Disclaimer: This post series is going to deal with very sensitive topics including suicide, abuse on many levels, and hard truths. If you or someone you know is somehow included in this blog series, please do not be offended by what I may write.
It is my life, and my perspective.
I want everyone to know where I come from and what I have overcome, and I believe that everyone is entitled to their own personal truths. I know that many people deal with hard things in their life, and you may never know because it is so well hidden, especially when it appears fine on the surface. Most people would never guess that I’ve had the life that I have based on who I am at this point, but I wasn’t always the person you see today. I hope my story has an impact on those that need it, and to know that you aren’t alone.
Over the past 4 months, I have shared my story. What I went through as a child, a teen, and it’s time to bring everything together and show you all how I came to be the wonderful person that I am today.
I had a father who was addicted to both gambling and alcohol.
A stepfather who was physically and emotionally abusive to me as a child.
A second stepfather who cheated on my mother and didn’t seem to care about life at all.
I am extremely grateful to those three men.
Why? Because through a very painful series of circumstances, they taught me who not to be. I know that if I live my life completely opposite of how they lived, I am going to have a fantastic life. My wife and future children will always feel the true, strong, and unending love of a husband and father.
I know what it’s like to be the victim of abuse, and to live in that environment constantly afraid of what’s going to happen next. I have seen my father come home drunk and argue with my mom. I know what it’s like to be hit, sworn at, and called names as a helpless child. I have seen my mom in tears countless times due to many situations, not the least of which were when her heart had been broken.
Through all of that, in a very weird way, it was like they were constantly teaching me how to live, love, and care for others. I just had to live through the pain and vow to be the opposite of their horrible examples of behaviour.
I am also grateful for being fat; for weighing almost 500 pounds.
When I went through all of these experiences, I had no friends and virtually no family. In many ways, I was completely alone and so I turned to something that made me happy, which was food. I loved food, it tasted delicious and satisfied my cravings. It filled a hole within me, and so I kept eating my feelings. When I was sad or hurt, I ate. Turns out that was pretty frequently. I ate to get rid of depression, fear, and to ignore all of my painful emotions.
To me, there’s no doubt about it. Obesity can definitely be and often is a mental health issue. I’m not sure when I realized this, but it was probably only a year ago as I examined my life. I want to make sure I am open and honest about this, because there are too many mental health issues that do not ever get discussed, whether people just don’t believe it, or they are too afraid of offending someone.
I think that at one point, being fat and extremely obese was a good thing for me. I hated my body, and I knew everyone else did as well. So when I decided that I wanted and needed to make friends, I had to come up with a new plan and that was my personality. I had to develop a personality that made people like me. I have no idea what I would be like if my life had been any different. I really like the fun, outgoing, loud, and bold person that I have come to be in order to make up for my previously unattractive body.
Not only that, but when you consider the childhood that I had, I could have easily turned to something much worse than food. I could have fallen to drugs or alcohol. I could have ended up with a very different life, and a much worse one at that. In some ways, the addictive tendencies are very similar, but I will always be grateful that I went down the path of food to solve my problems. I may never have been able to change my life if I had gone another direction.
The most important part of who I am:
I strive to be one of the most positive people in my daily life. I am happy, outgoing, and I do anything I can to improve the lives of those around me. I have lived through enough negative experiences to last a lifetime, and I just want people to know that you can go through intense hardships and come out alright. I want to be an example and an inspiration to people for many reasons.
Not only have I been able to lose most of that weight, I have shed the fear, anger, and hate of my past. I am done living that life and I want to look forward at the future. I want to spread joy, happiness, laughter, and love to anyone and everyone that I meet.
My childhood does not define me, but it does shape me. Thankfully, I feel that God’s grace has been very present in my life and helping to make me into the man I am today. I am free to be who I want to be, living and loving all those who come into my life.
I almost committed suicide.