Michael Cotts, MWO (Retired)
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Michael Cotts, MWO (Retired)

I acquired my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  by witnessing numerous traumatic incidents over my 25-year military service.

 As an ex-soldier suffering with PTSD, I withdrew and isolated myself from my friends, work mates and family. The medication I was on was making me gain weight and that coupled with my inactivity was not a good combination. I was in a dark place.

I truly believe that Soldier On saved my life. They provided me with a road bike which allowed me to exercise on a regular basis. It was an outlet to deal with my day to day stressors. Soldier On also provided me with the opportunity to attend top notch events where I interacted with my peers, many of whom are dealing with, or who have dealt with, the same issues that I am facing. It was nice to know that I wasn’t alone.

I recently participated in a Multisport Camp in Victoria, BC that had world class coaches and volunteers. As with every Soldier On event it was an incredible experience and I met some fantastic people. These experiences have given me the courage to get out the door on a daily basis. If I’m not swimming, biking or running, you can find me mountain biking, fishing, and soon to be hunting and trapping.

My family is obviously very affected by my illness. When I am not well, they walk on egg shells around me because they don’t know how I’m going to be when I wake up. When I am training and exercising, I am usually at my best.

I hope to spread the message to other sufferers that PTSD may be a part of us, but it doesn’t own us or define us. We can take control of it, and through hard work, become “normal” members of society, and Soldier On, together.

Michael Cotts, MWO (Retired)
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Mireille Poulin (Retired)

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