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Coldgunner

Modelling mojo and state of mind

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Yeah, I'm going to re-assemble my portable model making toolkit so I can at least be putting wagons together when it gets quiet.

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I seem to be up and down like a bride's nightie for no apparent reason in recent weeks.

 

Just now I can literally feel myself going down. No obvious cause, unless it is word from a friend yesterday that her dog, of whom I am very fond, has cancer and will shortly have to be put to sleep, as the saying goes.

Life just seems to be a constant struggle; it's just the change between struggling to get a jam jar lid off and struggling to shift a bolt that has rusted solid.

 

I really am quite sick of it. Objectively my depression is much better than it has been these last ten years, but I just get this feeling that I shall never be completely free of it and that it could develop into its old dark self at any time.

 

Currently I am trying to keep myself busy, not because I want to be busy but just as a tactic to push the darkness to the back of my mind.

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Unfortunately for me the black dog has returned and my depression has worsened

 

this site doesn’t help whenever I contribute I always seem get it wrong

 

I think it might be better to take a back seat and stop posting 

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Sorry to hear this, chuffinghell.  I haven't noticed your posts being particularly 'wrong' in any respect, though if the black dog is snapping at your heels it may well look that way to you.  But don't stop posting, mate; your stuff about fire irons was pretty good and so was the tarpaulin thread!  

Edited by The Johnster
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26 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

Sorry to hear this, chuffinghell.  I haven't noticed your posts being particularly 'wrong' in any respect, though if the black dog is snapping at your heels it may well look that way to you.  But don't stop posting, mate; your stuff about fire irons was pretty good and so was the tarpaulin thread!  

 

Totally agree.

 

Chuffinghell, please try to remember that there are many of us in a similar position and who are also struggling, but sharing can often help. Keep posting, we are all here to support each other when the black dog strikes. 

Edited by south_tyne
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On Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 21:57, woodenhead said:

Well the mojo is well and truly gone at present.

 

Just logged on to book train tickets to Stafford, Doncaster and Glasgow - first discounted Doncaster for no other reason as I couldn't be bothered, then Stafford went to a 'I'll see how I feel on the day' and now Glasgow is 'Three hours there, three hours back and all that standing, so nope', Ally Pally also tossed onto the scrapheap.

 

I was looking forward to February as a pick me up but it's just not there, I got a little excited over Hornby's announcements but that didn't last long.  I'm off social media, hardly posting here, railway looks like a bomb has hit it, wagons derailed and locos gathering dust and I've not bought anything substantive in months.

 

It's not just the railway modelling, I am struggling for mojo in general, though I have had one pick me up when an interview sparked a reaction in me that I didn't anticipate and I may have found a future career - but it's several years study away so I have to summon the strength to pursue that but for everything else it really is CBA.

 

I wouldn't say I am really depressed either, I am feeling flat and really contemplating major changes so it seems interests and social media are taking the back seat whilst I get it together possibly.

Morning Wooders. 

 

Can I suggest trying the smaller shows? 

I no longer do big shows, mainly because of all the guff that goes with it. Too big, much carnage.

Instead,  I visit smaller, local shows and gain a lot more from them. You are more likely to bump into people you know and it becomes a social thing as much as anything else. 

 

Set a radius, in my case about 50 miles. Not much to plan. Just go and enjoy. 

 

 

Rob. 

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On Thursday, February 07, 2019 at 18:07, south_tyne said:

Apologies for dragging this thread up again......

 

Well since my last posting I have certainly had an interesting few months. I hadn't been feeling well at all for a while last year and at the end of October I was rushed into hospital with a severe infection. Upshot was I spent 6 weeks in there, including a spell in intensive care.

 

Thankfully on the mend now but still recovering and rehabilitation will take a long time. 

 

It is somewhat of a cliche, but being so poorly has made me reassess things in life and take stock. Life is too short and too precious to waste it working long hours and running yourself into the ground. It's been a tough few months as you can imagine......

 

As I recover in 2019 I am going to have a fresh attitude, including to my modelling. I am going to try some new projects and have a positive mindset after a few years of malaise and lack of confidence with regard to the hobby. I have had plenty of time in recent weeks to plan and dream and as I get better I want to grasp the chance to do something with my modelling. I am sure it will be excellent for my mindset during my rehabilitation - constructive tasks to focus my mind on! 

