@IronStylus A Q&A about your life

First Riot Post
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kirume

Member

06-19-2013

Have you ever felt that the champions you design are not perfect/acceptable?

What champion do you think is flawless in the design way?

Beside the armor girls, what is your ideal champion you want to design?


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Texan Puck

Senior Member

06-19-2013

So this isn't exactly a question, but more of a thank you for the endless entertainment you guys at Riot have provided me the past 2 years, and the future entertainment I will be having with League...though I don't know if I will be able to play at Basic in a few months... :'(
I should probably look into that...


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Sithishade

Junior Member

06-19-2013

Two questions for one of my favorite Rioters!

One: If you were given the opportunity to change or alter any current champion's art design, in a way large or small, which champion would you like to change and what would you like to do to that champion?

Two: Any new news on Sunbathing Leona? I'm so excited for this skin!


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TSM KawaiiSenpai

Senior Member

06-19-2013

Q:hey parrot i dont know what to do with my life ever since i started playing league my life has gone to **** i dont know what to do.


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IronStylus

Sr. Concept Artist

06-19-2013
32 of 40 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livevil88 View Post
not your field but you're my favorite rioter so i thought id ask.... I've been struggling with severe depression recently (wont say to the point of suicidal, but wont deny it either...) and was wondering if you had any life tips for getting through tough times.

sorry if its too dark for your thread but i thought reading something from someone i respected would carry more weight
Oh my.. Gunna skip to this one while it's fresh. I'll come back to other questions later..

So yeah. Story time.

If you haven’t noticed, I can be an emotional person. Part of this is a great benefit I feel. I think I’m able to empathize, I feel I can understand and anticipate human behavior, as well as connect with people very well. However, often, ones greatest strength can be a person’s greatest weakness. My emotions can get ahold of me. They can control me quite intensely, and I have a history of struggling with my emotions in a variety of ways.

My family, on my father’s side has a big history of anxiety and depression. So much so that a story goes that apparently my grandmother once woke herself out heavy anesthesia during an operation and had to be put under with a heavier dose twice. She was notoriously restless, and that certainly manifested in my father and I.

I didn’t know how much my father struggled with depression and anxiety until after i graduated high school. He’s an emotional, empathetic, and passionate person as well, so he and I have a lot of similarities by default. It wasn't until after I had gone through a severe and toxic relationship with a girlfriend that I finally saw how my genetics, pre-dispositions and behaviors could manifest in crisis mode.

Senior year of college I was engaged in a terrible relationship. It was emotionally abusive, it was toxic, and I was way too naive to properly cope with just how damaging this other person was. By the end of the whole affair, I had gone from naturally very stressed out due to a relationship ending, to complete full blown clinical depression and severe crippling anxiety after all was said and done. Never before had I felt so much emotional pain in my life. This wasn’t so much the pain of breaking off a relationship, as it was being fully entrenched in a biological rut, once cognitive, now was chemical.

Clinical depression, combined with my family history, and newly emerging understanding of my general elevated anxiety, threw me completely out of control. I nearly dropped out of school, and over a number of breaks, went home to seek counseling. I was put on SSRI’s by my psychiatrist, and went to regular therapy sessions. I began to practice Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which in conjunction with medication or alone, has proven extremely successful in helping patients with depression and anxiety.

I learned a lot about myself during this bout. I learned that I did indeed have generalized anxiety disorder, but that it was being exacerbated by the chemical imbalances. I might have been fully manic-depressive at one point and was put on mood stabilizers. .

Medication, therapy, CBT, all helped stabilize me and help me start the excruciating climb back to normality. It was the most gut wrenching thing I had ever experienced. I felt constantly as if my mind wanted to vomit. I would cry, convulse, and scream . I was never suicidal, but as people often in the midst of depression might also relate, is that your mind is simply fixated on not wanting the pain that it has managed to mire itself in. I never wanted to end my life, but I certainly didn't want to feel so irrationally pain-stricken and sick.

