Sozzals
Hi folks

Today I’m joined by Michaka, aka Michakalakalaka. Michaka is from the Excalibur era of Pyran where he joined our ranks as a sexy orc warlock.  Thank you for agreeing to chat to me today.

Michaka
No problem at all

Sozzals
Tell us about Michaka then. If you were to describe yourself in three words. What would those words be?

Michaka
I don’t really believe a person can be described in 3 words, doesn’t make for much of a 3 dimensional character if you can be.

But in a nutshell I suppose I might be able to be described as very genuine, if anything really.

Sozzals
I was expecting a much more rude answer than that. #disappointed

Tell us about all the places you’ve been so far, where you’re from, where you’ve lived where you are now.

Michaka
What can I say, I’ve been humbled as of late!

Well, I’m from Sweden, even though I haven’t spent an awful lot of time there in the past couple years. Spent a year living in Southend, UK. The year after living in Valencia, Spain.
Now I’ve “settled down” with another Pyran-eer in Rotterdam.

Sozzals
That other Pyran member we know and love as Hertog. Omg you guys make such a sexy couple. Tell us how it came to be.
Start at the beginning – tell us how you ended up in Pyran.

Michaka
I was living in Spain, mostly playing League of Legends at the time, but as most of you know, if you’ve even as much as touched that game, it’s a toxic piece of gnome-poo. So I decided to look for something else to spend my time on. Never played any other WoW private servers at that time, didn’t even really know of their existence, but I made some research and came across Excalibur. Started leveling and just about before I hit 70 or slightly after I saw someone, no idea who, advertising for Pyran in general chat. I checked the website up and applied. Had a chat with Yourself and Jim, we had a few laughs over my “slightly” formal application of being a “very adept gamer” cough cough, and after that I was put on my trial period – Which was supposed to last 2 weeks at the time if I remember correctly, but I didn’t sleep for 48 hours after that and had drunken gaming fun with everyone, so after 2 days it was pretty clear already that I fit right in lol.

Anyway, months later I remember I was playing with Onetroll, Hirexika (think that was her name), and Hertog. We ended up having a damn interesting conversation about homophobia and different personal interpretations of its meaning. Either way, that’s how Hertog and I first met. I at one point made a joke that I was freezing my bum off because it was winter and temperatures had dropped significantly even in Spain, and I didn’t have any proper blankets or duvets. But Hertog didn’t appreciate the humor and instead took it upon herself to force a proper duvet on me. We now internally refer to that event as the “blanket rape” because of how many times I told her no before I finally accepted her help.

Fast forward couple months ahead and we decided to meet up, she was living in Rotterdam already, with her husband I should add (spoiler alert, I think you know how this ends). She was feeling generous and offered to pay for a hotel room, I accepted, bought flight tickets and came over.

We obviously hit it off really well and we’re now paying the last bill of the divorce together.

We’ve lived together for 8 months now, it’s been a damn financial and emotional struggle but it’s amazing, she’s amazing.

Sozzals
You’re a very lucky man. And she’s a very lucky lady. You guys are so cute together. 
Not everyone knows this, but Michaka and Hertog actually came and paid a visit to IRL Jim & Sozz at Pyran HQ in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
They stayed with us for a few days, we hung out together, chatted, I fed Michaka a lot of sozzages and we had a really good time. They were very noisy in bed.

Michaka
Wasn’t my fault airport security took my ballgag!

Sozzals
Tell everyone how good my sozzages are.

Michaka
Let’s just say I stopped having wet dreams about Hertog and started dreaming about those juicy Sozzages of yours
I give them 15/10 naked orcs.

Sozzals
😀 thank you sir
What’s it like living as an actual gaming couple then? Do you play a lot of games together?

Michaka
Truth be told I think Jim and Yourself would set a better example for it.

Unfortunately as Tog and I have recently discovered, we’re not the best match when it comes to games.

Expressing solely my own interpretation of why would be because the games we’ve played together so far (league of legends, Diablo 3, WoW, Terraria) we play them with very different goals and perspectives, and she seems to have quite the issue with feeling inferior in games.

While I enjoy end-game content, she more so enjoys exploration and achievements. Which is obviously fine, yet makes it harder to enjoy the same games together.

Sozzals
Still, it must be nice having someone who understands the passion for games! Even if you have different objectives.

Do you share any other hobbies together? We know Hertog is a big cosplayer. Will we be seeing you in an orc warlock costume any time soon?! 😀

Michaka
Yeah of course it’s super to have someone who isn’t breathing down your neck the moment you sit down for a bit of gaming, no complaints there.

About half a year ago we actually picked up bouldering, and DAAMN it’s so much fun! Unfortunately, she broke her ankle falling 2-3 weeks ago which is quite a setback, but she’s a trooper and I’m willing to bet she’ll be right back up there in a month or three kicking my ass again!

