- BLOG GUEST -
I'm very pleased to introduce a man who has had a very interesting background, and doing some great work.
Welcome, Jason ...
1. Tell us about you and what you do.
I’m 45 years old, currently employed in the public service as a Senior Investigator. I’ve been married for 22 years to my wife Emma and we have two beautiful grown up girls Jade and Holly.
We moved to Australia from the UK in 2006 and still haven’t ben back for a visit.
I’m a Royal Navy veteran and former UK and WA Police Officer. I live with PTSD, Depression and Anxiety, I’m also a suicide survivor
2. What was the happiest moment of your life?
By far the birth of my two girls, noting compares to that
3. What was the saddest moment?
This is a difficult one because of the amount trauma I have endured. But just on a very personal level the death of my Nan.
4. What surprised you most?
If this is a general question not related to question 3. The thing that surprises me most is my own resilience, when I reflect on what I have been through, I’m still not sure why I am still here and growing as a person.
5. What was your greatest disappointment?
I try not to look at things in a negative way such as disappointments or regrets, I try to focus on things as life lessons and I have had plenty. I suppose if I was to choose to do something I could revisit and do differently it would be to report being sexually assaulted when I was 13 rather than keeping it inside a carrying around for 32 like I did and also work harder at school. That being said high school was a difficult time of my life after being sexually assaulted and keeping it to myself so I was operating in survival mode in any which way I could. Also if I had reported it maybe others wouldn’t have fallen victim too.
6. Who did you misjudge? Why?
I try not to misjudge anyone but, if we’re honest we’re all human and guilty of it at times. When I have misjudged it has been, like for many, just the lack of understanding, education and misinformation. I used to misjudge the homeless until I started buying them food and sitting down to listen to their stories.
7. What or who was your biggest challenge?
I see myself as my biggest challenge, it is said self-care and self-compassion are the most difficult things to master and I forget to do that too often while and try to strive forward and accomplish my goals, dreams and aspirations.
Also occasionally I have dips in self-belief and whether I’m worthy or not to achieve things or be the person I want to be.
That being said I love a challenge, I love to push myself beyond what I think my physical limits are.
8. What has been your biggest regret?
See Question 5. I think living in the past can be a mentally tiring place to visit. I prefer not to dwell on past mistakes, worries or doubts and rather on concentrate of accomplishing my future goals one day at a time. I’m a big dreamer and I like to dream BIG!!
9. What would be your dying comment? Why?
‘Be foolish enough to believe and above all love each other’
Sometimes we have to be foolish enough to believe in what we can achieve, so many people in life don’t strive to achieve what they want because of then most unlikely, illogical and meaningless excuses based without substance.
I’m not necessarily talking about monetary or material things, I’m talking about holistic and meaningful goals encompassing mind, body and spirit.
As for LOVE, the world is just such a much better place with Love at its centre at an individual and wider community level.
10. Who or what stunned you the most?
Depends on what level. The tragic death of my mate Pete during the early hours of my wedding. Pete and I joined the Royal Navy the same day, and shared the same birthday and also served in the Gulf at the same time. Sadly he died on my wedding day. I still grieve for him and his family (who with I am extremely close) to this day. So now and forever more I have two days of remembrance for Pete a year and have a tribute to him tattooed on my right bicep.
Secondly, was the attempted suicide of my youngest daughter 2 years ago while she was battling Depression, Anxiety and what we now know is Borderline Personality Disorder. This was the biggest changing moment and shift in my life.
11. What would you like written on your tombstone? Why?
‘INVICTUS - Was foolish enough to believe in himself and others’
I believe am unconquerable, regardless on how my life ends, it will be on my terms and while I walk this place I really want to be remembered as making a difference.
12. Who would you rather have not met? Why?
I‘ve had plenty of bad experiences with people but I try and take to positives from it, the life lessons. The only one I suppose it the person that sexually assaulted me when I was 13, I can’t currently name him (yet) as it is currently subject to judicial proceedings since I came forward earlier this year.
13. Who were you most envious of? Why?
I get envious and uncomfortable with people that have been given a gift and chose not to use it for the good of many others.
I get especially discontented of people who health wealth beyond their means and look down upon others and do nothing to help lift others up given their ability to do so.
14. Who did you forgive – for doing something you never thought you’d forgive?
Back when I was a teenager I was given a beating by a group of lads who thought I’d stolen money from one of their houses. It was actually someone else who named me to deflect attention from the crime he had committed himself. Sometime afterwards I met him and listened to what he was going through at the time and forgave him.
15. What was your greatest moment in your life?
I’ve been lucky to experience many good moments in my life. Aside from the birth of my girls and marrying my wife, choosing Australia as our home has to be the best.
