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Mike Mangino

May 2, 2022

Hand in calm waters.

I love sports. In fact, you might even say I’m a little bit obsessed. I played football on the offensive line in high school for a year (before I learned I was better suited for computer programming.) I’ve always had a special place in my heart for offensive linemen.

A few years ago, a college student named Harry Miller became the starting center for Ohio State. From the outside, it looked like Harry Miller had it all. He was a starting offensive lineman on a Big Ten champion Ohio State football team. He also happened to be a talented guitar player with a 4.0 GPA in a tough mechanical engineering program. He was well known as a volunteer helping those that are less fortunate. And he was thinking about killing himself.

Click here to hear his story.

It’s easy to look at somebody like Harry Miller and make assumptions about his life. Our views of other people are much more limited than we think, a trend made more striking by social media where people can craft their image. However, there’s more to life than what we see on the surface.

If you were an acquaintance of mine six years ago, you likely would have seen me working for a successful startup and married to a physician. We lived in a nice house in a great neighborhood in Cincinnati. It would be easy to look at us and think we were living the American dream. At the same time, my wife was dying from cancer. She went to work as a pediatric oncologist with her chemo pump hidden in her purse. Her patients never even noticed because they were so consumed with their own battles with cancer.

On the outside, I had it together. On the inside, I was struggling. I felt like my world was crashing down. I didn’t know how to manage her healthcare, being essentially a single parent, and trying to grow a startup. I was completely overwhelmed. Thankfully, I had help. I was lucky enough to have a support network of friends, an understanding boss, and access to a therapist.

I don’t have any brilliant advice to make everything all better. Managing mental health is both difficult and important. At times, we all face more than we can handle. It’s important to get help when you need it. It’s also a reminder to be kind in our judgments of people. What you see on the surface isn’t the whole story.

It’s coming up on three years since my wife died. In his video, Harry Miller made a comment that sums up how you deal with that kind of loss. “Hope is just pretending to believe in something until you don’t have to pretend anymore.” I used to pretend that everything would be okay. Now, I take care of myself and my mental health.

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Mike Mangino
About the Author

Mike Mangino

Mike Mangino is the Chief Technology Officer for TriumphPay where he leads the development and dissemination of advanced technologies that improve and increase business for our customers and TriumphPay. Prior to joining TriumphPay, Mike was the Chief Technology Officer for HubTran where he was responsible for designing and building software to automate back-office payables for the transportation industry and built and managed a team of engineers including software development, DevOps and customer support.

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