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Woodworking Tips For Mental Health Issues

by Drewbaby27
posted 09-05-2017 03:17 AM

13 replies so far

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3539 days

#1 posted 09-05-2017 03:53 AM

A long time ago I learned to not listen to others and not work to please other people. I build things for myself, if someone else likes them, then all the better. People are always asking me to build them something, like a coffee table or night stand. I’m happy to do it, but they are not allowed to tell me what they want it made of or how it should look. I build it my way out of the materials I want to use. On the very rare occasion that they don’t like it, someone else will. I try and keep at least 6 projects going at all times. No down time to think about my troubles. If I don’t feel like doing one thing at the time, I have other things to do. Turn on the radio, rock and roll, not country or classical, if you don’t like new rock, like me, find the oldies station. Led Zepplin wont allow you to feel sorry for yourself. You are not alone brother, there are lots of us out here.

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


12397 posts in 2550 days

#2 posted 09-05-2017 03:58 AM

I’ve been a hobbyist woodworker for a long time and all those things sometimes happen to me, really. So don’t beat yourself up. The important thing is to have fun, don’t pressure yourself or set unrealistic expectations. Just have fun. No one is judging you, except you.

-- Rick M,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29944 posts in 2508 days

#3 posted 09-05-2017 04:16 AM

Contact LJ Arlin Eastman. He works to help many like you.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View jbay's profile


2733 posts in 1070 days

#4 posted 09-05-2017 06:25 PM

Hello all,

I m interested in finding out if there s anyone out there with the same issues as I m about to discuss, and / or if there s anyone with tips on how they deal with things.

So, without too much detail, I m a disabled Vet who, like many Veterans suffers from mental health issues related to my service. No need to get into diagnoses as the docs love to mix and match as they see fit. It really wouldn t make any difference to things anyway. These issues make most aspects of life, including little things like employment and family relations very difficult to say the least.

- Drewbaby27

Horizontal Mike has the same issues and may be able to help.
He is ” I am on 100% disability” and still is able to work in his shop and ride a Harley.
God Bless him!

-- “Hanging onto resentment, is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” (Ann Landers)......

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3084 days

#5 posted 09-05-2017 07:30 PM

Check your LJ’s personal messages.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View DrDirt's profile


4491 posts in 3913 days

#6 posted 09-05-2017 10:13 PM

i would consider a woodworking guild/club…. becomes kind of a group therapy, but one of our members has a very large shop and once a month meet there to work on projects, brainstorm members issues they are struggling with… but generally have a session of sawdust therapy.

Great to see how others are approaching their projects, get ideas, and just socialize about the hobby, without needing to have some finished item at the end of the afternoon.

If you are starting out – consider a class… certainly a lot of stuff in the northwest, but that can help you ‘break down projects’ into thier steps, gains structure and problem solving, without being overwhelming because there are pros there to help sort out any tricky spots in a project, and at the end of teh weekend… or week you have a finished project and a big shot of confidence that you could ‘do it again’ in your own shop.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View corelz125's profile


552 posts in 1147 days

#7 posted 09-06-2017 12:36 AM

Theres no such thing as having to many tools. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s the best way to learn is to figure out how to fix the mistake. That happens to me also stand there not knowing where to start. Dont give it too much thought and dive in.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5588 posts in 2579 days

#8 posted 09-06-2017 03:38 AM

Mistakes I can live with, it is when things go smoothly I become worried…...............

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1132 posts in 2377 days

#9 posted 09-06-2017 02:07 PM


I can really identify with much of what you are saying…life is sometimes feels like we are flies stuck in honey, surrounded by the good stuff but to trapped to enjoy it. I was wounded in combat and have struggled through many things and would be happy to spend some time talking with you. This isn’t a fight you will win in one day, or one afternoon. It is going to take time and unfortunately…patience. :) All the advice, slogans and bumper stickers are great, and I mean that!, but they have to be applied, sometimes, a minute at a time, way down, deep in the gut, way back in the whispers of your mind. If you want to PM me please! feel free!!

Very Respectfully and Humbly,


-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View JADobson's profile


1236 posts in 2281 days

#10 posted 09-06-2017 09:57 PM

My real issue and basis for writing is when I m alone in my shop. ven when I think I have a plan, there s been times where I walk out there, stand around for a bit, then feel completely overwhelmed. Not sure if it s my self-imposed expectations, fear of screwing up or what; but unfortunately the passion i have to create sometimes turns into crippling anxiety and an inability to even start a project. I end up moving a few things around, start feeling like crap, then collapse and turn everything off and head back inside.


Any other tips, tricks, hints, or the like would be appreciated…

- Drewbaby27

You might want to consider working on a few projects from plans or from a magazine where they give you step by step instructions. It is easy to get overwhelmed by a project when you are trying to envision the whole but if you only have to think one step at a time it may be beneficial. Just something to think about.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Drewbaby27's profile


6 posts in 1413 days

#11 posted 09-06-2017 10:13 PM

Thanks all for the feedback. And thank you also for those sending the supportive PM’s.

Good to know I’m not alone in the struggles. Will definitely take the info in here and try to apply it as possible.

View DS's profile


3020 posts in 2591 days

#12 posted 09-06-2017 10:33 PM

I am not in the situation you are in and I can’t pretend to even know what that is like.
However, there are lots of people that normally suffer from “where do I start?” syndrome when contemplating a new project.

That, combined with your other issues may be all contributing to your difficulty. If you don’t relate to my post, then okay, just ignore my comments. I’m okay with that too.

When I undertake a new project, I do sketch plans, however roughly, to give me a good outline – mostly to document my decisions for the project. BUT, in truth, I am building it in my head dozens of times before I even start.

A little over twelve years ago, I was dealing with a rough divorce. I decided to express my feelings using oil paints. Even though I enjoyed Bob Ross and watched nearly all his programs on PBS, I had never even attempted a painting. At first, I felt a lot like you described. Where the heck do I start? Then I would give up.
I was so far outside my comfort zone that I, like you was overwhelmed.
I must have painted that canvas in my head a few dozen times before I ever dipped my brush in oil the first time.

My first canvas sucked, but, you know what, it didn’t even matter. It expressed how I felt at the time. (Yes, I was feeling a little bit “sucky”, so it fit.)

Fast forward several years and I was preparing to paint a sofa-sized canvas for my new wife. I pondered for a long time what it should look like and how it should “feel” to anyone looking at it. I wanted it to express my love and gratitude for her. I painted that canvas in my head for over two months.
To put the oils on the canvas took only three hours, start to finish. My wife was amazed at how fast I worked. I told her, “Sure, it only took me two months!” That painting is proudly displayed in our home and she loves it.

Mostly, I am saying, decide what you want to do. Start small. Throw it away when you’re done – if you want to. Don’t put pressure on yourself – even if it takes months to start. Once you are decided, then just take the first step. It doesn’t really even matter if it isn’t the right one. Just get in motion and roll with it. If what you have doesn’t match your vision, adjust it, or, start over – no biggie. It’s a basic project at first, right?

Eventually, you will be creating masterpieces.
I wish you all the best and I thank you, Sir, for your service.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View oldnovice's profile


7258 posts in 3538 days

#13 posted 09-07-2017 12:13 AM

Do what make you happy don’t worry about others as they probably have their own issues!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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