Open fire on the needs designed

I was looking an old journal the other day and saw that I quoted Ana’s Song by Silverchair often. It’s really a beautiful song. Honest, raw. And what some may or may not know about it, is that it’s about the lead singer’s battle with Anorexia Nervosa. 

When I was 18, I was a few years into being a pretty heavy cutter. I had a really poor perception of who I was, and the once smiling, bubbly Cassie was fading into the background. 

When I refer to my time in the Army, I typically regard it as being one of the most amazing times of my life. And it truly was. However, when I came home, I was brought back home, back to reality and what felt like back 10 years. 

I had a very hard adjustment time. I honestly don’t know if I ever really did. What the Army made me, what they turned me into, I was so proud of, but based off of how I was treated by my closest friends my senior year, you’d be hard pressed to believe it. I was ignored. Left to wearing sweatshirts in 80 degree temps to hide my cutting scars and moreover, to hide my dwindling weight.

When I came home from basic training, I had lost a significant amount of weight. Prior to going, I wasn’t overweight. Not by a long shot. But having lost nearly 15 pounds, it really made me look different. My 5 foot 8 frame barely fit into my clothes the same way any more and I felt awkward trying to just fit back in. I felt like a new kid all over again. Even though I had been going to school with these people for years.

And with a broken pelvis, I really couldn’t run and do the things I needed to to keep the body I had worked so hard to get, so I took the easy way out.

I started watching what I ate.

And that’s all I did. Watch it. 

It really didn’t start off too bad. It was unassuming. Almost subconscious. 

But by the time I had graduated and moved out on my own, I realized that I didn’t have to answer to anyone.

So I didn’t.

I did OK there for a while. I’d eat when I was hungry, didn’t when I wasn’t. And looking back, I don’t even remember going grocery shopping. I know I did, but not very often. I don’t remember eating dinner with friends often unless it was a late night half priced food at Fuel and Fuddle. 

I remember my best friend buying me Carnation Instant Breakfast and telling me I was too thin. 

When I moved on my own and didn’t have a roommate to answer to, I took it to a whole new level. I simply forgot to eat.

Does that even make sense? I don’t think I went out of my way to become anorexic of sorts. I wouldn’t even really say I was. Is that me in denial? I don’t know. I just don’t think I was really clinically anorexic. I didn’t drop below an unhealthy BMI. I didn’t have medical issues related to it. I simply didn’t eat much.

Even now, in this day, I only eat when I’m hungry. I do eat. I eat enough. And I’m healthy. Trust me. However, I do wonder what is mentally wrong with me to not need food as so many normal people do. It satisfies me enough and I’m baffled by my lack of interest in it some times. I’m a lot better now. A lot. Just tonight I enjoyed some peanut butter toast and mint milano cookies. They made me happy. 

But once upon a time I had a very hard time with food. I simply did not care about it. It didn’t make me happy. It didn’t give me comfort. It didn’t do much for me except make me not feel weak and shaky. 

And that is my very insanely deep and personal insight for the night.

For anyone who stumbles upon this and is suffering from Anorexia, please know that there is a way out. That there is treatment and there is hope. I was fortunate enough to have friends who finally found it in them to stand up and say something to me. And I got straight. 

For me, it wasn’t about weight loss. It wasn’t about body image. It was just, I just didn’t have it in me to eat. I just didn’t have it in me to fight the day. I was depressed. I was a cutter. I was questionably anorexic. 

But I’m better.

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About Cassie

Two sisters from two misters. What could be more fun?

Posted on July 13, 2012, in Cassie. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Oh Cass. I can’t even imagine. Really. What a horrible thing to go through. So glad you had friends to help you. As I’ve told you, I had the opposite problem. I ate my feelings and gained way too much weight. And though I’m much more aware of that now, I still struggle with it too. It’s amazing how those tendencies follow us throughout our lives.

    I’m amazed at how well you take care of your body now. Keep baking, keep cooking, keep eating and keep being a great example of a healthy and fit person. You’re amazing.

  2. It’s amazing how depression manifests itself in myriad ways. I can tell you’re happy now and that’s what matters most. Love you.

  3. Hey Cassie. 🙂 I have found in my anorexic state…that if I stopped eating for a few days I became nauseous rather than hungry, which made me not want to eat. After a few days of nausea when I was hungry it went away completely. No urge to eat. No urge not to eat. If my life became too busy I’d literally forget to eat for a few days and “wake up” realizing I never felt hungry and never felt like I was purposely avoiding food. It was a conscious effort on my part to make sure to eat. My church did a fast. One wise person in my church told me that instead of fasting (which would send me into forgetting to eat for who knows how long) I should be purposely and consciously deciding to eat three meals that day while praying. After a few months of that and a few times of purposely “UNFASTING” on my own, I haven’t had that problem since. It’s odd…but I totally understand people who eat “because they have to to stay alive”. I also understand people who eat too much. I told someone once I totally believed that once you have an eating disorder you always have one…you may even trade one for another…but eating is always not just a bodily function..it’s a conscious effort one way or another. Love you.

  4. Have I mentioned that silverchair was my favourite band from about 8th grade to sometime in college? My mom bought me “Frogstomp” when it came out for who-knows-what reason, and then I ended up buying all of their albums and rarities and singles and compilations and spent so much time in a silverchair-themed CHAT ROOM meeting other fans (one of whom I’m still friends with) and immediately recognized the lyrics from your title.

    ANYWAY.

    I have other friends who don’t have any interest in food, and it doesn’t seem abnormal to me. I happen to love food, but I don’t love shopping or dating married men or drinking. So, you know, it all evens out. They say that with kids who don’t eat a lot, there’s no need to force-feed them and that they’ll just naturally eat when their body tells them to, right? Maybe I’m just explaining away your anorexia here, but maybe not.

  5. Like Jess, I’m the opposite too. Which isn’t any better than under eating either. But you’re better and that’s what matters. You’re an amazingly strong person.

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