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Modelling mojo and state of mind


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So how is everyone keeping up? Myself, I'm not doing too brilliantly. Hate my job to the point its unbearable. I am so bored with it.

 

On the plus side I managed to build one of my 16mm cheapo loco kits the other weekend and its really good :)

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I'm slowly but surely wading through a pile of Airfix wagon its. Lucky for me, young Johnster of this parish is providing me with some impetus towards a 94xx pannier. With good luck, a following wind, and about 5 years, I should finish it.

 

Cheers,

 

Ian.

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So how is everyone keeping up? Myself, I'm not doing too brilliantly. Hate my job to the point its unbearable. I am so bored with it.

 

On the plus side I managed to build one of my 16mm cheapo loco kits the other weekend and its really good :)

 

Sorry to hear that things are not going well, Coldgunner, but it sounds as if the modelling is at least providing a modicum of positivity.  Job satisfaction is a serious issue if, like you, you measure this in negative terms; it is very easy to advise someone who hates their job to the point it's unbearable to give it up, change it, get another one, or retire, but this takes no account of whatever your personal circumstances are and how easy (or not) it is to alter an unbearable situation.  I retired on medical grounds being unable to cope with the stress due to my clinical depression in 1997, and while it was not the best thing that ever happened to me financially, it was most certainly the right thing for me to do; I am absolutely certain I could not have coped otherwise and would have cracked up completely and irredeemably.  My advice, FWIW, is to monitor yourself fairly closely and and don't be afraid to seek help from your GP if you feel you are having trouble coping; believe me, it is better to do this early enough to pre-empt a meltdown and losing the plot entirely...

 

Modelling projects such as cheapo loco kits, that are able to provide fairly rapid satisfaction without bogging you down in complexities which your other problems and issues may not allow you to cope with, are a very positive and therapeutic way of dealing with your stress and dissatisfaction; you are doing the right thing!

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I'm slowly but surely wading through a pile of Airfix wagon its. Lucky for me, young Johnster of this parish is providing me with some impetus towards a 94xx pannier. With good luck, a following wind, and about 5 years, I should finish it.

 

Cheers,

 

Ian.

Young (!) Johnster of this parish is very happy to hear this, Ian, as it is your good self that has provided not only a good bit of the impetus, but also the Lima body, for his own 94xx, currently on hold awaiting a suitable donor chassis as the last one ended up under an 8750; there should be news on this front soon as I am awaiting auction results from eBay over the weekend.

 

I am hoping to have mine up and running in a bit less than 5 years, but past experience has taught me not to make myself any promises of this sort, even with a following wind!  It's not a race...

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My advice, FWIW, is to monitor yourself fairly closely and and don't be afraid to seek help from your GP if you feel you are having trouble coping; believe me, it is better to do this early enough to pre-empt a meltdown and losing the plot entirely...

 

Modelling projects such as cheapo loco kits, that are able to provide fairly rapid satisfaction without bogging you down in complexities which your other problems and issues may not allow you to cope with, are a very positive and therapeutic way of dealing with your stress and dissatisfaction; you are doing the right thing!

 

Yeah I've been to see the doctor and I've had some blood tests taken to see if they can identify the tiredness. But I suspect the tiredness is coming from my daily stress.

 

On the plus side, heading 'daaan sarf' this weekend and the Swanage Railway is beckoning :)

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This is a topic that fascinates me somewhat. I particularly notice how parts of my life affect my modelling productivity. When I am stressed, I become less interested in modelling, my model building production grinds to a halt and everything just stops. I get some optomism and I become a model making machine. I find my state of mind really affects my abilities. Stressful days cause me to be more lax and less productive with my model building, I understand there must be those that are the opposite, where model building is in fact a de-stressing agent. Life at the moment is very stressful and I can't bear to sit down and tackle some of my more complex kits. I might glue some panels together or assemble a chassis, but when I'm down in the dumps, its really hard to be creative. I'm in a job that gives me stress, and there are some days which I just don't care whether a kit gets finished soon. But I have a really good day at work, and I'll be up till gone 11pm, working on some fiddly brake rigging or applying some transfers.