16. What is your greatest achievement?
Saving another life has to be, I’ve saved a persons life by giving them CPR after they drowned, breathing life back into another cannot be surpassed.
Now I try and do that by preventing people from thinking about suicide.
I’ve still yet to achieve it. My plan is to get a campervan and travel Australia while helping others with their mental fitness recovery.
17. What personal traits would you like to have in your next life?
Love, warmth, generosity.
18. What advice would you give to world leaders?
Stop politicising religion. Remove poverty. The smallest population of multi-billionaires have enough resources and financial wealth to eradicate world poverty, but choose not to.
19. What advice would you give to parents today?
Keep your children off smartphone and social media for as long as humanly possible.
20. Who would you choose to be stuck on a desert island with?
If it was a single person this would be a difficult decision, but probably someone I could learn so much from such as Ghandi, Mohammad Ali or John Lennon
21. Have any heroes? Why? Who?
My Dad, he is my biggest role model, a humble, loving a self-educated man. He has and continues to teach me so much.
My mate Daryl Howe, runs marathons while living with Cerebral Palsy.
Both my Grandfathers both fought in WWII but whom died before I had chance to join the military myself and get to know more about their time serving
I have sporting heroes and people that inspire me each in their own special way
22. What are the greatest legacies you will leave behind?
Hopefully I will in someway have made a difference in how the wider community see, understand and interact with people that live with a mental illness
To know that I have made my family and friends proud
23. What’s lacking in the world today?
Empathy on so many levels. When we open our minds up to understand through active listening tolerance in each other would improve.
24. Any pearls of wisdom for the rest of us?
There is an opportunity in every crisis through the smallest belief
It’s ok to fall, just keep falling forward
Travel one step at a time and reach for one goal at a time, that is the path to real accomplishment
Each of us is wonderful, rare and unique so work on that rather than trying to be someone else
Some body cannot save everyone, but everyone has the ability to save somebody
25. What would be the last sentence you ever write?
Do not mourn me, celebrate with me and above all, listen and love, life is too short not to
26. What inspired you most?
Coming so close to death personally and seeing my daughter attempt suicide. This has gifted me the passion and drive to make difference
27. Who or what made you laugh the most?
I love a good belly laugh, and even with all I have endured I have had so many times in my life that have made me laugh.
It is hard for me to pick one without doing injustice to the other, it’s a time, place, person and circumstance thing. Easier to explain verbally than in written form.
28. What would be your top three chosen careers in your next life?
Counsellor, Life-coach and Writer
29. What is your prime focus in life today?
The physical and mental health of my family and I.
Trying to carve a future career in the mental health sector
30. Do you have any fear of doing something wrong?
No more than any other person. Life is one big learning curve.
31. If or when you reflect on your past, can you identify any world events that you believe had a significant impact on you?
The death of Princess Diana. I had many interactions with the Royal family as Prince Andrew HRH the Duke of York was the Senior Pilot on my Squadron for a while and I had a good relationship with him. I never got to meet Diana but her death really touched me.
9/11 – remember it well, I was a Detective in the police in the UK, and the guys I was working with on the day, we came in and watched it unfolded in the canteen in the police station. I recall the colour drain out of his face because his brother used to work in the North tower. Thankfully he was one of the lucky ones.
32. Do you think one can live a purposeful life without knowing the meaning of life?
Yes, living a purposeful life is an individual thing, what is the purpose for one person can be completely different for another. I think as long as that purpose has s sense of belonging and positive contribution to the community it should be supported.
33. From your perspective - what is the way forward for the world?
Destigmatisation, unpoliticising religion and showing greater empathy to each other as human being
34. Imagine that you were given a chance to live again, what will you do first and what will you do differently?
If I could live my life again, I’m not sure I’d do much differently.
I probably wouldn’t be as wasteful as I was when I was younger both financially and in general
35. Do you have a bucket list? Tell us more.
To have a honeymoon with my wife, we have yet to have one for obvious reasons.
To travel more and soak up as many cultures as I can many destinations on the list.
To run a marathon in each state and territory in Australia, and on each continent of the world
To work for myself, for others by sharing my lived experience
36. Any great claims to fame?
Co-founder of the Rogue Runners Club Australia
Serving in the Royal Navy
Worked with Prince Andrew. Had dinner with Prince Phillip. Met the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Had the honour of meeting many sporting stars/heroes such as Kenny Daglish, Ian Rush, Steven Gerrard, Libby Trickett, Justin Langer, Frank Bruno
John Lennon’s sister Julia Bird was my teacher in high school
37. Anything you’d like to add?
Should anyone wish to engage me for public speaking please do not hesitate in getting in contact, happy to provide recent experience examples if necessary
Clancy's comment: Thank you, Jason. Keep doing what you do.