As for cosplaying and LARPing, I’m not really sure it’s my thing but I think there’ll definitely be a time where I’ll try it out.
I mean, we are going to Castlefest this year, so I’ll probably rock some kind of costume there! (shoutout if anyone else will also be attending)

Sozzals
Man if you don’t rock up in an orc warlock costume, I’ll be so disappointed in you.

Bouldering is a lot of fun, something I used to do when I was younger. Wishing Hertog a fast recovery for her injury, I’m sure you’ll take good care of her.
Do you have a bucket list? Things you want to do/achieve before you die? If so, what’s on it?

Michaka
Nah, ain’t really got a bucket list, like most people I suppose I just got some stuff that I would like to do, but I’m not a particularly ambitious person I’m afraid.

But off the top of my head, I’d like to go to Rio de Janeiro one day, properly experience it from a non-touristy perspective.

But also, I’m usually the kind of person who is rather good at everything, but not great at anything, and I’d like to break that someday. To actually be one of the best at something. Sounds corny I bet but perhaps some people can relate.

Sozzals
I can get that. You want to be the very best, like no one ever was.
I’m only good at a few select things – and none of those things are particularly good at making money 😀
I think you’ve already proved that you’re the sexiest orc warlock. That’s something to be proud of.

If you’ve ever talked to Michaka on voicechat, people, he comes across as very confident and jolly. What a lot of people don’t know though, is that Michaka is one of many people in Pyran that suffers from anxiety.

Mental health is so often stigmatised in our society that I really feel like it’s something worth talking about. Michaka has agreed to chat a bit to us a bit about his anxiety. Tell us, Michaka, about how your anxiety affects you on a daily basis?

Michaka
I could probably blabber on for a week about all the aspects of how it affects me, and me specifically.

But the not so very long version is that it mostly makes me think of, and consider, every single possible outcome of every single possible conversation that I have had, could have had, will have, might have, or can imagine. It makes me stress over such simple things like using a synonym of a word rather than the word itself, and then contemplating the impact that this mishap could even potentially have had for weeks, months, even years sometimes. It’s a little bit like having multiple personalities, because while one personality is working more than full-time overthinking all this stuff, another one is constantly working against it and making me simultaneously think things like “god what is wrong with me, it’s been 4 months since I met that friend of my girlfriend and I laughed a little bit louder than I intended cause I was nervous, why can’t I let that go!?”

It makes all the enjoyable things in life, even meeting good friends, going out for dinner, travelling – SO much more difficult.

I hadn’t even recognized this behaviour in myself as anxiety before little than a year ago, it just sort of felt normal and that everybody was battling it to a similar extent.

It’s so weird because I’m not even sure where it comes from, and yet I can do very little for my own betterment. I try to force myself out of my comfort-zone pretty often, but it always take a toll, and it always requires so much more energy than I want to spend.

You know those days where you can barely force yourself out of bed, or at least not even out of the house to do groceries, or go to school, or to work, because you just feel so sucked dry of motivation, energy and will? Well imagine if you felt like that every.. single.. day..

I mean it might sound like I’m depressed, and don’t get me wrong, I also have been for quite some years, and I’m sure that’s not a helpful factor in this case. But it makes it so that even if I wake up, sprouting with energy, a simple phonecall from a salesman or a delivery at the door can take it all away in an instant.

Fortunately I have a very supportive partner who tries her best to understand and make life easier for me, she’s the best thing that ever happened to me, period.

And if anyone else out there reading this also struggles with similar issues, just know that there aren’t necessarily always ways to rid yourself of your problem(s), but there always will be ways to make it better or easier.

Sozzals

I know a lot of people in Pyran struggle with anxiety and I think they might be relieved to know that they aren’t the only ones. What advice would you give to a friend of someone with anxiety? What can we do to help?

Michaka
Honestly, it’s a subject I’m hesitant to address, because the only advice I can give is super subjective to myself and what works for me. And I’d hate to give bad advice on this.

But something I think I can safely say is, don’t ever think that you can “fix” someone with anxiety, or take it away from them, it’s rarely, if ever, that simple. I reckon the best thing you can do as a friend of someone with anxiety, is to target their very current focus in the anxious moment. If an anxious person is about to enter a situation where his/her anxiety will “arise”. Learn to recognize his/her signs and offer a distraction, help get the focus in that specific moment away from the source of what makes the person anxious.

I’m sure there are a million different kinds of anxiety, some which are presented with more physical symptoms and some and completely introverted. Those with physical symptoms such as sweating, heart palpitations or panic attacks, you can obviously help by doing certain exercises such as breathing exercises or counting 5 things you can see, 4 things you can smell, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can taste etc. Whereas those (like myself) where it’s mostly internally, it’s much easier to get by in stressful situations if someone I’m comfortable with (important to note, comfortable with) strikes up a very interactive conversation, forcing your focus away from becoming introverted and away from the anxiety.

