Savage Enterprises Publishing
Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word

Winter Blues — (December 2000) Despair. Uncertainty. Overwhelmed. Loss of control. Fear. Uncontrollable mood swings. High anxiety. Doubt. Loss of confidence. Difficulty to make decisions. Loss of or increased appetite.

And so many more.

These feelings are alien to me. However, I'm also quite familiar with them. Mainly during the dark, cold, months.

Welcome to *my* "Nuclear" Winter Blues.

Whenever I attempted to understand the emotional fluctuations women go through (for example, during PMS or Menopause) I could never understand how it was possible for them to lose all control of themselves and actually "turn into" another person (or, in some cases, creature). These days, I understand.

I've watched myself easily juggle several projects (personal and/or professional), laughing and carefree one moment, filled with dread and despair the next. From the inside, I can see all the items and the details needed to solve them. But, I become completely disoriented and just can't prioritize what to do first. It's scary. It feels like you're drowning in Jell-O. It feels like the world is spinning all around you and you reach out but just can't grab a hold of anything solid. It would be fascinating if it wasn't so frightening.

How long have I suffered from this? I couldn't really say. I've always been a sun person (it's hard to keep me in bed on sunny days) but I've also always been a night owl. Perhaps my body absorbed enough light during the day to keep me going through the nights? It's possible. So, when did my battery store become depleted?

If I could hazard a guess, it would be a number of years ago, when my life slowly started spiraling out of control. In 1992, I began feeling that my life was not mine to control. By 1995 the only thing in my life which gave me hope and from which I drew strength was my son James. I lived for him. Everything else in my life was either crap or something I took refuge in (ie; work) to get away from thinking about my growing despair.

As those of you who've been around long enough know, things began to spiral ever more downwards. This culminated in the explosion of 1998. The blast was so intense I completely turned my life around. At least, I did once I was able to pick up the pieces.

It's amazing how much spring you can find in your steps when you finally shake the monkey off your back and throw off the worlds you'd been carrying on your shoulders. You know what they say about the calm after the storm. Well, let me tell you that Winter 1999 was the best one I ever lived through. Sure, there were some very rough patches as I healed my heart and soul from not being an everyday presence in the life of my kids. But, having Chantale by my side made all the difference in the world. She really helped me find myself and helped coax out of me a person I was quite proud to smile at through a mirror.

So, after a winter without S.A.D., why has it popped up (even if in a very tiny dose) this year? What's changed in a year? Quite a bit, actually. Mainly, and most importantly, I have a Personal Future again. I know where I stand in my role as Father with my children. And, my future with Chantale has never been clearer. We know what we want in our lives and we know how to get there.

Sadly, Personal and Family Life does not make up all of the influential pieces of our lives. In my case, and the current points of stress playing a harsh role, are Career and Money. Chantale, being the strong one when it comes to money, is helping me tackle this point by giving me pointers and helping me put a plan together. This has allowed me to calm down on this matter. It's not as simple with my career. I will elaborate on this more in the future but, for now, it's safe to say that the blush is off the rose.

With all that said, what's the cure? I'm one of the lucky ones who aren't incapacitated by the intensity of my Blues. I can recover usually within a day or two provided I: 1- Rest (THE most important of all things to do), 2- Focus on positive things (music or movies or books), 3- Keep Busy (give myself short or small projects I can easily finish kind of a confidence booster), 4- Share Moments (whether it be dancing with Chantale in our living room to watching Pokemon with the kids, to shooting the breeze with friends). This, of course, is heaven. Especially when you consider how my previous bout lasted years.

As always, I'll keep you up to date on my progress. But, I'm positive that with the continued love and support I get from Chantale and my kids, as well as all of you, I'll be just fine. There's nothing better than having someone to live for and having someone you want to be proud of you to keep you on your feet and motivated :)

(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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