 

I want to garner some personal reflections on this topic? How does stress and daily life affect your modelling output, are you affected by moods? Do you use modelling to escape from stress or is it a result of being happy?

OK a short contributiuon here and oh yes, doesn't the state of mind just manage one's productivityand even their day to day life....oh yes. I thought, after a couple of years on from a complete freak out into Anxiety and really nasty panic attacks and medication to deal with that, that I was becoming a far more level and relaxed bloke. I have been dropping down the dose of my meds in a very gradual way for about 6 months now (Doc approived). All seemed good and I was even dealing with little setbacks in modelling and those day to day scary things that get the ticker racing. Then, pop, a few days back I had a set back that I won't discuss here. A stupid event where I blew up some expensive kit and not for the first time; that's it, I'm pi##ed off with this layout I have spent a lot of money on so far and I hate it. That set me off and boy am I having to work at changing that thinking right now. Then, last Friday SWMBO said she had grazed herself on some old metal when at the allotment. Just beware of Sepsis we both agreed. A few days later she is looking a bit 'out of sorts', feeling cold and having to lie down (two days ago); I could feel myself flying into full on panic attack but managed to control it and she turned out to be dehydrated (but I'm still twitching). 

What's all this about...well, it demonstrates that some of us are probably living just a step away from serious 'mental difficulty' and when things go even just a tad wonky that can be enough to set things off. At least I have been there and recognise the charcteristics. If it ever happens to any of you for the first time then just remember, there are folk like those on nhere who are not too proud to describe what they have to deal with.

Edited by Mallard60022
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Yeah I've been to see the doctor and I've had some blood tests taken to see if they can identify the tiredness. But I suspect the tiredness is coming from my daily stress.

 

On the plus side, heading 'daaan sarf' this weekend and the Swanage Railway is beckoning :)

Please do not think this is cranky. Someone on RMW very kindly helped me some time back when my 'Anxiety' was really having awful affects on my well being, by telling me about Tai Chi. I've been doing basic stuff (in a group and sometimes at home) for over 12 moinths now and it really does help, as has a few sessions of Counselling and Hypnotherapy.

I have also linked tiredness that is not identified in blood tests other than low Vit D levels (twice now), to my Gluten intolerance and about three other Auto Immune Response/Inflammatory Conditions that are bubbling along at a low level all day, every day and draining my energy. The catch 22 is thatall this is compounded by my fitness levels plummeting as I have real problems in trying to get any sessions at the gym or swim that I used to enjoy so much.

Yes, your Stress levels arer almost certainly draining you, but there are ways of remodelling that stress if you have the time (and, sadly the dosh) and hating your job (as I have also had in the past) is really horrible for you.

Have a greeat weekend and I am sorry to drop in and suddenly start pontificating but I really do feel for you.

Sincerely,

Phil (The Duck)

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I find modelling is a good stress reliever, but only up to a point. If I've had quite a stressful day, then it's helpful. If I've had a really stressful day, it only makes things worse. Yesterday I had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong, and I figured that a bit of modelling would calm me down - actually, it was exactly the opposite, and minor modelling setbacks that normally wouldn't bother me at all had me swearing like a sailor.

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OK a short contributiuon here and oh yes, doesn't the state of mind just manage one's productivityand even their day to day life....oh yes. I thought, after a couple of years on from a complete freak out into Anxiety and really nasty panic attacks and medication to deal with that, that I was becoming a far more level and relaxed bloke. I have been dropping down the dose of my meds in a very gradual way for about 6 months now (Doc approived). All seemed good and I was even dealing with little setbacks in modelling and those day to day scary things that get the ticker racing. Then, pop, a few days back I had a set back that I won't discuss here. A stupid event where I blew up some expensive kit and not for the first time; that's it, I'm pi##ed off with this layout I have spent a lot of money on so far and I hate it. That set me off and boy am I having to work at changing that thinking right now. Then, last Friday SWMBO said she had grazed herself on some old metal when at the allotment. Just beware of Sepsis we both agreed. A few days later she is looking a bit 'out of sorts', feeling cold and having to lie down (two days ago); I could feel myself flying into full on panic attack but managed to control it and she turned out to be dehydrated (but I'm still twitching). 

