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  • Writer's pictureBottsy

I’m now affecting my family, my kids.

I’d like to take the time now to share a bit about myself and my thoughts on Forge Through.

Recently, I had the opportunity and privilege to attend a Forge Through course at Bolaro Forge. I had heard of the course through friends, had seen posts on social media and looked at the knives the attendees produce during the course. What I couldn’t see was the non-physical aspects of the course. That is the most important and I’ll get to that shortly.

Firstly a bit about me. I am a veteran and have served in the Australian Army for a little over 15 years. I have deployed overseas and seen my fair share. I also carry with me some baggage from my childhood. I also suffer from depression and have done since I was young. My coping mechanism has always be to “run”. To push whatever it is behind me and keep on moving. Thinking if I can’t see it, it isn’t there. But through the years everything I have pushed behind me has followed me. It has built up until I feel as though I am buried underneath it all and cannot find a way out.

The military person in me simply forces myself to drive on. To continue to persevere. And this has worked, for a long time actually, until it doesn’t.

I knew I needed help. But I didn’t seek it. I knew I needed help when my wife was seeking help on my behalf. I knew this was serious because now it is not simply mental anguish and torment. I’m now affecting my family, my kids.

This is where Forge Through comes in. Forge Through is not about making knives. It is about support. Support for those who are struggling. Support for those are are stuck and don’t know what to do or who to turn to. For me this was the break I need and I knew I need it. I needed very desperately to be able to talk about what was bringing me down. Finally I could with people who have been there an lived it, with people who understand all of the things that are too hard to explain.

So I begin, with an idea, of something that I want to make. But I’m not making a knife. I’m learning how to regain control of my life. The forging, the hammering of hot steel, I recall the hardships and difficult times I have faced but I’m changing. This steel is changing because of me. I’m changing, because as I have been given the tools to turn rusted metal into something beautiful so has Dean and the other members of Forge Through helped me to find the tools to turn my life into something beautiful.

Thank you to Dean and Gina first for welcoming me into your home and into your lives. Thank you for providing me an opportunity to share, listen and learn about myself and others like me who are struggling.

Thank you to Jim. Jim thank you for your mentorship. You’re keen and watchful eye made sure I stayed on track whilst making my knife. Also thank you for the camp fire chats.

Doug, thank you for not just listening but your openness. It is hard enough to open up about what we go through. It’s even more difficult with a complete stranger. I like to think we parted as friends.

Finally, to the Forge Through family thank you for welcoming me into your fold.

Ben – ADF

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