Some time ago I was catching up with a friend who was relaying to me the events of her day. Facing some challenges that were feeling very overwhelming, she headed out the door. As she was in the car, a heaviness overtook her and she broke down in tears. She then shared with me that shortly after this breakdown, she had spotted a beautiful, hand-painted inspirational rock on the ground. She felt uplifted, and that maybe this was a sign that everything was going to work out for her. This truly random act of kindness brightened and put a new spin on her day.
I hadn’t been privy to this somewhat new surge of hand-painted “rocks of kindness” being serendipitously left, and found, in various locations.
Admittedly, I’m one of those people who is greatly moved by such acts that have the potential to put a smile on a random stranger’s face and lift their spirits.
I thought, “Wow, what a great idea!”
Creative Outlets For Healing
I’ve personally sustained injury as a result of taking benzodiazepines exactly as prescribed. While fighting to heal from the severe brain/neurological damages, my time spent recovering left me with major challenges in discovering ways to distract and pass the time.
Earlier on in my healing, I was too physically, mentally, and cognitively disabled to have the focus to do much of anything. 24/7, all I could really do was “survive.”
As I experienced increased healing and improvements, I found myself still limited but able to do a little more.
Hmmm, but what could I do? I never thought of myself as an overly creative or artistic person. I was musical and a fairly strong writer. Previously I had never really explored other crafts and artistic hobbies.
But I knew the merits of crafting. I knew it would be very good for me cognitively and mentally. I knew it would give me a chance to use my hands and motor skills to create. And I knew it would be a great distraction.
I began seeking out and experimenting with varying soothing, craft-type outlets. To my amazement, these outlets became a wonderful distraction and also a deep expression of myself.
Incredibly therapeutic in nature, I highly encourage anyone enduring illness and injury to try to find comfort in some avenue of creativity.
Because creating has been such an important foundation in my own healing, I was excited to become aware of and involved with a group of people in the benzodiazepine-injured community who have come together to create. And they are not just creating as a means of comfort, enjoyment, and distraction from symptoms (though, of course, these elements are obviously a large part of it!)…..
….there’s another important aspect to what they are doing.
To explain further, let me first take you back to May of 2017. As Rick Holmes (who has been slow tapering Klonopin for the past five months) was out riding his bike, he noticed something colorful catch his eye. He turned his bike around to investigate only to discover what had caught his attention was a painted rock. It warmly displayed the word “Love” on it.
On the back of his newly-found treasure, there was information leading to the group of people who were behind the planting of this rock in the community.
Rick connected with the group on Facebook and posted a picture of his discovered rock. The original artist of his rock spotted her creation. They connected, and some light banter ensued between the two of them.
In the following days, Rick found new adventure in his bike rides by re-planting his discovered rocks and scavenging for more little gems. His discovery of an idea that melds creativity with inspiration and kindness would start his own passion for rock painting.
One day Rick’s friend, Stephanie Williams, who is in the long, grueling process of healing from benzodiazepine injury, was scrolling her Facebook newsfeed. She saw some pictures of Rick’s rock paintings he had completed (shown below).
A lightbulb went off in Stephanie’s head.
She had just come up with a unique idea that would take off more than she ever imagined.
Bringing Everyone Together
Stephanie’s idea was to form a special closed Facebook group for those patients injured by benzodiazepines (taken exactly as prescribed). She wanted a place for everyone to be able to congregate in a comfortable and encouraging social setting and use rock painting in a therapeutic manner.
The group began to grow. It continues to grow.
Even more amazing, this outlet is being used as a proactive effort to help raise awareness on the dangers of taken-as-prescribed benzodiazepines.
How Does It Work?
The rocks being created by the group members, and subsequently placed in communities, have the hashtag #WBADROCKS (and any other information that fits), placed on the backside. Members then plant their “W-BAD Rocks of Kindness” in the community.
BUT HOLD ON…..
What is W-BAD? If you are unaware, W-BAD stands for World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day which occurs annually on July 11th. However, the awareness mission never ceases.
If you are reading this blog post, then you have landed on W-BAD’s official site. Here you can peruse an endless amount of information on the dangers of this commonly-prescribed class of drug.
So once the rocks are planted in the community, what happens next?
Once the rocks are planted in public, a lucky random finder of the painted rock will happen upon a beautiful and inspirational treasure. Furthermore, the (hopefully) curious finder will have the opportunity to be led to the public Facebook page, ” W-BAD Rocks of Kindness – #wbadrocks “. On this page, the rock finders are invited to share a picture of the rock they discovered, where it was found, and any other details surrounding their find. They are then encouraged to re-hide the rock, if they so choose to part with their neat little relic.
The W-BAD Rocks of Kindness page contains W-BAD awareness information and links to the offical www.w-bad.org site. The goal is to spread kindness and connect with people in the public while generating curiosity about who we are and what W-BAD is all about. This gives us a chance to provide an opportunity for one more person to gain some information and awareness on the dangers of benzodiazepines taken exactly as prescribed.
Catch the Rock-Painting Bug!
I’d highly encourage you to consider getting into some
rock painting for the cause!
Trust me, you don’t have to be an accomplished artist to do this. How do I know? Because I’m giving it a shot, and I’m no Van Gogh!
There are many unique techniques people are using to decorate their rocks – from the more basic and simplistic techniques, to the more detailed and complex. There’s endless fun to be had with this hobby. And bonus – the best part is, to get started, you won’t need a lot of monetary investment!
Check out the gallery below. This is just a small sampling of some of the rocks created by the W-BAD Rocks of Kindness painters.
(Then keep scrolling down for more pics & info in the wrap-up of the blog post.)
Perfect For Parents and Kids To Do Together
This is a fantastic hobby for kids – or better yet – for parents to do with their kids!
Come Help Us Rock Some Awareness!
Whether you would like to find out how to get involved in rock painting for W-BAD awareness, or if you would just like to observe and support the W-BAD Rocks of Kindness mission, we would love to have you with us.
We could really use some of your positive energy and support to pump up the volume on our mission!
Make sure to click on the following link to our Facebook page: W-BAD Rocks of Kindness – #wbadrocks . There you can”Like” and “Follow” us. Come join the fun and excitement as we watch for our rocks to show up!
In the meantime, you can take in some various info and pictures relating to rock painting, as well as periodic W-BAD awareness information.
Come have a look, explore a new hobby, and make some connections as you support this important cause!
See you there!
Note: The W-BAD Rocks of Kindness – #wbadrocks Facebook page is not officially run or promoted by W-BAD. However, those running the rocks of kindness project have gained W-BAD support and permission to use the name. They are working to uplift the awareness efforts of W-BAD via this creative outlet.