 

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Apologies for clogging up this thread, but I have found it somewhat theraputic just to write things down. Here's to a return of my mojo, a recovery in mental and physical health, and a new lease in my modelling life over the coming months.

 

David

Morning David. 

 

Try small projects. Build things up gradually. Try not to 'over plan' things. Start, finish move on. A bit at a time. 

 

Easy for me to say, I know but I see that you pop up on a number of small layout threads that I inhabit. 

 

Starting and finishing a small shelf layout was the best thing that I have done with regards to my take on this hobby. 

 

 

Rob. 

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1 hour ago, NHY 581 said:

Morning Wooders. 

 

Can I suggest trying the smaller shows? 

I no longer do big shows, mainly because of all the guff that goes with it. Too big, much carnage.

Instead,  I visit smaller, local shows and gain a lot more from them. You are more likely to bump into people you know and it becomes a social thing as much as anything else. 

 

Set a radius, in my case about 50 miles. Not much to plan. Just go and enjoy. 

 

 

Rob. 

 

I think that's sound advice. Trips to shows further afield normally require a lot more planning and organising and I understand that this can sometimes be the cause of anxiety and problems in itself. As Rob says out, there are many advantages of smaller shows. The social aspect cannot be under-estimated; it is vital to mix with others, preferably in person, but also interacting online on a forum such as this, for our mental health. Another benefit is that they can often be visited on the spur of the moment - sometimes it is these type of trips, without needing to be meticulously planned, which give me the most pleasure.  

 

1 hour ago, NHY 581 said:

Morning David. 

 

Try small projects. Build things up gradually. Try not to 'over plan' things. Start, finish move on. A bit at a time. 

 

Easy for me to say, I know but I see that you pop up on a number of small layout threads that I inhabit. 

 

Starting and finishing a small shelf layout was the best thing that I have done with regards to my take on this hobby. 

 

 

Rob. 

 

Thanks Rob. 

 

It is definitely something I want to do. I am currently off work and recovering from what was a pretty horrific spell in hospital and it has been suggested by medical staff that I need practical projects to focus on for both my physical and mental well-being. I have never had a day off sick in my life, so you can imagine it is taking a great deal of adjusting to! Modelling is a wonderful example and planning a small layout was something that helped get me through some of the darkest days.  

 

I am a huge admirer of your small layouts. They have been an absolute inspiration to me and I am planning something similar in 7mm scale, hopefully using a couple of Lack shelves, taking on board your positive experiences. I think it should provide opportunity for a very small project, which is manageable and achievable. I love following what you are doing and if I can achieve even a half of what you have done, in terms of quality, I will be very happy. 

 

Thanks again for you message. It feels a privilege to have you input and offer advice given how much I admire your work! :happy_mini:

 

David

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2 hours ago, south_tyne said:

 

 

 

Thanks Rob. 

 

 

 

I am a huge admirer of your small layouts. They have been an absolute inspiration to me and I am planning something similar in 7mm scale, hopefully using a couple of Lack shelves, taking on board your positive experiences. I think it should provide opportunity for a very small project, which is manageable and achievable. I love following what you are doing and if I can achieve even a half of what you have done, in terms of quality, I will be very happy. 

 

Thanks again for you message. It feels a privilege to have you input and offer advice given how much I admire your work! :happy_mini:

 

David

That's extremely kind of you to say so David. Thank you. 

 

The small layout thing came out of me being in a massive rut. For a variety of reasons, the large loft layout was not progressing and was unlikely ever to get finished. 

 

Lots of stock and effort over five years or so but no end in sight and no appetite to finish. My modelling was properly bogged down and non existent.  

Therefore the hobby that was supposed to be a relief from the stresses of work and day to day life was in itself becoming stressful, adding to everything else. 

 

In due course, the loft layout was abandoned and later lifted. Totally dismantled. 

 

The building of my first small layout was really make or break. 

 

It turned out well and in twelve months I had a working layout at its first exhibition. This has led me on to two other layouts { one under construction}. 

 

Keep it simple. Set small realistic targets that are easily achievable and from which you see progress.  This will provide you with a real sense of achievement. Before long you are playing trains which is what it's all about. 

