This time last year I was back in residential treatment for my eating disorder. During that time I wrote a blog post entitled “Life as a Cassie,” talking about how I related to the Skins character of Cassie Ainsworth and the struggle with her anorexia.
Skins romanticized Cassie and her condition and her “I didn’t eat for three days so I could be lovely” and her savior Sid who wooshed in her life and inspired her to eat. I was so desperate for my own Sid I didn’t begin to think that maybe I needed to be my own savior. I didn’t need someone texting me “EAT” or spelling the word out with French-fries. I needed to fight back to that voice in my head telling me not to. It’s time for me to stop looking for my Sid externally. It’s time to turn that inward.
I openly admit that I glorified my eating disorder. It took me nearly two years for me to acknowledge that being a diagnosed anorexic made me feel special. I felt powerful. It made me unique. But most of all, it was something that I was good at. Life as a “Cassie” isn’t pretty. It’s hell. It’s only eating enough to stay out of the hospital. It’s lying to yourself and others 24/7. It’s lonely. It’s sad. It’s nothing anyone would want. I have no enemies, but if I did I wouldn’t wish this on them in a million years.
I’m sitting here in quasi-recovery, sipping my signature Americano with sugar-free vanilla syrup, trying to convince myself that I didn’t want that chocolate-covered graham cracker square I saw at Caribou. I’m fighting the urge to go to the cupboard and grab a handful of chips. I’m scrolling through Instagram and seeing the photos of those I met in treatment who are now living full, happy lives. I’m so jealous I can’t even describe. I hate how weak eating makes me feel when it should make me feel strong.
I’m no longer a “Cassie,” and I’m equal parts happy and sad. My eating disorder isn’t fun anymore. It means spontaneous ER visits and weekly weigh-ins. It means a loss of trust from my parents and those who care about me. It means crying over that scoop of froyo or fighting hunger cues even when my stomach is screaming at me for nourishment.
“I’m not where I used to be, but thank god I’m not where I used to be.” I’m no longer in denial and every day I’m clawing my way out of this hole. I’m no longer a “Cassie,” I’m a Kate, and I’m trying.