My parents were immensely important during this time. One thing when feeling depressed that I so very much hated, was some of the external feedback i felt from others. The last thing you want to hear when you’re depressed is something along the lines of “cheer up!” or, “it’ll all be just fine!”. There’s even the “Well, why are you sad?” questions. Which further reinforced to me that what I was feeling was something extremely alien to anyone who hadn’t experienced it first-hand. My parents however were there in just the right capacity. They’re approach can simply be boiled down to saying “We’re here.” Not, “Oh it’ll get better!” , but, “We’re here with you, we recognize how much pain you’re in, and we’ll help you in any way we can. Remember, you are not alone.”

That was a huge anchor provided by them and my friends. There was never a “cheer up” effort, there was never even a desire on their point to probe, question, or try to solve. They simply understood that being with me, assuring me that I was not going to be a victim of my own brain forever, meant so much. They didn't belittle me, they didn’t patronize me, they simply were there.

At this time i also began a strict exercise routine. I ran, a lot. I ran when I was feeling angry, I ran when I was feeling down, I simply ran to create some sort of structure in my life which felt completely out of control to me at the time. What I found out about myself was that when i lacked structure, or routine, I was vulnerable. I needed to create landmarks for myself. I needed to slowly lay foundation. I needed to throw down beams in the sinking sand that was my brain, to slowly start to reconstruct my mental landscape.

Exercise, therapy, CBT, doing art, all helped me re-establish structure. It’s so very important to try to create those pillars. I know it’s difficult, because the last thing you feel like doing is exerting any sort of effort. But without structure, without helping to form new mental routines and healthy pathways, I feel the mind can’t make systematic headway to recovery. At least not without a lot of frustration.

Depression to me is like carving into the same block of wood, over and over, in the same trench. That trench eventually becomes so deep, and so raw, you have no ability to avoid falling into it. Slowly though, you have to carve new paths, new small trenches, even if they're just scratching the surface of that wood at first. The more repetition, the more they will be able to be notched into by your tools. They will become healthy habits which will allow you to avoid that one, terrible, deep trench.

Practices such as those brought me to recovery. They put me in a place where I was able to look forward at my life and not see some dark tunnel. Recovery is very much like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s such a stupid metaphor, but its appropriate. As soon as I felt as though I had something byond this morass in front of me, I felt as though I wasn’t somehow doomed, or trapped. Once recovery begins, it becomes easier and easier as you climb out.

This doesn’t mean however that that old, deep, trench disappears. I feel that we always keep the mental pathways that we create, but they can fill in a bit, or heal. I still slip back into what's left of that trench from time to time. It's terrifying, but accepting that it’s there, treating it as a known, is extremely important. I can look over my experience and understand that if I ever find myself in a similar mental state, there will be a point where I will bottom out, that I will be able to climb up from there, and that I have a route I can trust, which i have tried, which I can use to reach recovery again.

My biggest point of advice is to learn to be comfortable with yourself and your depression. When we injure ourselves, we can’t turn our attention from the wound. We can’t tuck it away like it didn’t happen, we can’t deny pain, and we can’t keep it unattended because it will get infected. When we are physically wounded we dress the wound, we care for it, we sooth it, and we wait for it to heal. Depression is similar I feel. The wound is there, we have to recognize it and understand that it's part of us, that we don’t have to be ashamed, and that we need to care for it with the same amount of treatment as we’d show any physical harm.

Shame factors into depression and mental illness greatly I feel. People are afraid to admit they're feeling emotionally vulnerable. Understandably. But without intimately getting to know yourself, to understand your mind, you can’t properly pull yourself out of it. Reconciling with your feelings, your pain, your struggle, is imperative. Forgiving yourself for feeling the way you do, not being ashamed of how you feel is a step I feel cannot be ignored.

From then on relationships, helpful and understanding relationships, are so very helpful. Surrounding yourself not with necessarily positive people, but the right type of people who know that all they have to do is be present. Whether it’s to listen, to distract, or just to be. Isolation is such a damaging aspect of depression, and the more you can enlist others’ help, you can share the burden, and the better you’ll be able to cope.

