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A body built from pain

Thu 19 Jul 2012 In: True Stories View at Wayback View at NDHA

Aaron Comis Mr Gay NZ 2011 and utter sweetheart Aaron Comis has poured his heart out in a Facebook post, in which he shares the strength he has found getting out of his ‘bad places’ in training, and from friendships. He’s kindly let us share his story. I have wanted to write this for a while but wasn’t really sure how something like this would be received. It’s a story of me and how I got to the point I am at now in life. Sometimes a public face and a private life are two very different things and can be worlds apart. I can’t complain about a bad upbringing, my parents were very good to me, they gave me every chance in life and I know they will always be there for me. I see myself as relatively intelligent and outgoing yet there are still some things I cannot control, I don’t know exactly what gets me down most of the time but sometimes things just get a bit much to deal with and I find myself in a bad place trying desperately to get out of. Some people turn to alcohol, drugs or gambling, I turn to the gym. For me coming out was a long process, it didn’t happen overnight, it took many years and in some respects it was because I didn’t see myself fitting a generic stereotype and I had nothing to compare with growing up in a small town either. I finally managed it all be it a little later on in life than most people these days but things were and are still missing from my life. After a break up from a relationship a few years back which for me was meant to be ‘the relationship’ I hit about rock bottom, you can’t even imagine the pain in finding out someone who you thought loved you cheated on you from 19,000km away and was already in a relationship with someone else, cutting off all messaging and contact instantly, it was as if they had died but still occupied a space in your head just to make you think about them, a gradual shift or decline in something is manageable but an instant change like shock treatment can do a lot of damage and take a while to fix. This is when I decided or probably more needed change in my life. I saw a competition advertised for the New Zealand Aids Foundation requiring guys for a dating website they were marketing called Broonline. I had had no prior experience modelling and I wasn’t sure I would even make the cut but thought I would give it a go anyway, it was something I could do to keep my mind busy, to concentrate on and to give me focus for the time being anyway and if I did make it, which I did, it would give me some confidence back. The next couple of years went very quick and I decided to stick with the thing that was making me happy and giving me some confidence back, I knew I was not ready for a relationship again but wounds heal over time and you suddenly become whole again, as a person and as an individual, back to having ‘my identity’. By this stage I had joined the board of Qtopia, a gay youth group in Christchurch hoping to give back something for all the love and happiness I had received when I needed it most from people within the community, I enjoyed getting involved in events with some strong influences from friends in this area and more so recently with the UpRising Trust. Aaron has found strength in working out A few months later The Mr Gay New Zealand competition was advertised, thinking this would be a great platform to extend on what I had already done I entered by submitting a bio and some pictures of myself. Having had time to train and enough drive I got my body into a place where I felt comfortable enough to enter. I entered and a year and a half down the track this is where I am today. I still find myself from time to time in a bad place, but life is not perfect and unfortunately we cannot control how we feel sometimes but finding ways and means of coping gives us a way forward to continue. For me this is primarily the gym but also my close friends and the community that seems to be growing stronger by the day. I value above all else the people that I have in my life and have in particular been lucky enough to meet some of the most amazing people in the world over the last few years, I have a few close friends here in Christchurch who know me well and have been there for me when I have needed them most. For me training is what gets me back on my feet and where I need to be, it gives me strength to continue on, the time out by myself to think, and is a way of turning the negative into the positive. Some say it can be an obsession, I have been called all sorts of things recently but to those people the only thing I can say is to me it is a life saver. To you an apple may be a snack or a piece of fruit, but to a starving child it may be the only thing they get to eat for a while, to each individual different things have a different meaning or purpose and I don’t think you can judge a person because of what they do if it doesn’t impede on anyone else. Music is probably one of the most important tools for me to zone out at the gym and I enjoy emotive songs that let me live momentarily in a world at peace, here are a couple from my current playlist, the first I really love The second to me is quite possible the most beautiful song, one that I would one day like played at my wedding. I look forward to future now and the journey ahead and always look back at my motto ‘Take everything that life throws at you, never be afraid of challenges or change, accept the bad times with the good and grow with every interaction you make’ This is me, know this and you know me x     Aaron Comis - 19th July 2012

Credit: Aaron Comis

First published: Thursday, 19th July 2012 - 10:21am

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