 

Outside of this, real life will throw up issues but you cam retreat to a world where things are as complicated as you let them become. 

 

Rob. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, The Johnster said:

.......though if the black dog is snapping at your heels it may well look that way to you.  But don't stop posting, mate; your stuff about fire irons was pretty good and so was the tarpaulin thread!  

 

You’re probably right, maybe being a little over sensitive in my current state  of mind.

 

I made a comment on a Hornby topic that seemed to go horribly wrong (although perhaps not as bad as it appears) I’ll probably look back on it in a few weeks time and laugh about it?

 

Thank you for your positive comments, it’s appreciated, I’m sure I’ll snap out of it

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Snap out of it when you're good and ready, not before, chuffs.  You're not being 'over sensitive', you are not well and need to give yourself a bit of slack rather than taking on board responsibility and blame for your perceived failings; trust me, this is your subconscious tripping you up because it knows the buttons to push.  We'll be happy to hear from you anytime, but if you need to take time out, take it, but come back when a bit of positivity has returned. 

 

This is (sadly) the voice of experience.  You may well have more black dog episodes, but they pass after a while and the light at the end of the tunnel isn't always an oncoming train!  Hang in there, keep ticking the boxes, and, if necessary, buy a new loco to cheer yourself up...

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14 hours ago, NHY 581 said:

That's extremely kind of you to say so David. Thank you. 

 

The small layout thing came out of me being in a massive rut. For a variety of reasons, the large loft layout was not progressing and was unlikely ever to get finished. 

 

Lots of stock and effort over five years or so but no end in sight and no appetite to finish. My modelling was properly bogged down and non existent.  

Therefore the hobby that was supposed to be a relief from the stresses of work and day to day life was in itself becoming stressful, adding to everything else. 

 

In due course, the loft layout was abandoned and later lifted. Totally dismantled. 

 

The building of my first small layout was really make or break. 

 

It turned out well and in twelve months I had a working layout at its first exhibition. This has led me on to two other layouts { one under construction}. 

 

Keep it simple. Set small realistic targets that are easily achievable and from which you see progress.  This will provide you with a real sense of achievement. Before long you are playing trains which is what it's all about. 

 

Outside of this, real life will throw up issues but you cam retreat to a world where things are as complicated as you let them become. 

 

Rob. 

 

 

 

Thanks Rob, that is really useful advice. Setting realistic, short-term goals is certainly something that would be sensible. For me, this hobby is supposed to be a release, escapism from the outside world and the moment it becomes a cause of stress or anxiety in itself then it is not worth it. I have re-assessed many aspects of life over recent months and hope to move forward in a positive manner.

 

Be assured though, your layouts have provided me with a great deal of inspiration so thank you for sharing.

 

12 hours ago, chuffinghell said:

 

You’re probably right, maybe being a little over sensitive in my current state  of mind.

 

I made a comment on a Hornby topic that seemed to go horribly wrong (although perhaps not as bad as it appears) I’ll probably look back on it in a few weeks time and laugh about it?

 

Thank you for your positive comments, it’s appreciated, I’m sure I’ll snap out of it

 

That's completely understandable. One of the things I find with the black dog, and I am sure many others do too, is that the slightest, seemingly insubstantial thing can have huge consequences on my mood and mindset. It might be a throwaway comment by someone else, my failure to complete or achieve something in everyday life, or simply something very minor going wrong......it can set me back for weeks. I suppose the key thing is the ability to recognise that it is rarely the end of the world and to work as best as possible to move forward and leave it behind. It is easier said than done, but tomorrow is always another day, a fresh start, and there is always the chance to rectify things. Try to keep positive :)

 

12 hours ago, The Johnster said:

Snap out of it when you're good and ready, not before, chuffs.  You're not being 'over sensitive', you are not well and need to give yourself a bit of slack rather than taking on board responsibility and blame for your perceived failings; trust me, this is your subconscious tripping you up because it knows the buttons to push.  We'll be happy to hear from you anytime, but if you need to take time out, take it, but come back when a bit of positivity has returned. 

 

This is (sadly) the voice of experience.  You may well have more black dog episodes, but they pass after a while and the light at the end of the tunnel isn't always an oncoming train!  Hang in there, keep ticking the boxes, and, if necessary, buy a new loco to cheer yourself up...

