My name is Tim and I have served as a Police officer for nearly 19 years. Throughout the majority of my career I have been on the front line with over 11 years dedicated to Armed response. I have been an avid surfer for over 35 years.
I am one of those Police officers that often wondered which job or incident would eventually take its toll on me. I witnessed my colleagues confronting the most harrowing situations and I witnessed the profound impact it had on them both personally and professionally.
When it finally happened it caught me completely off guard because I actually thought I was fine.
That is, until I was in McDonald’s with my daughter one day and she finished a thick shake. That noise thick shakes make when you finish them…turns out it is the same noise as the rescue breaths you give a dying victim of a horrific stabbing.
In that moment, I found myself outside the restaurant, struggling to regain my composure. It became clear that I was not okay. And so, on that Monday, I resolved to take one of the most difficult steps of my life and I called the employee assistance program.
The purpose of this story does not lie solely in that phone call. It resides in the profound realisation that I needed to confront my struggles head-on. Being part of a tightly-knit team, I felt compelled to share my vulnerability with my colleagues. I braced myself for their judgment, anticipating dismissive remarks urging me to toughen up or questioning my suitability for the job. But instead, one of my colleagues uttered words that resonated with me to my core.
"That's okay," they said. "Everyone needs to take their brain for a s*** every now and then."
I recount this tale as my introduction because Surfwell presents an opportunity—a chance to embrace what my colleague so candidly expressed. Throughout my journey with Surfwell over the years, I have been bestowed with the privilege of lending an ear to countless colleagues, listening as they bared their souls and shared their struggles. And in turn, I have been able to guide them towards healing, utilising the power of surfing, the solace of blue spaces, and the support of peers to help unlock the burdens that weighed them down.
My name is Tim. I am a Surfwell Instructor.
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