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33 posts in 3063 days
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17577 posts in 3100 days
#1 posted 05-13-2010 06:39 AM
I am sorry to hear of your troubles. In my opinion, your assessment of “the way it is” is, unfortunately, accurate. I went through many of the same issues when I was overdosed on Topamax for migraines. Fortunately, I was already established and was able to resume my old business a year later.
My advice would be to get into high tech as a network administrator or something along that line. View wood working as a hobby. As more and more people are reduced to a subsistence level wage, it will be harder to sell hand made work and make a living. WE have not been acquiring new jobs in this country at a rate to employ population growth, much less the immigrants too since the 90s. Expect employment situation to get worse before it gets better.
With that said, every time you deal with depression or the other issues, tell yourself you have a choice: take a drink or don’t, just lay there or get up and do what you need to recover. My issues were probably not as bad as yours, but that is how I dealt with unbearable daily migraine pain for nearly a decade. That is how I dealt with Topamax posioning. The Drs wanted me on massive doses of Seroquel sitting around twiddling my thumbs and staring out a window for the rest of my life. You can do it too. Good luck.
-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence
5032 posts in 3317 days
#2 posted 05-13-2010 06:50 AM
that was deep
heres my take on it
you are born
soon you realize that life is a nasty bitch
then you marry her
then you die
but only if you are lucky
life is an endless journey of naked men that climb steep mountains named “success” and while on the journey up the mountain you see nothing but assholes and when looking down you see nothing but smiling faces.
Success is nothing more then leaving this earth a tad better then you found it. be it a healthy child, a small garden…...............
-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso
2656 posts in 2950 days
#3 posted 05-13-2010 06:55 AM
There are woodworkers that have only a bag on hand tools and they produce wondrous items. There are woodworkers that have all the lastest equipment and hand tools that produce nothing but their shops look really good. There are those that want to work the wood and do so for the love of it no matter what tools they have and they do make mistakes and learn the hard way and then too they have produced amazing things. Depression is a bummer but you can put it aside and learn and produce amazing things. It has been said that chidern learn so much better than adults because they don’t know that they can fail and failure to them is just another step in their learning. I am not a good woodworker and long for more time in my garage shop but I try with the time and tools that I have to make things. Most of what I make I really don’t have a need for but it’s the making and the learning. Oh to work side by side with a master of woodworking… It will never happen but I will keep making little things out of wood and keep learning even if it’s the hard way. Work the wood and smile when you fail, it’s just part of the learning process.
-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings
241 posts in 2505 days
#4 posted 05-13-2010 09:38 AM
Justin, You wrote: It finally set in that the world isn’t ever going to be concerned with any one person’s dreams.
It is true, “the world” doesn’t care—except you. But you get to mostly choose how you are going to spend your time and what you are going to learn. You are the one that gets to make all of your choices. You get quite a lot of say about what your future is or, perhaps better, who you will be in your future. You have noticed that it IS difficult to get paid to be an artist. You are smarter for being aware. You can still be an artist.
I won’t offer any advice since you probably have all you need. I sincerely hope that some good opportunities come your way soon! Big things take a little patience.
P.S. I said I wasn’t going to offer any suggestions, but I’ll put an idea out there. Instead of calling everybody on the phone, decide where you might like to work and go visit in person—and tell them you’ll work for them for a week, and if they don’t like your work, then they don’t have to pay you. When a good opportunity does come your way, and it will, “Be On Time Everyday and Do Not Miss Any Days”! Alcohol will steal your dreams if you’re not careful.
2136 posts in 2533 days
#5 posted 05-13-2010 01:57 PM
Justin, very brave of you to come forward and openly discuss the frustrations and difficulties you are facing. Whether or not it feels like one, reaching out is an important (and very large) step to take.
I won’t make any attempt to compare my own battles with depression with yours, the things you went through are on an entirely different scale. I do believe the difficulties you are facing are becoming more common. Our country has gone through many steps to become more humane at the same time that it seems to be losing its humanity.
