A Royal Navy veteran has told Forces Network how competing in the Invictus Games and getting a new job as a science teacher has helped her recovery.

Leading Medical Assistant Faith Fordham is one of the 90-strong team who'll be representing the UK in Canada - which is also the country of her birth.

Faith served in Afghanistan with the Royal Marines, after moving to the UK when she was 19.

She was left with PTSD, as well as some physical injuries, after treating two comrades who were killed by an RPG while she was attached to 42 Commando in 2008. She said:

"The worst [injuries to deal with were my mental injuries]. I really wasn't in a good way. I'd go through periods of time where I couldn't leave my house."

"I never socialised. I drank all the time, ate all the time. Every day I was having flashbacks, I was having nightmares.

"It was like I was always there. I just couldn't get away from it. I stopped caring really."

After an unsuccessful attempt to take her own life, the Royal Navy veteran knew something needed to change.

Invictus Games athlete Faith Fordham

She's now due to compete in rowing, swimming, powerlifting and athletics - as well as having started a new job as a science teacher at Rye St Antony girls' school in Oxford. 

Faith says being back at work has kept her busy and taken the pressure off her - and that she won't hide her past from her new pupils:

"They [the children] are very inquisitive... I'm open with them because it's the only way you can be.

"I'm not going to hide the fact I've got a mental health problem. I'm not going to hide what happened to me in Afghanistan."

And her new charges are full of glowing references, with one pupil, Annabel, describing her as "really inspirational".

Head of science David Williams, meanwhile, said: 

"She's a fantastic role model... Schools are far more than just about the learning sides."

"That Faith's able to contribute towards the personal education of these girls is great."

"There are people already who are saying 'gosh, what an inspiration'. I think we'll be saying that even more when we see her powerlifting in the next couple of weeks."

Just click above to find out more about her story...

More: The Hardest Times: How Invictus Has Helped An Army Hero

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