 

Very true. Some folk simply don't understand depression, anxiety and low mood, normally not by choice and not in a purposely insensitive way; however I think the 'snap out of it' and 'cheer up' comments and attitudes are becoming rarer as the problems of mental illness are highlighted more in the mainstream and are better understood. Johnster is right, take the right amount of time to get out of any current low. You will get there and start to climb out of it, but sometimes that takes longer than you want. Hang on in there and remember to talk to others......it nearly always helps.

 

David

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I’m feeling a little better today, thank  you for all the positive comments and show of support, it’s appreciated

 

chris

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I must admit, the black dog has certainly been dragging me down over recent days. I'm trying to remain positive, keep busy, and focus on little tasks but it has been increasingly difficult. It was the slightest thing, a really innocuous comment, that set me back last weekend but it has had a disproportionate impact on my mood this week. 

 

Posting and sharing here definitely helps. I do also find planning my new layout project therapeutic, but taking the first step to making it reality though feels almost insurmountable at the moment unfortunately. At low times I feel... "what is the point in even thinking about this"... and stop coming up with ideas, as I think I am never going to achieve anything worthwhile or productive. Silly mindset but hard to snap out of. Anxiety can be so debilitating, almost crippling in my case.

 

However, to end on a more upbeat note, a very kind word from another member of this forum earlier today has really given me a boost and I feel much better as a result. 
 

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7 hours ago, south_tyne said:

I must admit, the black dog has certainly been dragging me down over recent days. I'm trying to remain positive, keep busy, and focus on little tasks but it has been increasingly difficult. It was the slightest thing, a really innocuous comment, that set me back last weekend but it has had a disproportionate impact on my mood this week. 

 

Posting and sharing here definitely helps. I do also find planning my new layout project therapeutic, but taking the first step to making it reality though feels almost insurmountable at the moment unfortunately. At low times I feel... "what is the point in even thinking about this"... and stop coming up with ideas, as I think I am never going to achieve anything worthwhile or productive. Silly mindset but hard to snap out of. Anxiety can be so debilitating, almost crippling in my case.

 

However, to end on a more upbeat note, a very kind word from another member of this forum earlier today has really given me a boost and I feel much better as a result. 
 

As someone who has suffered from depression/anxiety  from teen years on,  I can only but sympathize with your condition. My own journey through this debilitating disease has been helped, I have found, by keeping physically active and mentally occupied. Easy to say and not too easy to put into practice I hear you say and quiet rightly so. My advice would be to start with setting achievable goals, don't embark on projects which are too complicated and over long. And, an important thing this, give yourself  credit for completing even the most trivial task, this allows you to build a sense  of things being worthwhile.

It was realised  early on that men returning from service in the Great War and who showed symptoms of  'Shell Shock' (now known as post-traumatic stress disorder P.T.S.D)  could be helped by occupation therapy, simple tasks such as basket weaving and later through self expression such as painting and poetry.

We as modelers have a head start, in so much as we have the skills, tools and materials  at hand necessary to perform our own, self administered, occupational therapy.

I can only conclude by giving my best wishes to anyone who finds them selves bedeviled by the Churchillian  'Black Dog'.

 

Guy

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On 08/03/2019 at 01:31, south_tyne said:

I must admit, the black dog has certainly been dragging me down over recent days. I'm trying to remain positive, keep busy, and focus on little tasks but it has been increasingly difficult. It was the slightest thing, a really innocuous comment, that set me back last weekend but it has had a disproportionate impact on my mood this week. 

 

Posting and sharing here definitely helps. I do also find planning my new layout project therapeutic, but taking the first step to making it reality though feels almost insurmountable at the moment unfortunately. At low times I feel... "what is the point in even thinking about this"... and stop coming up with ideas, as I think I am never going to achieve anything worthwhile or productive. Silly mindset but hard to snap out of. Anxiety can be so debilitating, almost crippling in my case.

 

However, to end on a more upbeat note, a very kind word from another member of this forum earlier today has really given me a boost and I feel much better as a result. 
 

