Category: Life


My name is Espen Fadness

My name is Espen Fadness and I am a base jumper.

Or at least I would be if I could be.

Just one time (I think).

Although maybe it really would end up being just one time. I am very accident prone, especially with physical activities.

So maybe not.


Why go to university?

My mum went to Sydney University in the 1950s to study law. There were only three women in her course. My dad went to Sydney University to study Commerce. My eldest daughter went to Sydney University to study Behavioural Health Science. My eldest son (the one with Down syndrome) sometimes went to tutorials at Sydney University with his sister. My youngest son is currently at Sydney University studying Engineering/Commerce. My oldest friend works at Sydney University. And once a year, every year for the past twelve years, I have gone to Sydney University to lecture medical students about intellectual disability and families.

Uni is not the ‘be all and end all’, and there are other pathways in life that can be fulfilling too. I am as proud of the achievements of my children who have been to university, as I am of the one who has not.

This clip was made by students at Sydney University to thank donors who help sponsor students and it says a lot about passion for learning, and passion for life.


Stay well strategies for everyone

Stay well strategies:

  • sleep well
  • eat well
  • exercise
  • manage stress
  • spend quality time with family and friends
  • engage in the local community
  • get professional support
  • use alternative therapies
  • work in a supportive workplace
  • have a holiday



How can I go on?

Freddie Mercury was dying of aids when he wrote and sang this song.
He must have wondered how he could go on but he did,
and it was the most creative period in his whole life.

If you have a mental illness or are a carer,
there will be times you won’t know how you can go on. But you will.

There are people who believe in you and they will help to make you strong.
You belong, just as I belong and together we are strong.

How Can I Go On Lyrics

When all the salt is taken from the sea
I stand dethroned, I’m naked and I bleed
But when your finger points so savagely
Is anybody there to believe in me
To hear my plea and take care of me?

How can I go on, from day to day
Who can make me strong in every way
Where can I be safe, where can I belong
In this great big world of sadness
How can I forget those beautiful dreams that we shared
They’re lost and they’re nowhere to be found
How can I go on?

Sometimes I seem to tremble in the dark, I cannot see
When people frighten me
I try to hide myself so far from the crowd
Is anybody there to comfort me
Lord, take care of me

How can I go on (how can I go on)
From day to day (from day to day)
Who can make me strong (who can make me strong)
In every way (in every way)
Where can I be safe (where can I be safe)
Where can I belong (where can I belong)
In this great big world of sadness
(In this great big world of sadness)
How can I forget (how can I forget)
Those beautiful dreams that we shared
(Those beautiful dreams that we shared)
They’re lost and they’re nowhere to be found
How can I go on?

How can I go on? How can I go on? Go on, go on, go on


What is mental health?

Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization as a state of well-being in which someone:
– realises his or her own abilities
– can cope with the normal stresses of life
– can work fully and productively
– is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

A healthy person has a healthy mind and is able to:
– think clearly
– solve problems in life
– work productively
– enjoy good relationships with other people
– feel spiritually at ease
– make a contribution to the community.

Mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorder.


Donate to Wesley Mission Program

At some time in our lives, every one of us will need support. Who will support you when you need it? What if you have really bad depression and you have little kids? What if you don’t have a job or a car? What if you have no family to help out?

For the rest of 2013, I will be donating my proceeds of my book, ‘Art From Adversity: A Life With Bipolar’ to the Wesley Aunties and Uncles Program to support children and carers in disadvantaged or challenging circumstances. This program does an amazing job and we should support them.

About Wesley Aunties & Uncles

The Wesley Aunties & Uncles program helps to build a better life for children. This is achieved through an early intervention mentoring program based on an extended family model of ‘aunts and uncles’ who provide mentoring and guidance in a stable family environment. Qualified staff assess volunteers and evaluate the needs of children to link them together.

Spending time with each other for one weekend a month, Aunties and Uncles:

  • provide the opportunity for children to experience the stability and benefits of an extended family
  • support the role of the parent/s of the child
  • provide the opportunity for volunteers to make a positive contribution to a child’s life

Wesley Aunties & Uncles provide mentoring services in the Sydney metropolitan area and the Central Coast.

To find out more about Wesley Aunties & Uncles go to:

To donate to Wesley Mission go to

Purchase ‘Art From Adversity: A Life With Bipolar’ here, from my website or from the publisher, Interactive Publications at


The 2013 NSW Carers Awards


For what it’s worth

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

Eric Roth


A life that matters

A Life That Matters

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.

So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire. The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end. It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave. What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example. What will matter is not your competence, but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone. What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you. What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice. Choose to live a life that matters. It really matters!

Michael Josephson


O is for one – Andrea Bocelli


One life is all we get:

Dare to live it well.

Dare to live

Try looking at tomorrow, not yesterday and all the things you left behind

Dare to live, until the very last
Dare to live, forget about the past
Dare to live, giving something of yourself to others
Even when it seems there’s nothing more left to give

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