In just 18 months Loz Moore, who served in the Mercian Regiment of the British Army for over 12 years, experienced the end of his career and his second marriage due to PTSD. Unable to cope, he became dependent on alcohol and spent time in a mental hospital, both of which resulted in him not being able to see his three young children for a year.
“When people say they hit rock bottom, it’s not true" said Loz. "It’s like you are burning magma, fizzling around a bit, then plummeting until you grab a hold and fix yourself." Loz states that the dark periods still continue but he expects they will always be there.
Loz was commissioned into the Cheshire Regiment in 2006 and spent time in Northern Ireland and Iraq before being posted to Afghanistan. It is to that last posting that his PTSD can be traced back.
“We fought for our lives for days: there were booby traps everywhere and I was blown up three times. We lost 14 men, including two under my care. In the midst of all this, my wife announced she was leaving me.”
Having tried a number of different therapies, it was when Loz stayed at a Help for Heroes Recovery Centre that his road to recovery became clear.
Realising that exercise, and outdoor activity in particular, made him happy, he found the strength and desire to heal himself, to somehow detach himself from his life to date and rebuild it to ensure he had a future.
About the same time, Loz joined Help for Heroes support network, Band of Brothers, and realised that isolating himself was not the way forward. He began to embrace the socialising opportunities that Band of Brothers afforded.
“It’s a great way to network, to make contacts with others who understand how you feel, whatever your symptoms, and to share experiences.”
Loz’s next step was to help other veterans in similar positions as his, so he set up Nomad Adventure Therapy.
Loz then realised that his personal struggles – of coming to terms with PTSD, how he tried to deal with it, and the devastating impact it had on his relationships – were not unique. Many other veterans were suffering similar experiences and he began to offer his services as a mentor and, through getting to know them and their issues, to deliver bespoke approaches to self-improvement and wellbeing.
His degree in Military History coupled with his experience in commanding troops and delivering presentations to senior officers, gave Loz the skills required to enable him to mentor with confidence.
“It’s about empowering people to become who they truly are again, about taking an individual who is lost and helping them realise that they are not broken and can play a role in life outside the military.
“I could either keep running and look after myself or I could go back into the fire and pull some others out.
“I can’t change the past, but I can make the future better and not just for me but for others. I know I have the skills, the contacts, the drive, and the determination to make this work."