What's all this about...well, it demonstrates that some of us are probably living just a step away from serious 'mental difficulty' and when things go even just a tad wonky that can be enough to set things off. At least I have been there and recognise the charcteristics. If it ever happens to any of you for the first time then just remember, there are folk like those on nhere who are not too proud to describe what they have to deal with.

 

You seem to be very near your coping limit, Mallard, a bit like your namesake coming down Stoke Bank...  Setbacks, which you are going to be more prone to if you are trying to reduce your level of medication, are, sadly, all too common for those of us living, as you very well put it 'just a step' from the edge of losing our 'normal' level of control.  Don't beat yourself up about it when it happens; you didn't make it happen it's something that happened to you, and try to recognise the triggers and how you feel during the onset of a wobble.  Your 'stupid event' sounds a bit like self blame from here; of course, you are responsible for your own mistatkes, but remember to take the general situation and how much uncontrollable-by-you stress it was putting you under when the bottom fell out before taking all the heat yourself.  Talk to your GP about CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy, which will teach you some very useful coping strategies.

 

Also, and this goes for anyone reading this, I am happy for you to PM me if you think I can help, or even if I can't and you just want to get it off your chest; can't promise immediate responses as I have issues of my own, but I have been helped a lot by people here and am happy to return the favour if I can.

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Yeah I've been to see the doctor and I've had some blood tests taken to see if they can identify the tiredness. But I suspect the tiredness is coming from my daily stress.

 

On the plus side, heading 'daaan sarf' this weekend and the Swanage Railway is beckoning :)

And it's going to be warm enough for paddling as well.  I had a family holiday in a hotel overlooking the station in 1962 when I was 10, and I have very warm memories of the town and it's beach.

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You seem to be very near your coping limit, Mallard, a bit like your namesake coming down Stoke Bank...  Setbacks, which you are going to be more prone to if you are trying to reduce your level of medication, are, sadly, all too common for those of us living, as you very well put it 'just a step' from the edge of losing our 'normal' level of control.  Don't beat yourself up about it when it happens; you didn't make it happen it's something that happened to you, and try to recognise the triggers and how you feel during the onset of a wobble.  Your 'stupid event' sounds a bit like self blame from here; of course, you are responsible for your own mistatkes, but remember to take the general situation and how much uncontrollable-by-you stress it was putting you under when the bottom fell out before taking all the heat yourself.  Talk to your GP about CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy, which will teach you some very useful coping strategies.

 

Also, and this goes for anyone reading this, I am happy for you to PM me if you think I can help, or even if I can't and you just want to get it off your chest; can't promise immediate responses as I have issues of my own, but I have been helped a lot by people here and am happy to return the favour if I can.

Thanks everso. I have had CBT twice now and should have remembered those helpful things. However my situation is not that bad really and I think I just need some anger management; low level.......

Same goes for me if anyone wants to let off steam. I find that chatting to folk sometimes helps me put my things into perspective.

ATB all

Phil

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I saw 'CBT' and went wrong!  Apologies for my sick mind and sense of humour for what is a serious subject.  

 

 

Don't have nightmares by checking its other meaning(s) :nono: .

 

Have a great weekend everyone - off to recharge my mojo playing some twisted punk rock - who knows it may even inspire me to do more than just nattering about model trains.

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I may get some track laid this weekend, or at least steps towards it.

Or not, as the uncoupling magnets need to be bought and fitted first as they go under the track buried in the cork. Oh well, I'll ballast the test plank or can lay the track formations dry to see if they look right or something.

 

I've had cbt before (not whatever 'chard googled!) but I find it sortof "wears off" with time. Seriously considering a self-referral for talking therapy or something as I could use a touch of support. Maybe I'm just really busy right now which tends to ratchet it up, there's only so much leaning on family members you can do too (everyone has their own challenges, too). Maybe it will pass by itself again, who knows.

