I come from a non Christian background. So my whole family are not Christian. It was challenging to be going to church on Sunday but living in a very non Christian home environment. So I think I fell away from God when I was about eighteen. I met a boy and when I met him I started moving further and further away from God. It just sort of spiraled away from there. So I felt really out of control and I think because I felt out of control, I didn't know how to control all these different elements in my life. I felt like I had to gain control over something. And so I had one thing that I could control and that was what I could eat.
I started just missing a meal here or there. Or I would skip dinner and go to bed without eating food. But it just got worse and worse from there. I started to do calorie restrictions, I was abusing laxatives, doing everything I could to make the food that I took in get out of my body as quickly as possible. I was exercising so, so much. I got down to the low 40 kilos. My mum was obviously very worried. She took me to all of these doctors and psychologists and psychiatrists and dieticians. I remember the dietician saying to me once, "Why can't you just have one more piece of pasta? Why can't you just have a little bit more food?" I just looked at her and said, "I honestly can't do that. What are you trying to do to me? I can't put in the extra that I haven't allotted to eat for the day, that's just not conceivable. You know I can't do that."
They wanted me to try and put on some weight because I was very, very skinny and very unwell. I'd get my keys and I'd stuff them in my pocket. I made sure I had a lot of change that day and I'd make sure my change was in my pocket so it was really full. So it looked like I got another kilo on the scale. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking "Cassie what are you doing to yourself? Why are you doing this to yourself?" But I couldn't stop. I couldn't lose control; this was the only place in my life that I had control. It was all I had.
Finally, I decided that the only thing I could do was go back to church. I knew I needed God. I knew I needed to have Him back in my life. I couldn't do it on my own, it was obviously failing, and failing hard. I needed him back in my life, so I went back to church. My friend took me to a service because there was a guy there with the gift of healing on his life. "I'm gonna take you there and we're going to get you prayed for."
I don't remember who prayed for me but I remember someone praying that the eating disorder would go away from me. And I felt so light. I felt like the whole thing of "I can't have this to eat" was just gone. I went out for dinner after that and I sat down and we ate pizza, and I had pizza for the first time in about 5 years. And none of the thought process, none of the guilt, none of the need for control what I put in my mouth was there anymore. It was all just gone. I could eat. The aftermath of that was that I had to relearn how to eat again, how to get good food into my body. I had to reteach my brain and my body how to accept the food again, but the whole control thing was gone.
Because of this miraculous thing that God did, I can now live. I have a wonderful husband. We've been married for sixteen years and have three beautiful children aged 9, 7, and 6. I went on to study to become a teacher, and I now teach high school. I went from being this girl who was sad, depressed, anxious and painfully skinny to a young woman who is full of joy and life. God miraculously healed me from an eating disorder. I absolutely believe that if He didn't do that, I would be dead. I wouldn't be here today.