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Anim Remembers Who He Is


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"Life sucks and then you die."  It was an important lesson.  One Anim had learned many times.  Yet he still forgot; and the blows had come quickly once his guard was down.  The pit had been dark, and climbing out had taken longer than it should have.  He had slipped again upon realizing how he had driven away his temporary companion.  His mask had slipped, revealing some of the damage beneath, and she was unready.  Anim couldn't blame her for that - he didn't like the person behind the mask either.

But that was why he had to continue forward, until the mask became unnecessary.  The scars were healing, even the ones that had reopened, but that was a slow process.  He would just have to live with them until it finished.  And grow strong enough to bear the ones that remained necessary.

"Life sucks and then you die."  But a God of Death didn't get the luxury of that end.  And there was too much still to do.  The darkness inside him whispered temptations, but Anim started forward again.  He hadn't started on this path to seek his own comfort; he was pursuing something that actually mattered.

 

 

It's been a rough couple of months.  The reasons aren't my stories to tell, but essentially a series of unrelated events reminded me just how terrible this reality can be.  Then my depression tried to reclaim me and I lost my emotional balance while fighting it back.  Turns out that's a really bad thing when trying to start a relationship, especially with someone who has no experience with it.  That failure didn't help matters.

 

I'm bouncing back faster than previous bouts, but I'm still recovering and making adjustments.  So for the moment, I'm focused on getting back into my good habits and making visible progress on some easier tasks for confidence boosters.  I'm also revisiting some projects that helped in the past.

 

Don't expect this to be a pleasant journey.  I can't make myself happy and relying on others never works well.  My continued existence relies on embracing a series of harsh truthes.  Everytime I forget them, reality finds away to remind me.  I also don't want pity, or even sympathy.  This is my choice and the consequences are mine.  There are probably better ways to handle this, but I stand by my decision.

 

I'll try to become more amusing as I get back to my regular shenanigans.  :friendly_wink:

 

 

In the interest of flexibility, my goals this time around are going to be more like guidelines, with no requirements:

-Diet and Exercise:  trying to get back to my pre-depression waistline for costumes.  SDCC is in two weeks and Dragoncon is Labor Day weekend.

-Costumes:  I'm still working on Alphonse (pictures to come), and want to make updates to a few others, if I have time.  See timeline above.  :playful:

-Stories:  I'm trying to get back into writing on the stories my college roommate and I started.  They're fairly involved, and he had the lead on world building, so it's even slower than my normal.  At the moment, I'm writing a pseudo-epilogue and reworking our outlines to restart the main story.  I'll post more details in a later post.

-Contacts:  In an attempt to better understand my stunted emotions, I'm trying to be more open with them.  This thread is part of that attempt, as I normally don't talk about my depression (I have long time friends who were surprised by it).  I'm also trying to reconnect with old friends (who knew me at my worst) to see where we stand and keep in touch better.  To be clear, this isn't a "safety net."  Relying on others has never worked for me.  I'm trying to better understand what triggers my emotions, so I can better balance them when life starts throwing punches again.

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Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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Okay, sharing stuff...  

Let's start with stories.  My college roommate was an aspiring writer and fellow roleplayer.  We shared a lot of story ideas, but the biggest one revolved around a pair of avatar characters, who happened to be college roommates.  The setting was inspired by modern day Portland, OR (where we went to school), with elements from various chat-RPs he played.  Most notable is the addition of elves, dwarves, and various anthro-races (EG cat/dog/bear/etc -people).  The story followed a self-decribed "obnoxiously heroic protagonist" who got caught up in a series of adventurers that ultimately took him across the multiverse, before he managed to get home and stop a demonic invasion.  And his crazy, antisocial roommate, who was always ready with the most violently plausible solution.

 

We only finished the first two chapters, but created a bunch of short stories set within and after the main story.  I've got plenty more to say on the matter, as it's still one of my favorite story worlds, but I'd prefer to avoid spoilers.

