• Michelle Partington

PTSD. And for that reason, I'm out!

Five o'clock start for just over 3 hour drive, or so I thought!! Halfway through the journey I was stuck in traffic on the M1. I started to become really anxious because this was going to make me late. I turned the radio on to Classic FM to try to calm me a little but what was playing? Only the RAF March Past!! When I passed out of RAF basic training in 1991 the band played this. When I passed out of training again in 2000 the band played the RAF March Past. I worked my way through Initial Officer Training in 2010 and this was playing during my graduation parade. What irony that it was now playing on the day the Formal Medical Board would be recommending a medical discharge from active service.

So as I stated I was stuck in traffic so I made a call to let them know I would be late. What I didn't know then was that a 3 hour journey was actually going to take me just short of 5 hours. I left at 5am planning to allow me an hour at the destination to change into my smart clothes and have a coffee. This was not to be so I decided to get myself changed whilst stuck in a traffic jam. That reminds me, to anyone who may have seen me changing I'm sorry....or your welcome....take your pick!!!

Even though I had phoned ahead I was so worked up and agitated. The traffic was completely blocked up and some lorry driver thought it necessary to try to push in almost wiping me out!!! I almost needed a number 2 and I know you are all fully aware of how it feels when you REALLY need to go.

Talking of irony, if you have read my previous posts, you will be aware that whilst sitting in the waiting room at DCMH awaiting my sessions 'Homes under the hammer' was always on in the waiting room. I don't suppose anyone can guess what was on the TV in the waiting room at Med Boards? You guessed it!!!!

I was sat in the waiting room for around 3 hours in between an admin interview, a full medical and an interview with the president of the board! It was then that I was hit full force in the face with a cricket bat!!! Obviously not for real but the news that I am to be medically discharged, although not unexpected, was still a massive blow of reality and so very sad to hear. I wasn't ready for the reaction I felt and spent from then until now still very numb. After the most horrendous drive and the Medical Board, I then had to drive the whole way back which was awful. My head was buzzing so much from the news I just had to stop at the first services for a very strong coffee and a sit down.

I love people watching and always wondered what was going through people's minds when they sat alone staring into the bubbles in their frothy coffee....


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