I am sure it would be difficult to hear that the cynical responses to your inquiries for apprenticeship should not be taken personally. But I do believe that many of those that are trying to make a living in the woodworking field may become more cynical than you feel you are right now. The occupational outlook for most careers involving a hands on skilled trade are pretty bleak. What you may be facing is the scorn that some of these businesses have toward their own hardships of just keeping their head above water. These potential employers might be struggling to find their own reasons to stay in the trade and so inquiries from a beginner wanting to invest themselves in the business might seem laughable for an entirely different reason than you believe.
I personally believe that social interaction is important to you right now. I visit a gentleman from this site named Mike (jockmike2) every couple of weeks, and I can tell you that sharing the craft (even as a hobby) with another woodworker does wonders for the soul. If you can’t apprentice yourself out to a business, there might be experienced woodworkers in the area who would be more than happy to teach you a thing or two and help you develop your skills. And, with those skills, you might find yourself more marketable in the industry.
Good luck man and God bless,
-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.
2180 posts in 3429 days
#6 posted 05-13-2010 04:29 PM
I’d say you still got some growing up to do. Because the hallmark of an adult is in seeing your cup half full instead of half empty. Seeing who is less fortunate, not who is more fortunate and holding you back. At 30 years of age the world is your oyster. But if you ain’t gotta shuck that oyster, you wouldn’t appreciate it anyway. Good luck my friend, and pray for your own sake, the goals you set are very difficult to achieve.
-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"
5590 posts in 2656 days
#7 posted 05-13-2010 05:31 PM
First off, thank you for your service. And I am sorry you went through the (Can’t use the word here, but certainly south of Heaven you know?) that you did.
The issues you are dealing with are also hitting at a time when the entire country is having fits with jobs. Unfortunately anything entry level is going to be pretty much in the toilet right now, and for a while. And at 30 years of age, you are a bit behind in the career bell curve. But that doesn’t mean you can’t catch up, or even fly past the rest of the pack…
Unless you are in just the right community, you might as well forget about apprenticeships, for the most part, they don’t exist any more, at least for those that have no training or experience… What I do see is people with some sort of formal education that can get in the door.
Another thing that is not helping you at all, is the limitations of being in a small town. Now mind you I am no City guy, I HATE living in an urban environment, but there IS opportunity where there are more people.
If you can I see a few things that would go a long way to help you, they did go a LONG way to helping friends and family that were in similar straits after Vietnam, and the Gulf War…. Those things are…
#1. Seek out and take advantage of professional counseling. If the military counselor you are working with isn’t cutting the mustard, see if you can go to a different one. They have a few of them.
#2. Do what you can to improve your own outlook on life, and the situation. I’m not saying walk around with rose colored glasses, but try what you can to see the positive in things. Seeing things negatively breeds more negativity, and that drags you deeper into depression.
#3. If you aren’t already, seek treatment for your drinking problem. Alcohol and drugs don’t make your problems go away, they just numb you to them for a little while, meanwhile your problems will grow, and grow and grow, so when the alcohol or drugs finally quit numbing you, your pit bull of a problem is suddenly an 800lb gorilla… This is a real demon in your life that will tear you apart. I’m no tea totaler by any measure, but I have seen enough people that have destroyed themselves and everyone they love with the bottle that I have to state again, please do EVERYTHING you can to get off the booze!
#4. Take advantage of military education opportunities like the GI bill, and civilian financial aid, and get your tail into a good school that teaches woodworking. Not all of them, but many community colleges, and even State Universities have programs in furniture design and construction, or art programs that focus on woodworking. Those classes, and the degree you would earn will get you in the door to the job you want, but it is a multi year process, embrace it as those years can be the BEST years of your life if you go through them with the right attitude.
