THE Ripple Pond is a UK-wide self-help peer support network for members of the forces community. The emphasis is on meeting and speaking to people in a similar situation, to give and receive support from those who are walking a similar journey. 

Amy, whose life – and that of her husband’s – was turned upside down during her early 20s, is one of 700 families to have benefitted from the support.

“As many people know, as it’s not a conversation I shy away from, my fantastic hubby was diagnosed with PTSD in 2011 after his last tour of Afghanistan,” she said. “Learning to live with a new reality was difficult, not least because PTSD is an invisible injury and often people would appear to be judgmental and disbelieving of his diagnosis.

“He came back from war in one piece, but he came back changed,” Amy added. “Night terrors, suicidal thoughts, crowded places, unexpected loud noises and survivor’s guilt now all consumed my once fearless and carefree husband.” 

Amy feels that during those extremely dark days, the support of family and friends was crucial and finding The Ripple Pond was life-altering. 

“I only wish that I had found The Ripple Pond sooner,” she said. “My husband had a particularly bad relapse and was in a very dark place. I was given the details from a psychiatrist and found a space where people just got it. I didn’t have to justify why things were the way that they were. For the first time in years I felt that the complex feelings I had towards living with someone with PTSD were normal.”

Looking through testimonials and quotes that others had shared at The Ripple Pond, Amy realised that her own experiences were mirrored by others.

“The Ripple Pond has provided me with a light in times of darkness,” she concluded. “Although I can’t always attend the group get-together, just knowing they’re there to call upon and having the Facebook group in order to vent has been such a relief. I feel so much better for sharing and listening. It has helped me to process what has happened and understand certain behaviours. I don’t feel on my own anymore.”

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