 

If you're interested, chapter1 and chapter2 are on google docs.  Keep in mind both were written over a decade ago, and somethings may be adjusted to better work with the story as it moves forward.  Feel free to comment, if you see anything that needs editing.  I've started chapter3, but like I said, it's slow going.  And I may just change everything, if I can think of a better way to do it. :playful:

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Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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Depression is such a bitch. UGH. And I am always amazed at how easy it is for other people to NOT see it when it seems so obvious when you are the one going through it. Being more open with things does sound like a way to try and figure out how to make things work for you so crossing fingers you are able to find your way to get in a better place emotionally!

 

Following along to be an ear to listen!

 

And yay writing!

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I've always been good at hiding what I'm feeling, so it's only people who know what to look for who realize when I'm depressed.  I also have the problem of being fairly empathic, so I mirror the emotions around me, often without realizing the source.  When I realized that I was never sure which emotions were mine and which I just happened to pickup, I learned to just turn them off.  Which made it even more difficult for most people to tell what's going on in my head...

 

A decade like that seriously stunted my growth, but I doubt I would have survived without it.  I haven't had an overtly suicidal thought in 6 years though, so I'm overdue to start opening up more.  I'm hoping that with enough experience, I'll be able to tell the difference between what I'm feeling and what's just environmental (for lack of a better word).

 

 

And to completely change the subject:  Costume progress!

35738979801_211e672661_z.jpg35829862356_051ac8b121_z.jpg

34233564576_57eb8cabda_z.jpg

 

Next step is attaching the torso to the backpack so I can start building a frame to support the arms.  And figure out how I'm attaching the thighes.

 

I also need to build the head, hands, and new kneecaps.

 

Then final shaping, filling, sanding, priming, and painting on everything.

 

The orange on the torso is craft foam to cover the holes where I put the magnets that hold the chest and back together.

  • Like 4

Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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I want to participate in the current mini, especially since I have no idea what's going to happen next.  But last week was stupid busy and I've already done the second part.  And this week is ComiCon!  So excited!  I don't have any new costumes, but I'll be reusing my most fun ones that'll fit in a suitcase.  Plus my friend turns 30 the day it starts, so his wife and I have been planning surprises for him.  Did I mention I was excited?

 

 

Going back to the mini-challenge, since I'm making an effort to open up more:

My depression started sometime during 9th grade.  My suicidal tendencies grew slowly, so I'm not sure when I started to seriously consider it.  The desire only grew during college, and after, when I was living in my parents basement working minimum wage retail.  I kept it well hidden from everyone but my closest friends (who are the only reason I'm still alive) when I joined the military and moved across the country.  The one time I tried talking to my family about it, I was told to shut up.

 

It was not a good time for me.  But I did do a lot of thinking, trying to figure out the (as the mini puts it) my answer to life, the universe, and everything.  Mostly I was just trying to decide if existence is worth the effort.

 

But ultimately I did come to my answer.  I don't exist for myself, I'm here to protect the people I care about.  There aren't many of them, but they're each worth everything I've been through and will ever have to go through.  I don't have to be a good person, I don't even have to like myself, as long as I can be useful to them.  It's also the reason I'm trying to get in better shape, physically and mentally.  I can't help anyone if I stay a weak, pathetic shut-in.

 

I haven't seriously considered suicide since coming to this conclusion in the summer of 2011, so it seems to be sticking.  I still have my fights with depression, but it no longer has the same power over me.  Even this most recent bout only managed to knock me off my pace.  So I'm making progress, and as long as I remember why I'm here, I'll keep making progress.  And my introspection hasn't stopped, I have to constantly reexamine myself to make sure I'm still on track.  I'm currently developing a set of rules for living with myself, to hopefully make things easier.

 

 

I'm not sure how comfortable I am sharing all this (even with most of the details removed), so I'll keep it here for now.  I've got to start somewhere though.

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Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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Wow, those [fish] are super dead. I still like you, though. Shame on the family for not being supportive, but I'm glad you found your answer, and that it seems to be helping.

 

I sense that you're somewhat excited about ComiCon, but I can't quite tell. :) Alphonse is coming along, though, great to see more progress pictures!

Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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Planning surprise parties are so exciting! :)

 

Loving how the Alphonse is coming along and that story sounds entertaining. 

 

Also, even though it is a difficult task, thank you for sharing your experience and process. I can't understand what it's like but I'll also offer you my support. 

