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Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word

Sharing Pain — (December 1999) I'm a giver. This comes as no surprise to those who know me. I give my time, my knowledge, my support, and my energy. I give of myself to such a degree that I am sometimes left drained of energy. Of my grief, however, I share very reluctantly. True, I often speak, in these pages mainly, of my inner turmoils, but these are mostly after the fact. In other words, I write about them after I've come to grips with it or once I'm well on my way to healing.

I believe my psyche has been so deeply ingrained with being the shoulder, the rock, for others to lean on that I can't show any signs of crumbling when around others. Especially as I may be called upon to give them support at any time. Ask Jeff (who's known me the longest) and he'll tell you how frustrated he's gotten with me not expressing any signs of weakness. Heck, he even did it in his comments to me in Comicopia 55 re; my not letting it be known of what I was going through at Nete. I know that Jeff worries a lot and I don't like burdening him (and I can hear him growling at that sentence even now :))

But, that's the way I survive.

If I spend time thinking, worrying, about the bad stuff happening in my life, it makes them real. Not to say that my troubles are imaginary but rather that by not focusing on them (except when dealing with them or am confronted by them) I can continue to live. I don't forget them, but they become relegated to the back of my mind where my subconscious can mull them over and perhaps begin to lead me to a path on the road to solution.

I know from experience that fretting and worrying about something doesn't do anything but get one more and more agitated. A lot of times it falls under a conflict of "circle of influence" versus "circle of concern" (to take a quote from Stephen Covey). We worry and get angry about things we have no control over (ie; a bus running late) instead of concentrating on the things we can control our own reactions.

To continue on the example: we can't do anything about a bus running late. Getting angry and fuming doesn't help. What we should do is think about alternatives: get up earlier next time? Plan the excursion with more detail? If we're gonna be late for something, can we call someone up and explain our situation so they don't worry or get upset?

Sadly, too many people choose to fume. They'd rather get angry and blame others instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.

So, I choose not to worry overly much about what's going on in my life. Everything works out eventually and not worrying allows me to contemplate things with a clear head. It's a survival mechanism that keeps me going. And, once the worries have passed, then I can talk or write about it.

Do I have things on my mind? Sure I do. I have a temporary job. I have no medical coverage. I have a huge bank loan I'm paying off. I have hefty child support to make. I have lawyer fees to pay off. And I have another 5k furniture loan coming due in a few months. Add to this the fact that every night that I'm in my living room and I look at my Christmas tree, I'm painfully reminded that James and Melyssa aren't there with me.

That's a lot for a person to handle. And, being the private individual that I am, I don't unload on anyone else. However, because of who she is and what she means to me, Chantale is the only person I turn to. I'm there for her and she's there for me. I'm her Boyfriend. She's my Girlfriend. We're Partners. We're Best Friends. And I love her dearly.

This is not to say that I don't or won't share or open up to my other friends. But, it is to explain that I'm reserved in what I share. I will speak if I'm prodded, but, again, I prefer to focus on the good than dwell on the bad. I know you're all there if I need you. That, regardless of what you may think, means a lot to me and does give me support. So, thank you all for being there.

(The Last Word (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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