The Book

Bill’s journey has finally culminated in 2017 with writing a book about his experiences with PTSD, treatments, and how his personal journey has impacted on his family.  Take a peek…

Back From the Brink

PTSD:  The Human Cost of Military Service

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“Shall I shoot?”… “No don’t shoot”… I’m going to shoot”… “Don’t shoot”.

Rapid fire yelling within the confines of a vehicle stuck in the middle of stalled traffic, facing an unknown person wearing a full burqa peering into the car. Inches away from the driver’s face, a large hand pressed against the window. “We didn’t know if they were male or female or what was about to happen, but we were absolutely sure that if we shot this person, the crowd, including the armed policemen nearby, would turn on us and there’d be no escape.”  

In 2004, Lieutenant Colonel William Blaikie shipped out to Afghanistan, to head up a team dedicated to rebuilding the country after the war. As part of the New Zealand Defence Force, his skills lay in intelligence and communications – his mission was to form a team, develop and implement plans to work with USA and Coalition partners to help get Afghanistan back on its feet. Bill experienced situations that were beyond tense, often facing life and death situations and decision making that required deep and quick thinking, based on not always having enough information at hand.

On his return home to New Zealand, his journey through coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder began, and the nightmares were not limited to sleep time. Everything has remained at life and death levels of intensity for Bill, and this book details how he and his wife Nancy have worked through suicide attempts, getting help, and finding answers to what is an epidemic level challenge for military personnel everywhere.

“No amount of training can prepare you for what happens in your head after the uniforms are off and the guns are packed away.” The above is the contents from the back cover of Bill Blaikie’s soon to be released book “Back from the Brink – PTSD: the human cost of military service” .


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Get Bill to Speak at Your Event

Bill is an excellent choice to speak at your next event too, and if you’d like to engage him for anything you have coming up , or well into next year, the Kickstarter project enable you pre-book him for a very reduced rate too.    Details of Bill as Speaker are HERE

Here’s what people are saying about Bill and his Book – Back from the Brink

Few of us would ever have to experience the horror of war or need to understand the split-second decision making that could lead to a life or death situation. In his book, Back from the Brink, PTSD: The Human Cost of Military Service, Bill Blaikie draws us into his world with uncanny ease. In this gripping novel that explores the real issues behind PTSD, Bill helps the reader to live through the graphic detail of life in a war zone. By reading this book, you will get a true insight to the issues that the Blaikie’s and others have suffered around the world to give us our freedom.

Elias Kanaris, Founder of the CEO Global Summit and President-Elect of the Global Speakers Federation (2017-2018)

Billl Blaikie’s book provides remarkable insight into the journey of those with PTSD. From the trigger events through the continuing struggles for treatment and recovery, the book takes an uncompromising look at the toll on Bill. The addition of his wife Nancy’s voice presents a unique view from another important angle.

This is an important book for those with PTSD and, perhaps more importantly, those who don’t suffer from the affliction. For that audience with PTSD, Nancy and Bill have captured the realities of the disorder that will be familiar. From Bill’s coping mechanisms to the frustration of battling with service providers, I expect much in Bill’s story will resonate. Nancy’s view may provide a new perspective for those with PTSD and their loved ones. For those outside the grip of PTSD, Bill’s book provides a rare view into the life of sufferers. Through his candid presentation, readers witness the spiral down to suicide, and the thought process behind it.  The journey out of those depths is on-going, and the candor of Bill and Nancy of the struggles along the path is illuminating.

Since PTSD is not a disorder confined to combat, readers who experience other traumatic episodes may recognize the patterns of behavior that Bill and Nancy identify.

Kevin K. Frank, PhD, Captain, US Navy (Ret)

I first met Bill as a young hard-charging officer cadet at Duntroon in the mid eighties. Bill was one of the men of spirit, a character, with a great sense of humour and could out last most of us – these were the things that we felt optimised the quintessential young officer model.
Over the years we crossed paths during our service, but when we connected again only a year to two back, something had changed. On the outside Bill looked the same, the same shape and features albeit weathered by age, but his eyes and in the way he showed an awkwardness when he smiled or joked was different – he was almost seeking approval for his comments; it was Bill but he was different.
After spending some time together again chatting about operations we had both served on, and catching up on the last 15 years of our lives I was able to understand why Bill was different, he had been scarred by his experiences, he had lost his confidence from those early days.
Bill’s story is a revealing read, it brought me back to my time in the Middle East, I could picture the countryside and the congested cities, but more importantly it enabled me to see the compounding effects that operations had on Bill’s spirit.
I would recommend Bill’s story to those who are sill struggling with their experiences, or for those like me, who didn’t really understand the mental trauma associated with depression of this type.
This book has enabled me to better understand Bill and to be more comfortable in the way I engage in our new and building friendship.
Hamish Shearer
Former Army Officer, New Zealand

I experienced an incredible range of emotions while reading Back from the Brink.  Through Bill and Nancy’s stories this book takes you not just inside their personal “war and Peace” but also the hearts and minds of thousands of service personnel and their families.  I commend them both for this substantial contribution to a better understanding of PTSD.

Lt Col.Simon Ewing-Jarvie, PhD, (Ret)