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On 7/17/2017 at 3:20 PM, Manarelle said:

That's a good description of how depression feels.  It's not my exact experience, but everyone's different.  In my case, I never really stopped feeling, I just stopped feeling anything positive.  I could turn off my emotions, but eventually they'd get turned back on again.  I'm still not sure if I prefer feeling only sadness and isolation or feeling nothing at all.  Thankfully, it's not a decision I have to make anymore.

 

One of the biggest things I've realized about depression is that you can't really understand it unless you've been through it.  Those who haven't just can't wrap their head around it, and most aren't willing to try (it's too depressing :playful: ).

 

 

And I'm really happy with how Alphonse is turning out.  I've still got a lot of work to do, but he's shaping up nicely.  He's currently on hold while I do last minute stuff for ComiCon, but there will be more updates next week. :smile-new:

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Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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ComiCon was both fun and disappointing.  Most of the fun I had was stuff I could have done at any convention and all of the disappointing stuff came back to disagreeing with their scheduling policies.  So it was worth doing once, but I don't see myself going back.  Of course, that's the same thing I said after my first DragonCon, and this will be my 5th year there. :playful:

 

Major disappointments:

-To get into any of the big panels, you had to wait in line 8-12hrs, then sit in the same room all day until the panel you wanted to see.  If you left you lost your seat.  People literally camped out in line (tents and sleeping bags) starting before the Con closed the day before.

-To get into the smaller panels, you had to get in line hours before hand and hope you got a seat inside before it started.

-We didn't get into a single panel all weekend.  Admittedly, I didn't try for many, but I still normally make a couple.

 

Minor annoyances:

-The cosplay seemed lacking compared to other conventions.

-The Convention Center staff was incredibly inconsistent about what their rules were and how they were enforced.  Especially about where you were allowed to sit/take a break.  And we seemed to keep getting the short stick on their decisions.  "You can't stand there; you're blocking the 50ft wide doorway.  Go sit blocking the emergency stairwell."  Yet somehow the people who sprawled out to have lunch right after we moved are fine...  "I'll talk to them in a minute."

 

Personal highlights:

-Picked up a couple of convention exclusive Gundam models and a sticker/avatar for my new laptop.

-Went to a party hosted by the guy who played Rufio in Hook.

-Watched friends get some convention exclusives signed by one of their favorite artists, while dressed as one of his characters (Skottie Young - Gertrude from I Hate Fairyland)

-Saw Adam Savage while waiting in line for his panel; buddy got a high-five.

-Found a great people watching spot in a glass walled stairwell 15 or 20ft above the main entrance/walkway.

-Found the last issue I was missing from the 2014 Nightcrawler comics.

-Met the artist of that comic, got it signed, and picked up one of his original watercolors.  (Under the disappointments list: not doing so while dressed as Nightcrawler and forgetting to bring my Nightcrawler #1 with Stan Lee signature to get signed as well.  But those just would have made the experience better.)

 

 

I'll get pictures posted over the next week or so, but I've been distracted recently by Chester Bennington's suicide.  I didn't hear about it until Saturday night and spent a good chunk of Sunday holed up in a stairwell people watching while I worked my mind around it.  It's always hard to learn that someone's lost their battle with depression.  And this one hit close to home for me, as his music helped me through so many of my own low points.  It always made me feel less alone to know there were other people who felt the same as I was.  Somewhere I Belong has been my favorite song from the first time I heard it.  A lot of my goals and views have been shaped by the imagery in that song.  And everytime I listen, I find something new to enjoy, depending on my current mood and mental state.

 

I'm sad that he's gone, for a bunch of reasons.  I wish I had had a chance to see him perform.  I wish I could still look forward to his new music.  I wish that knowing how many lives he had touched had helped him more.  But I also understand that living with depression is a constant battle and sometimes you can't see anything else.  So I hope that he's found something better.  And I'll continue to enjoy the music he's left behind and that of those he's inspired.