Edited by Norm81
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I was banished to the loft with my railway as a teenager, and found it very problematic; way too hot in summer and freezing in winter (we had proper winters then).  Apart from the suffering of the operators, expansion and contraction played havoc with track and pick ups, not to mention my solder bodgery.  Electrics never worked properly.  Father's concept of heating in winter was paraffin heating, more to stop the water header freezing than for my benefit, and the condensation led to rust on the steel rails we used in those days.

 

It has left me with a life long conviction that the best place for a model railway is somewhere within the living area of the home, where temperature, humidity, and ventilation are maintained at moderate levels and extremes avoided.  Lofts, cellars, or outbuildings are only suitable if they have been converted to those standards of environmental control, and this is an expensive game, and anyway not available to those like me who live in a rented home.  

 

I am very fortunate to have a partner who understands my need, and allows the railway to share the bedroom.  Mojo is inevitably going to be compromised if the layout is not close to hand, warm, dry, and as effortless to access as is possible; if you are suffering an 'issue' the problem is very much worsened.

Edited by The Johnster
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Thanks everso. I have had CBT twice now and should have remembered those helpful things. However my situation is not that bad really and I think I just need some anger management; low level.......

Same goes for me if anyone wants to let off steam. I find that chatting to folk sometimes helps me put my things into perspective.

ATB all

Phil

 

Finding something that helps is a massive boost, no matter how big or small.

 

It goes to show how different we all are and why it will always be so difficult to pinpoint a definitive solution to our battles – I’m not someone that enjoys discussing things therefore CBT, after five or six sessions, wasn’t very productive unfortunately.  I was subsequently referred back to my GP and am currently on my fourth variation of medication; it’s a long process which often feels like you’re left clutching at straws.

 

I’m fortunate that the operating and photographing of my micro layout offers a welcome relief of an evening!

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Well I am back at work now after a week in the sun, apart from one morning of 'what's the point in it all' I had a nice week off.

 

Plane landed and back to reality not helped by it being so stuffy.

 

Modelling done in past two months: 0

 

Kits bought: 4 plus two others still in packaging from last year. 

 

Birthday money burning hole in pocket: Yes

 

Anything i want to spend it on: No

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I found cbt very unhelpful and quit after a couple of sessions. The therapy seemed irrelevant, and the therapist way too sexy. Medication also was unhelpful by the time I was taking three different anti-depressants to alleviate side-effects and balance each other. I had to figure out my own coping strategies.

 

For the most part, creative activities like model-making help. I get a lot of satisfaction in creating something from nothing. Recycling, re-purposing, making use of - for want of a better term - rubbish. Spending money I find to be an extremely short-lived high, followed by the usual guilt and disappointment.

 

The biggest drain on my energy, is working at a job that I dislike and the time that takes from everything I want to achieve. Which, as I'm now into my sixties, is precious.

 

My biggest delight, was finding someone that would put up with my overall downbeat demeanour.

 

Speaking to others, an intelligent, curious and wide-ranging mind is certainly no bar to the loss of mojo and is often a contributory factor.

 

Where I think cbt falls down, is that many of us already know the causes, triggers etc. to our depressions, but are unable to change these because we have to live, work and contribute to society in ways that feel unnaturally artificial.

 

 

All the best to you all...

 

Bill <3  

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CBT has been deemed unsuitable in my case by a psychologist, something to do with the endochrinal basis of my illness, but the basic principle, identifying triggers and recognising the signs so as to be able to deploy coping or avoidance techniques, is something I use daily and find very effective.  I doesn't work for everyone, but the basic premise is sound.

 

Finding a partner willing to cope with my inner, actually mostly outer, curmudgeon, has made a huge difference to me as well.  She has her own issues, and I suspect that I would not be happy in a relationship with a 'norm' who, even if she were sympathetic, could not possibly understand how deep and fundamental the effects of this illness are.  She is my biggest delight as well, and not something I was expecting as I am of a similar age to you and thought I was past all that sort of shennanigans.

 

Some of my coping techniques are self taught, for instance not buying large amounts of food shopping at once.  This encourages you to go out for supplies daily, which means that you are less likely to isolate yourself, especially if you live alone as I did until not many months ago, and ensures that you eat fresh food that you have decided is the food you want to eat today, thus enabling greater pleasure to be had out of cooking and eating it; it also helps to circumvent the classic 'single guy living alone' diet which consists so much of chicken in various forms that you end up laying eggs and burping feathers...

