My name's Lisa French

My name's Lisa French.

I was in an incident
three and a half years ago,

and two years ago I was diagnosed
with post-traumatic stress disorder.

On July 7th, 2005,

I was a passenger on the bus that
was attacked in Tavistock Square.

I was unaware of the bomb blast
itself

because I was knocked unconscious.

When I woke up, I was quite deaf.
I'd lost my eardrums.

So it sounded very much like I was
under a swimming pool, underwater.

I can remember

I woke up feeling very confused,
didn't really know what had happened,

but I can remember hearing somebody
say "bomb" and "bus"

and realising the destruction
around me,

that something very serious
had happened.

I think,
from quite soon after the incident,

we noticed I was very jumpy
at unexpected noises or sirens,

which I think is the only real noise
that was very loud to me,

that I could hear all day.

So I started reacting slightly
differently around those situations

and I started to really dread travel,
whether I was going in the car,

or if it would be easier
to get public transport,

I still found myself
making the decision to drive.

And then about six months after that,

I was planning to go to London again
on the train,

and, unfortunately, there was
a train crash in Cumbria the weekend,

and I just found myself panicking,
thinking, "I can't get on the train,"

and feeling like if I got on
that train, it would crash.

And so I rang my employee assistance
counsellor at work,

who I'd built up a really good
relationship with,

and asked her to talk me into it,
which I thought was the solution!

And I said, "Will you talk me into
getting the train, please, Cheryl?"

"I'm a bit worried."

And she could tell something
quite different had changed in me,

and she said,
"No. I don't want you travelling."

And it was at that point she said

that she felt that a psychologist
was a good route for me to go down.

Following my diagnosis,

I went for quite a number
of sessions, over 20,

with my psychologist,

and he performed some
cognitive behaviour therapy with me,

and also some
rapid eye movement therapy, too.

The CBT therapy
involved some discussion

around what had happened
and how that made me feel,

and also quite a lot of homework.

So it's important to be able
to commit to the process,

not only the hour that you spend
with your psychologist,

but you really need a few hours
every week at some point,

it might not necessarily
be during the day,

but you need to have that commitment
to that homework and preparation

as part of the process.

The actual event,
because it was so public,

definitely has a ripple effect
through not only my life,

but the lives of everybody
that I come in contact with,

whether they're my friends, family,
my work colleagues.

Everybody's dealt with it
differently.

My husband has suffered from quite
a lot of nightmares particularly,

and that fear of loss.

When I was diagnosed,
the psychologist said

that he would really recommend
that I fulfil an ambition.

He said it would make more difference
than any amount of CBT in the world.

So, with that in mind,
the first thing I blurted out

was that I wanted
to jump out of a plane.

After checking that I intended
to wear a parachute

and be attached to an instructor,
he did say it was OK!

And I also wanted to raise some money
for charity.

I have fulfilled both of those
ambitions with a vengeance,

and I can honestly say he was right.

It was the best piece of advice

that anyone could've given me
with post-traumatic stress disorder.