WATWB September 2021 – Stories of Now and Ben

This tweet, from a journo whom I went to school with, sent me down an internet rabbit hole.

The tweet is very recent. The story a bit older.

It’s a good news story for at least two people. The fine young Ben and for older Ben at least.

So, welcome to the #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest post for September 2021. Please follow other posts with the #WATWB. And…back to the story.

So Ben Farinazzo is a former Australian Army Officer who did tours of duty in the East Timor peacekeeping operation. He has been living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has recovered from a mountain bike accident causing a spinal injury as well.

The bio notes on his webpage tell it better:

I was fighting an internal battle against
post
-traumatic stress disorder, depression
and anxiety. I then broke my neck and back
in a mountain bike accident. It felt like I
was walking through the valley of the
shadow of death.

Three years later I represented Australia in
indoor rowing and powerlifting at Invictus
Games Sydney 2018 and was fortunate to
win two gold medals. Today, I am a proud
Australia Day Ambassador and support
mental health, veterans and sport.

This is a fabulous story about brokenness, reconnection and resilience. You may also want to check Ben’s Youtube channel for footage the like the screenshot of the one featured here.

Source: Ben Farinazzo YouTube Channel

This is a good introduction by Ben Himself.

Since I posted this another chapter emerged on ABC News Australia about how to two Bens were reunited.

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Follow #WATWB

#WATWB March 2018 First Anniversary Post – #KevinHines #BlackDog and More

Welcome to our First Anniversary #WATWB post. Please visit and show your appreciation to our dedicated co-hosts for this month

Sylvia McGrath,

Sylvia Stein,

Shilpa Garg,

Eric Lahti and

Belinda Witzenhausen.

Kevin Hines

On this World Bipolar Day, the story of Kevin Hines, Cracked Not Broken (pictured) is one of surviving with a challenging condition of life. Kevin navigates the course through bipolar disorder. He does not navigate alone.

There have been times he has felt in the depths of desperation. He threw himself off San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. But, he did not die. His story now inspires others.

He takes his story to others as this Huff Post article states

Kevin also sits on the boards of The International Bipolar Foundation, The Bridge Rail Foundation (BRF) and The Mental Health Association of San Francisco (MHASF). Kevin has spoken and testified in congressional hearings alongside Patrick Kennedy in support of the Mental Health Parity Bill. He has been a powerful voice for the lived experience movement for over 15 years. 

His will to live and stay mentally well has inspired people worldwide. His compelling story has touched diverse, global audiences within colleges and universities, high schools, corporations, clergy, military, clinicians, health and medical communities, law enforcement organizations, and various conferences. Thousands have communicated to Hines that his story helped save their lives.

His story was featured in the 2006 critically-acclaimed film “The Bridge” by the film director and producer Eric Steel.

Kevin is one person who helps not only himself, but others too, find the will to live amidst the vicissitudes of life and health.  Check him out on youtube.

Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue

In my country of Australia we have other agencies such as the Black Dog Institute and Beyond Blue.

The Black Institute describes itself as

 dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating mental illness. We are about creating a world where mental illness is treated with the same level of concern, immediacy and seriousness as physical illness; where scientists work to discover the causes of illness and new treatments, and where discoveries are immediately put into practice through health services, technology and community education.

Beyond Blue Foundation

Among their initiatives, Beyond Blue has some ambassadors from all walks of life: sports, media, law, the arts who support the work and who have a story linked to either them or loved ones of theirs, who have lived with the challenges of depression, anxiety and other demands on emotional-mental wellbeing.

We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB Itself

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#WATWB is also an example of giving people a reason to get out of bed, to believe in yourself, or to find another person or cause to believe in.  The #WATWB interaction builds commmunity. It fosters a compassionate and hopeful way of life.

In lieu of a poem,

           I’ve chosen a magnificent sung poem

by the great

Don McClean – ‘Vincent’, on youtube.

                                   Please enjoy.

And #WATWB is ONE YEAR OLD!  HappBirthday #WATWB!

Want to know more about this blogfest?  Read on.

Once again, here are the guidelines for #WATWB:

1. Keep your post to Below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. Link to a human news story on your blogone that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. The Link is important, because it actually makes us look through news to find the positive ones to post.

3. No story is too big or small, as long as it Goes Beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others.

5. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hastag to help us trend! 

Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. We’ll try and follow and share all those who post on the #WATWB hashtag, and we encourage you to do the same.Just click Here to enter their link and join us! Bigger the #WATWB group each month, more the joy!

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For The Black Dog Bites Severely

 

For all those we know and love.  May they find peace and vigour again.

 

For The Black Dog Bites Severely

For some the Black Dog bites severely,

Smiting in an awful wound;

The cost to victims is dearly,

As they may feel sorely doomed.

 

The bite may infect like rabies,

And take a diabolic toll;

Turning certitudes to maybes,

As it eats at body, mind and soul.

 

And we, we try to tend them,

To bring the balm of cheer;

Apply the discipline of listening,

A focussed, compassionate ear.

 

It may take medication,

To bring the chemical mix to still;

And it takes love and dedication,

To bandage their battered will.

 

And so we send these words out,

To the one’s we know by name;

And to all their suffering companions,

Who feel much the same.

 

May they receive the treatment,

The best care all can give;

For we want them all to flourish,

And again to fully live.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 18 October 2016

Fall

Fall

 

Moving along

Slowly

Faltering.

The dizzying head

The jelly legs

Sway

And crumble

The earth holds

The weight –

No further to fall.

 

Then

Comes the decision:

Get up

And go again?

Stay awhile

Resting on terra firma?

Surrender

Give up?

Until

You become

Another’s burden

Borne as their load.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 25 March 2016

 

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