I recently found a passion for clay target shooting on the 29th Feb 17 as part of a Multi Activity Course (MAC) put together by the BattleBack Centre funded by the Royal British Legion and Help For Heroes. The MAC is part of the Defence Recovery Capability, an MOD-led initiative to ensure that wounded, injured and sick personnel have access to the key services and resources needed to help them either return to duty or make a smooth transition into an appropriately skilled civilian life.

In 2015 I found myself long term sick from work due to injury and illness. This had a severe impact on my life and well-being. A once competitive, motivated and happy servicewomen was reduced to someone with no drive or passion for anything. The MAC allowed me to rebuild my confidence and knock down the walls I had built in thinking I couldn’t do the things I used to do before my injury and illness. I found myself severely depressed, overweight, unfit and demotivated. July 2015 I truly hit rock bottom and really didn’t see any positive future. I was stuck in loop of being sick to the point of which I was sick of being sick. I looked in the mirror and I barley recognised the person staring back at me.

The first major battle I had was tackling the depression and the stigma that was associated with this. I am so please that more and more people are opening up about mental illness as it is allowing people to have an insight into what its like to feel out of control of your thought and body. For me my depression took over and changed everything about me. I hated feeling this way and the more and more I thought about it the worse and worse it got. Constant medication changes and different professional opinions on what label I should be burdened with were making my life a living hell. I was in and out of hospital receiving blood transfusion for another illness that also enhanced the depression; I was in a never-ending circle of sickness. I needed something to sink my teeth into to take the focus of being ill and have something to look forward to.

In 2016 my depression was improving, I was no longer on medication and talking therapy was working well. I started to regain control of my life and in a position where I could finally cope with what was happening. Life isn’t perfect and its how we deal with those imperfections and problems that shape the path we want to take in life.

The pinnacle of my recovery was on the MAC and one part of this course stood out and had a real impact on my recovery plan was the day we spent clay target shooting. I finally found the key to helping me return to my former self. After the course finished I sought out tuition from a CPSA instructor and on 15th June 17 I finally received my shotgun certificate. On the 24th June 17 I entered my very first CPSA registered event and took the Norfolk Ladies Single Barrel Champion title.

After the success of my trophy I knew I was on the right path and found other things were starting to fall into place in my life. I had returned to full time hours at work and my mental wellbeing had increase. The main aspect to these changes was my involvement and friends I have made within the shooting community. Shooting clays has positively impacted my life and helped rebuild my life.

I owe a lot to the guys at the BattleBack Centre. I am finally happy with where I am in life. I am working towards losing the weight I have gained, returning to fitness and achieving my goals and aspirations with my shooting journey. Thankyou for taking the time to read my story and please follow me on my socials to keep up to date with how I am getting on.

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