Whilst I was a full CPL in the RCT (Army) one of the duties I performed was to volunteer for the Gulf One Campaign.  It was there that I had an acquired brain injury.  I lost some very good friends, some of those I was responsible for as I was a section commander.  On leaving the army I went through a bad patch; divorced, my children turned their backs on me, I hit the bottle.  A bottle of whiskey a day, my brother took his own life, my mother died, and I drank more and more.  After about three years of this my sister took me to Mansfield.  The British Legion was fantastic, as a veteran I was entitled to some assistance.  I went to my doctors and he told me I had a brain injury resulting in short term memory loss.  I felt this was getting worse; I had various meetings with different bodies, one of whom was Headway Nottingham.  This was a forum to help people with brain injuries.

Headway have a team that are the Outreach, they ensured I received the benefits that I am getting.  Headway has put structure back in my life.  I attend Headway three times a week, I have found I enjoy art and have artwork using ink, pencil, wax and pottery.  One of my pictures won an award at the Nottingham Art Show.  I had never done any kind of art before coming to Headway; I now also do artwork at home.

I do suffer from PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder) the art and writing sessions help to relax me, a definite change for the better.  Headway does not finish at the gate, I now have new friends and I do my artwork at home, this is of great assistance.  Headway has a non-competitive stance; the staff are well trained and supportive of the service users.  I have attended Headway now for about a year and my family have noticed a big change in me for the better.  I have also got the early signs of Korsakoff Syndrome, this, my doctor tells me will steadily get worse.  Sessions at Headway include Understanding Brain Injury and Mood Management.  These things are of great benefit to me.  I have a lot to thank Headway for as my mental health is far better, as well as my confidence and understanding of what has happened and where I am going; helping me to manage it more and it seeming less scary.