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How Surf Therapy and Monsta Surf changed my life

So here I am, a 39 year old police officer from The Netherlands and diagnosed with PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a major issue amongst police officers, army veterans, firefighters and paramedics. With PTSD comes social isolation, depression, anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares and even suicide.

Taking medications and undergoing PTSD therapy helped me a little bit, but it never brought me back to a life of fulfillment. As a police officer I wanted to have an impact in my community. But my PTSD made me scared of society and I lived a meaningless life for a long time. And then I got into surfing. Friends of mine reached out to me as they wanted me to surf with them. Little did I know that surfing would be a life changing experience. I was regaining control of my life again.

I surf every wrinkle that I can find. Our surf is not the best in the world, but I have a great time every session in the water. When I am in the water my PTSD does not exist. Out of the water, I motivate myself by watching surf films on the internet. And from all the films I have seen; one that stood out from the rest. Live Passionately.

The desire from the Monsta Surf crew to encourage people to be all they can be, to live passionately and courageously inspired me. It inspired me to be all I can be. And that motivation in combination with the excitement I got from surfing made me want to help others. I want to use surf therapy to help police officers, army veterans, firefighters and paramedics, suffering from PTSD. These men and women are all people with a motivation to contribute to a better world, but now they are stuck. So Surfivor, a non-profit organisation was born.

With Surfivor I want to provide a life-changing program though surf therapy. An all-inclusive event, provided at no cost. It is about changing lives and creating more awareness for PTSD. An old Hawaiian saying says that no kind deed has ever lacked its reward. If I am able to use Surfivor to change the life of one person, that will be my reward. I am looking forward to 2019.