Sozzals
I guess it can often be really difficult to recognise it too. And if you’re a sufferer, difficult to accept.

One particular phrase springs to mind when I think of – how to explain anxiety to someone who’s unfamiliar with the concept, and it’s a beautiful phrase, but it can also be interpreted as daunting.

“A different version of you exists in the minds of everyone that you know”

Michaka
To me personally, that phrase is as philosophical as it is obvious.

Of course, to others, you are only the sum of what they think they know about you. Which in its essence does create a different version of you, but only as an idea. The phrase itself, by just knowing that, doesn’t really offer any real implications on how to wrap your head around how to deal better with your anxiety I’m afraid.

But once again, strictly just my personal opinion.

Sozzals
Fair enough. Well here’s hoping that was a glimpse for people into what it might be like to live with anxiety. As always folks, there’s always someone around in Pyran if you ever want to chat or play a game to take your mind off it.

I see you’ve been playing a lot of Diablo 3 lately. What’s your highest rift level so far?

Michaka
That I certainly have been, playing a little bit too much even perhaps. (But unfortunately, could definitely do with some more people to play with, so by all means, feel free to hit me up!)

So far this season I’ve managed to do greater rift 109, still have the capacity to go quite a lot higher, but the 2 people I play with doesn’t have that much time to play, so progression is slow but steady I’m afraid.

Sozzals
That’s pretty badass. What class are you playing as main? Have you rolled any alts?

Michaka
I started playing Demon Hunter this season, and by the time I had great gear and enchanted every piece, I realized the class was utter garbage in terms of progression. So I made some research and now I’m mainly focusing on my Crusader for solo, and my Wizard for groups. But I’ve already geared up every single class except for Witch Doctor.

Sozzals
Crusader is just a fancy word for paladin.
Great, you can take over as paladin class leader. Your first job is to make Batilidan and Crashie get along.
Tell us about more of your likes. Are you into music at all? Favourite band/artist?

Michaka
Well, I don’t practise that many of my hobbies right now but they range everywhere in between Snowboarding, playing guitar/drums, gaming but mostly right now it’s just bouldering.

As for music I’m also all over the place, I like me some good ol’ Ryan Adams sometimes, and sometimes Flogging Molly hits just the right spot. But there’s also a special place in my heart for all the metal bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Parkway Drive, System of a Down and a thousand more.

Sozzals
Introduce us to your furries. We never see any pics in #petting-corner.

Michaka
Gladly!

Well, we have 4 cute ferrets. Izzy, Banthar, Ezio and Nala

Sozzals
omg<3 >< ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

Michaka
They’re the most silly, awesome and fluffy kids anyone could ever ask for and we bring them with us as often as we can!

Sozzals
look at that fur belly just WANTING to be tickled

Michaka 
And then we got our 2 furry kitty kids, both stray cats, just wondered in to our lives one day. Very likely brother and sister. Their names are Kingpin and Lara

 

 

 

 

They all are really our kids and they brighten up our lives so much <3

Sozzals
Omg I agree. I don’t know where I’d be without my fur baby.
Have you always been a big animal lover?

Michaka
Yeah, always loved animals with all my being

Sozzals
In so many ways, they’re just better than people.
Tell us about life in the Netherlands in comparison to life in Sweland. Are there many big differences? Can you speak dutch yet?

Michaka
Other than the fact that traffic is really shit here, there’s not an awful big difference. People are people, culturally there are small differences but nothing I run into in daily life. As for speaking dutch, I am not and probably never will be fluent in it. It’s a hard language to start off with, and everyone here speaks English to a decent degree anyway. Plus the language also really doesn’t interest me so it’s even harder to get the motivation to study it.
I suspect I will learn over the years, but it’s not a necessity for life here, fortunately.

Sozzals

Oh I know, my ex was Dutch and all I ever learned to say was “sex in the kitchen”. When you do attempt Dutch, they laugh at you for your bad pronunciation! XD
That said, the Dutch are some of the kindest peoples I’ve met although I was freaked out by how flat everything is there
How much longer you growing that beard? Going for a viking beard like Jim?

Michaka
Haven’t learned sex in the kitchen yet, you’ll have to teach me that one!

And I would never dare compete in the same legendary beard league as Jim, but apparently my facial fluff is currently appreciated so I’m gonna see where that goes, perhaps put in a few beads and braids if it gets long enough!

Sozzals
Well there you have it folks, a bearded angel from sweden. Before we finish – let us know who you’d like to see being interviewed next, and why? :3

Michaka
Well, I miss a lot of people from Pyran that I haven’t talked to in quite some time so I’d love to hear what Ravnos and Blaze are up to!

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