My name is Jase aka ‘The Kilted Rogue Runner’.
I live with my family in Perth Western Australia and this is my journey:
I am a Royal Navy veteran and an ex UK and WA Police Officer, I live with Depression, Anxiety, PTSD.
I’m grateful that I have lived experiences, it has given me insight into the power of sharing my recovery journey to help others.
During my life there have been many traumatic short stories that I have been exposed to, and the way I used to deal with them was by locking them away in my sub-consciousness bookshelf.
These include being sexually assaulted by a person in a position of trust when I was young, active service in the Royal Navy, the tragic death of a dear friend on my bucks night, the devastating loss of my Grandmother, and responding to numerous horrific incidents during a distinguished policing career with Cheshire Police in the UK and WA Police.
My policing career is from where most of the trauma I have endured still affects me. These include dealing with the worst of society, deceased bodies, traumatic scenes, delivering death messages, horrific road traffic collisions, observing autopsies and working on high risk covert policing.
While working on a covert policing team in 2007/2008 my supervising officers, attempted to have me removed from the team for under performing by setting me up to fail during operations.
This happened within two years of moving to Australia and settling my family in to our new life down under.
I became severely depressed, I contemplated, planned and attempted to take my own life. On several occasions I placed the barrel of my loaded service Glock pistol in my mouth with my finger on the trigger and gently squeezed. I was a mess.
Thankfully with the help and support of my family I found the strength to report what was happening to me and sought professional help, which, along with distance running helped me become mentally fit again.
About 3 years ago I under went surgery for a routine hernia repair, shortly after surgery I suffered severe panic attack in my sleep, my heart went from a resting 50bpm in my sleep to over 160bpm and rising, the crash team was called and they worked frantically to reduce my heart rate as they readied the defibrillator to shock my heart back to normal rhythm.
I had never experienced anything like this before and this event was the trigger point to all of the trauma short stories falling off my sub-conscious bookshelf and reappearing in my mind.
I didn’t understand PTSD, the symptoms and struggled to cope with what was happening, the flash backs, the sensitivity to noise, hyper vigilance, paranoia and severe anxiety. I tried and failed to deal with it and became severely depressed again and had another breakdown while sobbing my heart out on a busy commuter train heading into the city.
Again I sought professional help and 12 months working with my Psychologist, and undergoing cognitive writing therapy I was able to desensitize myself to much of it and become happy again.
I still suffer from some associated issues such as OCD, hyper vigilance and the occasional flash back, but now I recognise the signs and symptoms.
Unfortunately, our family felt another blow from mental illness in 2015 when our youngest daughter Holly then 17, who had been suffering from Depression, Anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder attempted suicide by overdosing on medication.
Thankfully Holly is much better now, after getting the right balance of help, support and treatment and is aiming to follow in her older sisters footsteps by becoming a nurse.
Recently Holly showed great courage and strength when we both spoke about our experiences at a Cross-Fit event raising awareness for mental health and we also completed the Perth Half Marathon together.
Now I share my experiences, speak in public and at events about mental fitness recovery and help educate others to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
One of my greatest tools that helps me with mental fitness, is distance running; and to date I have run 22 marathons and countless other events. Running to me is my most powerful mindfulness therapies, gives me time to concentrate on my breathing as the sound of my feet strike the ground as I meditate.
As a founding member of the Rogue Runners Club Australia and now a committee member for Sirens of Silence Charity. I raise awareness in each event I run, by wearing a full weight kilt, with kind permission from my friends at the WA Police Pipe Band.
Our Rogue crew, was established here in Perth in 2011. The club is free to join with an ethos based upon fitness, fun, family, and fundraising. From our 4 founding members we now have over 120 members across Australia, New Zealand, the US and UK and to date we have raised over $75,000 for worthy charities.
From 1 July 2016 the club made a permanent ongoing partnership to support the newly formed Sirens of Silence Charity (commonly known as SOS) to raise funds and awareness for our Police, Fire and Paramedics and their families who suffer from the effects of work related mental illness such as PTSD, Depression and Anxiety.
The objective of the club is to become the go to running crew, through Sirens of Silence, for serving and ex-emergency service workers and the wider population who wish to gain improvement in mental wellbeing through running, fitness, exercise and nutrition advice.
For further information or Public Speaking request please:
The Kilted SOS Rogue Runner: https://m.facebook.com/nosajnoslen/
Jason Nelson LinkedIn: http://LinkedIn.com/in/jason-Nelson-0209a33b
Rogue Runners Club Australia: https://m.facebook.com/roguerunners.aust/
Sirens of Silence : http://www.sirensofsilence.org.au/