The support from family and friends is incredibly important when leaving a career in the Armed Forces.
In this blog, we sit down with Sean Gane to find out about how his family helped him after he left the Armed Forces.
How important was the support of your family/friends when you left the Armed Forces?
When I was medically discharged, the support of my family, in particular, my mum and Lauren (my partner), was massive. At times I could not drive and they had to do a lot for me such as driving to mental health appointments. I did not work for some years after and again the family stepped in, supporting me both financially and emotionally.
The emotional side, I feel, was the hardest and wore hard on everyone.
Can you think of a specific example of how they supported you?
One incident I (sort of) remember was when I had an appointment for treatment in Tedworth. I could not get out of the car and had wedged myself under the dashboard crying. My mum, totally in her stride, went into the DMH and explained that I was in fact here and had not missed another appointment (you could get struck off if you were a no show). She got the treating doctor to come out, which he did and sat next to me in the car park. She wound the window down so he could talk to me like it was totally normal to have a 6′ 1″ male on the floor of her car.
Who is the person that you most admire in your family/friendship group?
I can say one person ( Lauren) more than any other stands out as she stood by me through everything and had to put up with everything I brought home with me. It is often taken for granted just how much our loved ones suffer alongside us. Lauren, along with my mum, are the ones that deserve a medal more than I ever did.
How are they supporting you as you train for the expedition?
Lauren and my dog are loving me doing the training, the pup is getting some serious miles in and loves being out in the forest with me. Lauren just loves me being out from under her feet
Have you managed to train for the expedition during lockdown? If so, has it helped with your mental health and wellbeing?
I really think having a goal to work towards has been massive. It has motivated me to get out the door and build on the miles and confidence. Looking forward to meeting up with the lads on training weekends, has also been great, having something like that to look forward to is magic. It has been a bit disheartening when dates have been moved because of the C19 lockdowns, but knowing they will still be there is great.