Edited by The Johnster
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  • 3 weeks later...

So this week I've had a visit from my lifelong friend Mr Chiari who is literally a right pain in the neck.

 

Throw in some general anxiety and my low self worth impacting relations I've had a right old week.

 

So I decided that today I would face up to a fear, modelling. Yep, that thing we do with model trains that seems to stop at laying track with me.

 

On my work desk (lucky me gets to work from home) is this:

 

post-165-0-86090300-1532269394_thumb.jpg

 

A GWR Mink with very un Airfix type instructions.

 

Hopefully, in a hour will be a box with wheels

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I like to divide my modelling into bite size chunks, and try to arrange things so that a job can be completed in about an hour or an hour and a half; I've had enough by then.  The idea is that I am not going into the negativity area of failing to complete the job I intended to; negativity is my enemy, and a successful completion of a job is positive reinforcement, vital to my mood level.  But this means I have to be careful in my definition of what constitutes a 'job' as opposed to something that takes more time than can be spent in a single session; this is a 'project', and lives in a box.  My recent Limbach 94xx was a project, and following it in 'Questions, Hints, and Tips' is almost a diary of how I broke it down into jobs.  A job might, of course, consist of just sitting and looking at it for an hour or so while I work out what to do next!

 

There is also 'potching', a lovely South Wales word for just messing around in an unplanned way; do something, have a cup of tea, operate a train, go and watch a bit of telly, have another cuppa, do something else while the time slips away un-noticed and at the end of the day you look back and surprise yourself with the fact that you've weathered a 5 planker, finished putting lamp brackets on your fitted stock, and put a crew aboard a large prairie without particularly noticing that you've done anything!  

 

The trick is to avoid biting off more than you chew in a session, otherwise things become rushed, you make mistakes, and get frustrated with it.  This is probably good advice in general, but if you are in a situation where your mood level impacts on your life in the way that many of those of us with minor psychological problems of various sorts are, it becomes even more important.  Modelling should be a positive reinforcer, and if it fails to be this, step back and leave it until you are in the mood.  Aim low and try to hit higher.

 

Low self worth and high anxiety levels are no strangers to me, Wooden, and just because they ain't strangers don' mean they's friends!  I well understand the fear of starting a job and not finishing, or messing it up, our old familiar self prophesy of failure again, and it's all very well for me to tell you not to beat yourself up about it, sh*t happens; I'm not there doing it.  Your mink looks like just the thing to cheer you up a bit; I hope to hear of a successful box on wheels outcome soon!  

 

You are a Human Being, the best animal on the planet, with emotional needs and requirements, and are entitled to respect, dignity and consideration from your fellow beings, who you are by and large no worse or better than.  You are also entitled to these things from yourself in regard to yourself, but low self worth drains that from you.  It is part of an illness, a thing that happened to you, not something you brought on yourself, so don't let a self esteem issue become a self blame issue.  

 

PM me if things get so bad you need to talk about it; us 'sufferers' need to stick together, buddy!

Edited by The Johnster
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Well an hour or so later and I have this

 

post-165-0-00396000-1532278780_thumb.jpg

 

It was fiddly, it's not like an Airfix kit but it rolls like a wagon and looks like a Mink. The trussing isn't perfect but it's my first kit and I was more concerned about snapping it than lovely angles.

 

Little victories add up, wife is home soon so time to make up for my behaviour yesterday.

Edited by woodenhead
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That definitely counts as a victory, Woods, and as it's your first kit I'd say a bit more than a little one!  Looks like a nice little model, and if the wheels turn and it sits with all 4 wheels on the track simultaneously, you've got a winner.   I can't see anything wrong with the trussing, and I'd say you've taken your time, been methodical, and enjoyed yourself; result being positive reinforcement with a 4mm Mink thrown in as a bonus.

 

Win win.  You have earned the right to be nice to yourself for the rest of the day!

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