A few weeks ago, against my better judgement I did something I really knew I shouldn’t have done. I went out of my way to watch something I knew could trigger me. The baby went to bed without much fuss which was a huge relief, So I thought I’d unwind with good old Netflix. Now recently they have had a bit of fire for touching on sensitive issues, what could be seen as triggering issue’s. I, with great knowledge of this possibility, still decided to watch their latest controversy, To the bone staring lily Collins and Keanu Reeves.
Now for those of you who do not know, To the bone is a Netflix original about a young woman with anorexia. It follows her on her journey through another attempt at recovery, showing the highs and lows. It shows how there is not just one image of anorexia. Not just one type. It shows the audience that it’s not just some phase teen girls go through for a few months. It goes into detail and it is deep.
I knew this was the case before I decided to watch this. It’s sat in my watch list for weeks as I made up my mind on weather or not I would infact watch this movie. For weeks I put off watching it, maybe because I knew how it would effect me,maybe because I knew I wasn’t ready to see that world again. Yet like some old unwanted acquaintance it reared its ugly head and pulled me in.
Alot of things happen in this movie that can be seen as controversial. One thing that must be remembered is everyone’s journey in both their ed and recovery is different. How family and friends cope, react or treat someone in recovery is completely different. Some make lite of the situation, laughing or making jokes. Some people get angry and shout expecting things to change instantly. Some become emotional, some pretend it didn’t exist, some distance themselves or disappear all together. Everyone’s coping mechanisms are different and the movie helps point that out in a way that some may see as insensitive but it’s honestly how people behave. I think my family hit all of these discriptions. Some joked about it, some tried to educate me, others simply stopped talking whilst others gave me ultimatums.
Now this is a point I feel I need to make, Netflix wasn’t irresponsible for making this film, I was irresponsible for watching it. Because like anyone who has suffered from an eating disorder, I knew that this could be triggering. I knew I should have avoided this a movie for the same reason I avoid Tumblr and my old email account. Yet I watched it anyway. For someone who hasn’t been there (and I hope you haven’t) it is an eye opener, a subject to be discussed. Too often people side track the subject of eating disorders, talk in hushed voices, hope that if it’s ignored it’ll go away. Really it’s something the world needs to address. Okay it could have been done in a slightly more delicate way. But if you want to get people talking you’ve gotta shock them right? Maybe they could have been more gentle but that’s coming from someone who lived that life. Some may watch it and think “wow I never knew that’s what it was like for people, I though they were simply being stubborn or stupid” people who lived it though will watch it and feel like they watched a horror movie.
I felt my view was bias so I spoke to Scott. He watched some of it and gave me his opinion. Now Scott sees the world in a very black and white kind of way he doesn’t skirt a subject, he just says it like it is. He described it in a simple way. He said it was raw and to the point, exactly what you need from anything trying to explain something. He agreed I was at fault for watching something I knew would affect me so. “Someone who just lost a family pet can’t blame Marley and me for making them cry if they decide to watch it. Nor can someone who’s lost a relative to cancer blame the director of fault in our stars for bringing back memories of that” it’s true though. It may be completely different issues but to some can be a trigger.
That’s how I felt watching to the bone. It brought back memories, thoughts and feelings I haven’t faced in a while. I relived moments I’d rather forget. I had irrational thoughts and feelings and at times almost longed for that old comfort I once knew. It hurt to see, I grieved for that old life, yet it showed me how far I have come. I was aware of how I was feeling. I knew it wasn’t healthy. I spoke to Scott as soon as he came home, told him what happened, how I felt, that I’d skipped dinner because that’s what I was watching. He comforted me, told me he was proud of me and even offered to make me a snack was I up for one. He has supported me every step of this journey and continues to do so in an amazing way.
So please if you have even a slight history of an eating disorder do not watch this movie as it’s a tough one. It’s not worth risking your progress or recovery. Please talk to someone if you feel like you are relapsing in any way and do not forget how amazing you are doing.
Take care of you,
Love and hugs,
Remember if you need any help, someone to talk to or simply some support B-eat UK offer a wide range of support day and night.