 

Hope you're managing to keep the black dog at bay

 

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On 08/03/2019 at 10:01, Guius said:

As someone who has suffered from depression/anxiety  from teen years on,  I can only but sympathize with your condition. My own journey through this debilitating disease has been helped, I have found, by keeping physically active and mentally occupied. Easy to say and not too easy to put into practice I hear you say and quiet rightly so. My advice would be to start with setting achievable goals, don't embark on projects which are too complicated and over long. And, an important thing this, give yourself  credit for completing even the most trivial task, this allows you to build a sense  of things being worthwhile.

It was realised  early on that men returning from service in the Great War and who showed symptoms of  'Shell Shock' (now known as post-traumatic stress disorder P.T.S.D)  could be helped by occupation therapy, simple tasks such as basket weaving and later through self expression such as painting and poetry.

We as modelers have a head start, in so much as we have the skills, tools and materials  at hand necessary to perform our own, self administered, occupational therapy.

I can only conclude by giving my best wishes to anyone who finds them selves bedeviled by the Churchillian  'Black Dog'.

 

Guy

 

Hi Guy,

 

Many thanks for your kind message, for your advice and for sharing your own experiences. Setting small, achievable goals is a recurring theme and something I have really taken in board in recent times. The creative nature of railway modelling really lends itself to this. As does the fact that it keeps us occupied both physically and mentally. It can have real benefits in helping with mental illness and focusing the mind. 

 

It's interesting that you mention PTSD. I have recently been through a very serious physical illness, something that led to me being in hospital for 6 weeks and in intensive care for 2 weeks. Whilst I have been gradually been recovering physically over the last few months I have been struggling mentally. The health professionals have been keen to impress on me that PTSD is a real risk in my situation. I was so focused on recovery, particularly when in hospital and notably when in ITU, that the enormity of what has happened and what I have been through hasn't really sunk in. They have warned that it may be months or even years for the full impact to be realised, having a major impact on mental health, and this is in effect PTSA. It sounds a little melodramatic, and I feel a little embarrassed given what some folks go through, but in recent weeks I have understood that situation more and more.

 

On 12/03/2019 at 12:43, chuffinghell said:

 

Hope you're managing to keep the black dog at bay

 

 

Thanks for your message chuffinghell - I'm having a better week thank you. Still some low moments but generally feeling more positive. 

 

I hope you continue to feel a little better too :)

 

Thank you again to everyone and keep on sharing,

David

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11 hours ago, south_tyne said:

It sounds a little melodramatic, and I feel a little embarrassed given what some folks go through,

Not melodramatic at all, David, and no need to be embarrassed given what some folks go through!  This is your problem, affecting you, and nothing can be gained from your comparing it to other folk, your perception of whatever is affecting them, or how well or otherwise they are dealing with it.  Only you can assess the impact your problem is having on you, and to you it is probably the worst aspect of your life right now, and that's not being melodramatic!!!

 

If the full impact of your physical illness is not yet fully appreciated, your misgivings about the future are not unreasonable; you don't know yet how bad it might get.  It might, of course, not be as bad as you think, especially as you are probably thinking the worst so as to prepare yourself for whatever eventually does happen.

 

You are doing well, mate, ticking the right boxes and thinking rationally about the situation, so you can give yourself as much credit as you can for that.  As your understanding of your situation improves, even if the situation is not good, your doubts about it will be removed and you will be better able to cope in the mental sense.  You have already done what seems to be some pretty good groundwork for this, and I assure this will pay off!

 

Keep ticking the boxes and give the black dog a kicking for me.  All the best!!!

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Just now, The Johnster said:

Not melodramatic at all, David, and no need to be embarrassed given what some folks go through!  This is your problem, affecting you, and nothing can be gained from your comparing it to other folk, your perception of whatever is affecting them, or how well or otherwise they are dealing with it.  Only you can assess the impact your problem is having on you, and to you it is probably the worst aspect of your life right now, and that's not being melodramatic!!!

 

If the full impact of your physical illness is not yet fully appreciated, your misgivings about the future are not unreasonable and most certainly not melodramatic; you don't know yet how bad it might get.  It might, of course, not be as bad as you think, especially as you are probably thinking the worst so as to prepare yourself for whatever eventually does happen.

 

You are doing well, mate, ticking the right boxes and thinking rationally about the situation, so you can give yourself as much credit as you can for that.  As your understanding of your situation improves, even if the situation is not good, your doubts about it will be removed and you will be better able to cope in the mental sense.  You have already done what seems to be some pretty good groundwork for this, and I assure this will pay off!

