PTSD email

  • 09 May 2018 11:36 PM
    Message # 6146475
    Anonymous

    Rob,

    I listened to you reading the email concerning PTSD at the end of episode 36 of the saw horse in the hand tool portion of this site.  I agree wholeheartedly with how woodworking is a tremendous help in dealing with PTSD.  I watch your videos with great interest and then attempt to put the techniques you teach to use in my small projects.  I find that I become totally focused on the process of working wood.  Often, I am not overly pleased with the results I get, and just try again.  Sometimes, I do get frustrated and at that point I put the tools down and walk away.  I don't give up, just go and do something else.  When I return to try again it is surprising that I seem to be able to perform the activity better.  This routine is something that I have been able to apply to other situations and has made me much better at coping. It is amazing how well this has made daily life much more joyful and allows me to be much more engaged in daily activities and personal relationships.  I haven't made anything of consequence, but have used the techniques you demonstrate in repairing old furniture pieces.  So although I haven't made anything, I have been successful in using the same methods used when the item was originally built during the repair.  The effect is calming.  It brings a sense of pride and self-worth.  Woodworking, even just maintaining the tools, is my best method when feeling depressed to climb out of the hole.  When life feels like I am awash in stormy seas with no help in sight, woodworking is my life preserver.  Your program to teach woodworking and supply the necessary tools will save a life.  This is not an overstatement, just a fact.

    Jim

  • 11 May 2018 7:55 PM
    Reply # 6149728 on 6146475

    Hi Jim, you touched on what seems to be a common denominator with Veterans/PTSD and woodworking. That being the calming effect and having a productive place to use that hyper vigilant focus. Maybe in this lifetime I’ll be able to make something worth showing someone instead of tossing it into the scrap box

    Mark

  • 14 May 2018 10:46 AM
    Reply # 6161669 on 6146475
    Anonymous

    When I was at Rob's workshop in Nov, I was planing a pc of 5/4 walnut down to 3/4 (supposed to be)...I was just planing away at the 5/4 stock until Rob walked up and said "you were supposed to stop around 3/4" and you are now about 1/2"  I just replied that it was too therapeutic to stop and Rob said something to the effect of "plane away, we have more wood".  

    Hand planing to me was worth more than any therapy or drug I have ever received in helping me deal with my PTSD symptoms.  

    Kevin

  • 14 May 2018 9:31 PM
    Reply # 6178034 on 6161669
    Anonymous wrote:

    When I was at Rob's workshop in Nov, I was planing a pc of 5/4 walnut down to 3/4 (supposed to be)...I was just planing away at the 5/4 stock until Rob walked up and said "you were supposed to stop around 3/4" and you are now about 1/2"  I just replied that it was too therapeutic to stop and Rob said something to the effect of "plane away, we have more wood".  

    Hand planing to me was worth more than any therapy or drug I have ever received in helping me deal with my PTSD symptoms.  

    Kevin

    I have and still do that. Just the other day I was carving stars with a chisel and just kept going all the way through a 2x4 I was practicing on for a flag build I’m going to try. Better than any pharmaceutical for sure.

    Mark

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