 

 

Also, to whichever dumbass lawyer released the "don't let a temporary emotion cause a permanent tragedy" commercial:  save your empty platitudes and go fuck yourself.  I've been depressed for over half my life, so this isn't a temporary emotion and how I deal with it is my choice.  Just because my brain works differently doesn't mean you get to decide there's something wrong with me.  And since you obviously have no idea what you're talking about, just keep your mouth shut.  (To everyone else:  sorry for the rant.  I'd be more direct with my response, if he'd been man enough to give his own contact info.)

  • Like 5

Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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OH HELLO. I'm glad to see you challenging again. So sorry to hear you were going through such a tough time, but it is always nice to see that people persevere and come back to us after all. *hugs*

 

What con are you wearing Alphonse for? The shots you shared looked really great. 

 

I've never been to one myself, but hear a lot about crazy lines. Your checklist of things you actually got to do is pretty great, though! RUFIOOOO! 

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Raptron, alot assassin

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Rufio rufio!! That's neat!

 

It sounds like Comicon was about as much of a clusterF as it sounded like it would be. Like, I'd love to go but also like...I want to be able to go to panels and not wait there for a day to get in, y'know?! I'm thinking I might go to one of the smaller local Comicons (They've done a Central Coast comicon at least a few times which is right where I am and much smaller. Of course this also means much less stuff going on there and less panels and people and stuff so I dunno!)

 

I am so sad about Chester Bennington and I can imagine for you as someone currently going through depression it's a lot to think about and process. Side-note: I am so royally pissed off about all the posts I see around about how it was "selfish" --for serious those people clearly don't understand depression and are just being enormous douche-bags when they say shit like that.

 

I am excited to see pictures when you get around to posting them! :D

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Just found your thread, although it is already almost the end of the challenge.

 

The costumes look great! Can't wait to see Alphonse when it is finished

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Great pictures, body paint is always hard to get right, but you did an amazing job (and no, I'm not biased because Nightcrawler is awesome). Those lines sound ridiculous. I'd be rather put out if I paid to get into a con and had to spend the whole day (and night) in a line for one panel. Glad there were some positives there! 

 

As with so many issues, it's super easy to see " logic" from the outside when you're not the one having to deal with it. Rant away. 

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

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Finished the torso frame tonight:

36188577611_22cd28d3fd_z.jpg  35928764660_d5cf94800e_z.jpg

It's made from 1x3 lumber and ziptied to a hiking frame, so I can wear it like a backpack.

 

Still need to attach the stomach piece and decide if the back needs more harness points.  Then I get to figure out how I'm hanging the arms.

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Anim07734; God of Death in Training

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Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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SO cool!

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36344880381_c22a054a9d_z.jpg

Currently scrambling to finish in time for the convention, so this may be my last update for a while.

 

On the plus side, that entire rig only weights ~12lb.  There's still a lot missing (head, hands, shoulder pads, fabric joints, electronics, etc).  But even with all that, I'm not really concerned about weight anymore.

 

If I do manage to post any more pictures, I'll start a thread in the current challenge for them.  Also: how did this challenge pass so quickly???

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Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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That only weighs 12lbs? I would have expected it to be a lot heavier. 

 

 

11 minutes ago, Anim07734 said:

Also: how did this challenge pass so quickly???

 

I was thinking the same thing!

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2018: 1.18 l  2.18 l 3.18 l 4.18 l 5.18 l 6.18 l 7.18

2017: 1.17 I 2.17 I 3.17 I 4.17 I 5.17 l 6.17 l 7.17 l 8.17 I 9.17 l 10.17  

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2012: 1 2013: 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6 l 7 l 8 2014: 9 l 10 l Not Done Yet l Time to Conquer l  Conquering 

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5 hours ago, Jonesy said:

That only weighs 12lbs? I would have expected it to be a lot heavier. 

 

You can kind of see it in the earlier pictures, but each piece is hollow.  They're held together with nylon strapping and plastic buckles.  So there's really not a whole lot to it.

 

I was a little surprised by how little it amounted to, but I had previously weighed those giant forearm pieces at 1.1lb each.  So most of that weight is probably the aluminum backpack and the wood support frame.  That said, I do have a fair amount to add in fabric for all of the joints and the hands, so we'll see how much that adds up to.

Anim07734; God of Death in Training

Tiefling Assassin and Artificer

 

Maxim 70: Failure is not an option. It is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do.

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