by Robert Johnson

Now when I remember, the storm of emotions pulls my body into a loop and I am able to relive everything. However, I am out of the storm – at least not totally caught. I did many things to get over depression and forget the bad feeling that was following my every step.

The story started when I realized that I was suffering from depression and needed help. Many wrong doctors then right medicines and good psychotherapy helped me feel better after months. Since my life was completely changed during that period, every single change felt as much of a challenge as flying a plane. But, one change I’ll never regret.

My good friend, who knew of my troubles, advised me to find a hobby. Knowing how difficult is to start doing something, I racked my brain for weeks to think of what I could do, until one day, the same friend suggested starting woodworking as therapy.

Me and woodworking? Nah! That was my answer. I will never forget the first tools I got from her and an unshaped piece that needed a form. She wanted shelves for her house, showed me one DIY video and wanted me to make it for her.

And I started. That very moment will stay with me the whole life and what I learned is that ‘never say no’ is very good advice. I fall in love with wood and wood gave back. I learned a lot from it and many people can do so, too.

What you can learn from woodworking:

  • Some things are hard to brush. The wood is so. But after you brush it, the shape is eternal and can make everybody happy. So, do not give up on a first obstacle and a first hardwood to be processed.
  • Details give you a sense of living. The process of woodworking can show you how important is to pay attention to the details and enjoy every single step of the woodworking process.
  • Live at the moment. If you look backwards or look too far forward in the future, the moment is lost. If you don’t stop to enjoy the smell of a processed wood before you paint it, you miss that moment forever.

When times get difficult, here are some useful tips to get over those dark times:

  • If you feel like giving up, just take a break. Do a simple project to get your confidence back.
  • If you lose sight of the point and higher purpose, just try to get the most from the moment. Take that piece of wood and smell it. Enjoy the smell and do only that. Some days, that’s enough.

Is it simple? No way. But it is worth trying and I guarantee that it will help you see the light again.

Robert has interviewed CPTSD/PTSD sufferers, who are using woodworking as therapy, and they describe how it improved their creativity, helps them live with confusion and anger, and has improved their confidence. You can read the interview here.

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