Exercise, diet, healthy living in general is paramount. Getting outside your head is what you want to accomplish. The myopia of depression is oppressive. It’s so clouding. You have to be able to get up, get outside, to get out of your mental space. Physical space very much affects mental space. Changing that physical space, especially to one that’s outdoors, is extremely helpful. Changing your environment can change your mood.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Google it. Learn about it. It starts with journaling your feelings, and then it asks that you recognize the cognitive distortions which are causing the prism of depression and anxiety to warp how you’re interpreting the world. It’s easy to do, it’s extremely helpful in, again, pulling your inner self out, and putting it on paper to observe objectively, outside of your head. Writing out your feelings, your distortions and your corrections will help slow the franticness that depression tends to cause in the mind. You’re slowing the thought process, cooling the fever, by physically writing and observing your thoughts. Eventually you’ll be able to practice it second nature, without writing. I do this constantly. If I’m worrying, I have to think about what I’m feeling, isolate how I’m distorting my feelings, state the reality, and then correct my perception along the lines of objective reality. This is immensely helpful, though feels really awkward to do at first.

Medication is also an option. Mental illness is just that. It’s illness. It’s not “crazy”. Illness isn’t anything insurmontable. Illness is a cold, a flu, but also depression, and anxiety. Sometimes they last, sometimes they come and go quickly. But the need to treat any illness with the respect it deserves is paramount. I went on antidepressants for a long time, and eventually stopped after a few years. I still take mood stabilizers mainly because I want to be very careful in how i taper off. I also take some anti-anxiety medication for sleep and when I have really bad bouts or panic attacks. It’s not a panacea, but it is another tool in my first aid kit of mental health. It’s one part of a multi faceted approach to maintaining my mental balance. It’s different for everyone, but medication is something that can be useful so long as you’ve gotten the right diagnosis and treatment from a psychiatrist you trust. I explicitly will not endorse medication as it’s HIGHLY subjective and very case-by-case, but it was part of my recovery.

Something to keep in mind, for anyone going through depression. You are not and have never been alone. Millions of people have gone through something similar. They have gone down into that trench, but they’ve come back up. Anyone having experienced depression can always empathize with someone who’s also made the journey. I wasn’t quite the same after iI got outt of it. In a way I’m sad about that, I feel as though I may have lost a little something, but I’m also proud that I managed to get past something so intense, and that i was able to understand myself better afterwards. I’m always so glad to know others have or do feel the same, that they’ve made a journey too, and that we have a connection because of that.

Something my father always tells me, and was especially true when i was going through my severe bout, was that: “Emotions are not reality.” We as humans have the ability to channel and shape our emotions. Those emotions then help dictate how we experience reality. If we can shape our emotions positively, to remain mindful of how we are feeling, to treat our minds and feelings with respect, that we can shape our cognitive functions to serve us, and aid us, rather than sabotage us, which is what I felt like my mind was doing during my depression.

Creating new behaviors which help to shape our perceptions, and therefore our emotions, is something within our grasp. It’s something that takes time to do. But it can be done. We can adjust and adapt our cognitive behavior. We can make our emotions reflect our reality, which is often times much better than what’s in our injured mind at the time.

Remember to take your time. A struggle is only a struggle when you’re forcing something. It’s in our nature, yes, to “fight back”, but sometimes all that force we exert is equally met by resistance. Give yourself credit, leeway, and time. Allow yourself to feel everything you’re going to feel, but actively seek to create new positive behaviors, and new correct cognitive pathways. This approach isn’t actually taking full force to the depression itself, it’s circumventing it, bypassing it, to build a new path in a way out that’s not necessarily up, but around.

All the best to you. Take your time. Seek others to help you, work towards making new paths. Don’t feel ashamed or alone. You’re not. You never were, and you never will be.


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Uke Yordle

Senior Member

06-19-2013

^ you just became my favorite red with that response

can we be friends ?

im potty trained

not gonna lie i actually cried a little as well


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NotBuzzJack

Senior Member

06-19-2013

Oh gosh Ironstylus just ulted.


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Coldmanj

Senior Member

06-19-2013

that was quite inspirational, i have gone through tough times myself, and i mean tough... this is some great advice and great words of wisdom.


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Uke Yordle

Senior Member

06-19-2013

im gonna give this nudge, that post by stylus is .. well read it


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Fajita Milkshake

Member

06-19-2013

Nothing to do with GD.
Damiya, please do your job and move this to off-topic.