other.  Why does it take a disaster like this for us to realise that this is a fragile world and we are all sharing it, for better or for worse.  As a soldier I have seen the extremes of human characteristics from the brutal to the selfless caring.  It just confuses me.

The people of Japan will persevere.  The character of the Japanese people will not let them be defeated by this disaster and the help from the world at large will ensure they prevail.  I wish them all the best and hope that each and everyone of them finds some comfort and hope in the days and weeks to come.  I am humbled by the way they have not let their personal difficulties overcome them and have remained strong and resolute.  I salute those brave men and woman who continue to risk their lives for their fellow countrymen.  Japan has shown us that mother nature can throw a blow at humanity and humanity will face the consequences with stoicism, resolve and compassion.