I first met Grant Trebilco many years ago when he wasn’t in the best spot in his life… I say ‘met’ but I didn’t actually meet him face-to-face. I contacted Grant after a mutual friend of ours called me to tell me that a friend of his wasn’t doing great and asked if I would give him a call. I said, ‘Of course, I’m not sure if I can help but I’ll definitely give him a call.’
Grant and I chatted, and I hope I helped him in some small way. We kept in touch over the coming months and he said he had an idea for a surfing charity called ‘One Wave is all it takes’. It was a simple idea that combined getting people together, supporting each other, giving people a place to talk and ‘getting salty’ (going for a surf / swim).
I thought it sounded great and conveyed my support. Fast forward to now and ‘One Wave’ has over 20k followers on their Instagram, have regular ‘Fluro Friday’ sessions at over 45 beaches around the world and have a foundation that helps people through surf therapy.
We’ve since met face to face a bunch of times and Grant and the whole One Wave team are absolute legends. Here are his 5 Answers to some of my questions:
What’s the best piece of mental health advice you have ever received?
Don’t fight the feelings. If you keep beating yourself up and blaming yourself for the weird shit going on in your head it keeps building up and gets worse. Find a way to let it go…whether it’s talking about it, surfing or meditation just find a way to free the funk.
What is the one thing that has made the biggest impact on your mental health?
My family. Since the day I started struggling they have been there for me no matter what. When I was in hospital after being diagnosed with bipolar they would bring me burgers every day because the food sucked in there and those visits and burgers got me through. When I was finally allowed an hour outside in hospital they picked me up and took me surfing and that saved me. Absolute bloody legends.
What rituals do you do every day for your mental health?
I try and get salty in the morning whether it’s surfing or a quick dip. If I do that then any tough shit that happens that day is that little bit easier and the good stuff is just that much better. If I miss getting salty in the morning it throws my day out of whack, because it’s a key part of my recipe for feeling good.
What’s the one book that has had the most impact on your mental health and why?
All Black’s Don’t Cry – John Kirwan
. I remember my Mum & Dad left this beside my bed, hoping I might read it. This was before I was diagnosed with bipolar. This was the first time I started to understand what anxiety or depression really was and reading it I thought if my hero John Kirwan feels like this, then maybe it’s ok if i feel like this, maybe it’s ok if I talk about it and get some help.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Being happy does not mean you have to be happy all the time. It’s totally ok to feel shit sometimes, it’s totally ok to feel sad and there is always someone there that you can talk to about it. The thing is no one told me when I was growing up that I had to be happy all the time, for some reason I put this pressure on myself. I’ve discovered that you have to feel sad sometimes to appreciate what happy really feels like.
You might not live near the beach, you may not like surfing or even the water so One Wave may not be for you… But, I think the core of Grant’s message is universal; find the outlet that works for you. It doesn’t matter what it is but we all need that one thing that allows us to connect with other people, to find our inner peace, to let out a guttural ‘yahoo!’ or to simply get ourselves some space to think and some perspective on our problems.
I am super happy that if it is surfing, then maybe the One Wave
crew could be for you…