#5. Do everything you can to work on making YOU the best person YOU can be. Maybe, just maybe your career won’t be in woodworking, but that doesn’t mean woodworking won’t be part of your life. Go with the flow of life, and enjoy it as you go. Even if you don’t make your living doing what you love, do what you love when you can, and your life will be richer than having all the money in the world…
-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com
#8 posted 05-13-2010 05:37 PM
Thanks for the replies gentlemen; all are valuable and thought provoking and I genuinely appreciate them. I guess it has just been hard because I have no network here even though I grew up here, and in a town ran by just a handful of rich famillies, you need to know someone to get anywhere. I accept that the local craftsman may not have the ability to take on an apprentice and fully realize how difficult their business situation may be. I feel for them as well because my mother is an artist looking for a market. Woodworking may just always be a hobby for me if I can finally get a decent start, and that’s something I would not compain about. Mainly I just wanted to write about the feeling that I’m not sure how to deal with the “Every man for himself” reality…yes miles125, I’m sure I have plenty of “growing up to do” but I have a pretty good grasp on who is more unfortunate than I, having experienced living in a third world country destroyed by bombs for going on 7 years now. That may be my point in the end anyway. I am unemployed but I use part of my disability check to give to Oxfam every month. I don’t need to be told to give more of myself because everyone who knows me can fully count on me for anything. I am becoming cynical because I know on the larger scale that there are more people out there who don’t give a rat’s a** then those that do, and it makes me bummed. That’s it I suppose…thanks again for all of your replies and I hope everyone has a safe summer.
2570 posts in 2727 days
#9 posted 05-13-2010 05:53 PM
A divorce can do bad things to a guy. I bet in a year or two you will be in much better shape and on your way to forgetting about all of the pain you have chosen to carry with. It’s not an easy thing but time will heal you.
I just got the same treatment from a guy at a small sawmill the other day. He was a condescending A-hole and I did a quick about face and walked out on him and his smirks and poor attitude. I can easily spend my money somewhere else without giving a second thought to that guy. Kind of like ex-wives, the minute you turn away and begin moving on from them things just get a whole lot better. It sounds like you have already figured out that the Army doesn’t give a crap once your out, it’s all up to you. That’s really not a bad thing. Maybe a move to a larger city is in order? Anyway good luck and I’m sure it will only get better from here for you.
Welcome back to Lumberjocks!
-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
584 posts in 2992 days
#10 posted 05-13-2010 06:30 PM
Are you getting treatment for the PTSD?
I don’t mean to be harsh, but you go on and on about how you’re entitled to this and entitled to that and nobody will give you anything – but the one key thing (treatment and counseling for your disability) is very noticeable in not being mentioned. You mention only a vocational rehab counselor, which isn’t the same thing by any means.
I know several guys with the same starting situation and problems you’re facing, and the hallmarks of the ones making progress are all the same – a positive attitude and getting treatment. The ones failing and circling the drain all have a negative attitude and won’t seek treatment.
Life is what you make of it, veteran or not.
-- Derek, Bremerton WA --
#11 posted 05-14-2010 11:00 AM
Well Derek, I did mention that I meet with my Dr.’s and I do so on regular basis-having them refer me to Voc. Rehab in the first place is mentioned. I don’t feel entiltled to anything, and I certainly didn’t ask for someone to “give [me] anything.” I know what I’ve been through, and if anything, that garners respect because I know of more people not willing to serve and then complain, then of those who do serve and wonder what “Support the Troops” means. I don’t claim to be alone in my particular situation, but I get the feeling you didn’t serve but are quick to pass a judgement on whether veteran’s have earned anything if they aren’t positive in light of a multitude of factors to lead them otherwise. The point of my message wasn’t to boo-hoo. I didn’t join the Army after 9-11 with the intent to “get things” when I got out. I just wanted to raise a point with this message about the passing of an era I had hoped to be a part of and why it comes down to money as usual to dictate everything. Life is the money you make, veteran or not.
#12 posted 05-14-2010 12:07 PM
Life is the money you make, veteran or not.
If that’s the way you feel, then you have drastically too little money or not enough life.I like have a roof over my head, food on the table and bills bascially caught up,but I consider those basic needs. What counts (alot) to me is the cool things I do beyond that like: pursue my interests in WW, go to music festivals, pursue academicinterests, listen to fiddle tunes, etc. Money plays hardly any role at all in my pursuit of these “higher-level” needs/wants. If one wants to pursue life by “competing withthe Jones’s” who “always have a bigger boat”, then they’ll never be happy. My dad used to say, “You’ll never have enough…”, so don’t worry about it. Just food for thought.
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