Updated: Mar 23, 2019
As I write and share my very first blog, I can’t help but type through tears as I reminisce on the days not very long ago wherein I felt completely hopeless. Living–or shall I say existing–in a place you know you do not belong is very isolating. Even though you play your role, you go about your day -your life- doing what is expected of you, there is this undeniable feeling of loneliness. The two decades of my life spent in morbid obesity left me in a visible yet private prison. I felt as if the real me was somehow stuck inside of a large and sickly body—trapped inside myself. I was dying to get out while ironically and simultaneously dying because I was trapped within the sickly, physical walls called my body. Many days, I looked in the mirror but did not recognize the reflection. No, really – the person in the mirror looked foreign to me. I would talk to her. I had many one-way conversations with the body that was holding me captive. I pointed to the reflection and spoke with conviction and authority; “That’s not even me! People actually think this is me but it’s not. This is not how the real Sheila looks. This is not how the real Sheila stands. This is not even how the real Sheila dresses! This is not even my style. I’m just picking clothes that fit.” I told her “One day I’m getting out of there, out of this holding cell you have me Trapped within.” My authoritative rant was almost always followed by a prayer to God for my release. I would BEG Him for my release. I told Him that if He released me I would be forever grateful and give Him the glory. I begged. I begged to be released from the physical and mental pain that accompanied my morbidly obese body. I saw many other “thick” women embrace their bodies with a confidence I just could not muster. Perhaps, just maybe if I had not been in excruciating pain I, too could have adapted that confidence. I don’t know. But what I do know is that even while loving my “inner me” (Thank God), my “outer me” was a direct representation and the culprit of my pain. Even though I had to maneuver through life in it, there was no way I could dress up, disguise or embrace my direct cause of pain. For me, embracing it meant accepting it, which meant staying in it, which meant in all likelihood – dying in it.
I did not want to die in my prison.
I did not want to die because of my prison.
I did not want to die.
I wrote my book “Trapped Inside Myself” for a few reasons. One reason was to give others a glimpse of the life of a morbidly obese person. Understandably so, many cannot relate to something they have never walked through. Many obese people are misunderstood. Many misconceptions of their status is accepted as fact. Our smiles and “jolliness” are not always what it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes our abrasiveness is not always what it’s cracked up to be. They are usually coping mechanisms. Let me make you laugh or let me set you straight before you get a chance to come for me. I also put my story on paper to help and inspire those struggling the way I did. It’s not only my desire, but I somehow feel it is my ministry to share and help as many people as I can. I have a new life. God gave me my walking papers and now I can run! I used to be stagnate and sedentary. I now run literally and figuratively. I want God to be glorified. This is part of my “Thank You” to God for my release.