 

Keep ticking the boxes and give the black dog a kicking for me.  All the best!!!

 

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On 14/03/2019 at 14:45, The Johnster said:

Not melodramatic at all, David, and no need to be embarrassed given what some folks go through!  This is your problem, affecting you, and nothing can be gained from your comparing it to other folk, your perception of whatever is affecting them, or how well or otherwise they are dealing with it.  Only you can assess the impact your problem is having on you, and to you it is probably the worst aspect of your life right now, and that's not being melodramatic!!!

 

If the full impact of your physical illness is not yet fully appreciated, your misgivings about the future are not unreasonable; you don't know yet how bad it might get.  It might, of course, not be as bad as you think, especially as you are probably thinking the worst so as to prepare yourself for whatever eventually does happen.

 

You are doing well, mate, ticking the right boxes and thinking rationally about the situation, so you can give yourself as much credit as you can for that.  As your understanding of your situation improves, even if the situation is not good, your doubts about it will be removed and you will be better able to cope in the mental sense.  You have already done what seems to be some pretty good groundwork for this, and I assure this will pay off!

 

Keep ticking the boxes and give the black dog a kicking for me.  All the best!!!

 

Thank you very much Johnster, your message means a lot. 

 

It is important to look forward and realise that, as bad as things are and have been in recent months, I am making progress and will hopefully get there.

 

One thing I really have learnt through this experience is that we must take pleasure in the small things in life - things like this hobby of ours. At the end of the day, all we are doing is playing with toy trains but if that gives us a release and escape from difficult times then that is so important. 

 

Thank you to all for your support. 

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1 hour ago, south_tyne said:

One thing I really have learnt through this experience is that we must take pleasure in the small things in life - things like this hobby of ours. At the end of the day, all we are doing is playing with toy trains but if that gives us a release and escape from difficult times then that is so important.  

Oscar Wilde said, "All art is quite useless", meaning that it is the "pointless" things that give us pleasure, which is why they ARE important.

Best wishes,

Rob

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Hello darkness my old friend. Taken a knockback with my Roundhouse live steam kit lately and its hit my mojo a little. All assembled, timings set up and part of the bodywork done, only to find steam leaks at the cylinder heads requiring a replacement gasket. I wouldn't normally be so bothered but its been a to get right.

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I feel your pain

 

I have days sometimes weeks even months like this, hence why my layout is built in bits and farts fits and starts

 

I find that if I take a step (or two) back away from the darkness and leave it for a while I can come back to it fresh and a solution presents itself..........enabling me to kick the darkness in the gonads

 

Chris

 

 

 

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'I've come to talk with you again'

 

Keep ticking the boxes and don't blame yourself for a kit that won't go together properly without a bit of faffing, mate.  

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Many moons since I last popped in. Bless you all on here. About three years ago I was having a really #### time and someone on RMW told me about Tai Chi. There just happened to be sessions run, at that time by the U3A and it was local. I had just enough ba11s to go and make myself go for a few weeks and then I realised how good it was for my head. The 'Master' helped as he is such a good bloke and the other participants were lovely folk, mostly quite mature as it was U3A. I am still going and make myself do it sometimes when a little voice says, nah!

Agoraphobia is very often part and parcel of the Dog days and it can be hell trying to overcome that, but if you can and you could find a good class nearby then give it a try. OK I was on Sertraline at that time, probably a bit spaced out too and that was awful for about 4 months until I got used to it. However I have weaned myself off that very slowly and have not had that need for over 6 months now.  I do not like being reliant on chemicals.

Something else that is rarely prescribed by GPs that are overworked and overwhelmed most of the time, is some sort of Green Gym. My SWMBO is a Support Volunteer at a local group that does horticulture at our local Nature Reserve. The 'Volunteers' (Clients) are mostly referred by someone in the NHS and that can be a GP as our local ones have been 'trained'. Supported work outside such as that is also something I was doing back then as well. It was very helpful but I have stopped that as I now find the physical side of it quite difficult due to my physical 'problems'. 

Hope you don't mind me dropping these ideas in and maybe not for the first time, but if it helps just one of you get benefit by trying something like this then that's great.

Sincerely,

Phil

  • Friendly/supportive 5

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