Jackie Evancho Opens Up About Her Battle With Anorexia And How Music Saved Her: “It’s What I Exist”
“I wanted to get away with it, because it’s something that really completely consumes your life, and it starts out so small,” Jackie Evancho told the American songwriter, opening up about her struggle with anorexia. , the eating disorder that began when she was 15.
“You just want to be healthier,” adds Evancho, now 22. “You want to eat a normal, healthy diet and exercise at the same time, and then you don’t get those results, so it spirals, and it all stems from something hidden deep within your brain that you can’t understand for your life, and that’s basically what it was for me.
The classical and pop singer, who recently released an album of Joni Mitchell classic covers, time carousel, said she was first prompted to share her experience with anorexia after taking a year-long hiatus to care for herself. After being accused of not caring about her fans, the singer decided to come clean about her condition.
“My fans were basically saying ‘she doesn’t care about her fans. She absolutely does not think of us, does not love us. She’s a liar when she says she loves us,” and that really pissed me off because as a human being you have every right to face your difficulties and ask for help. help for them,” says Evancho. “I felt like they were trying to steal this from me, so I thought, ‘I have to be honest,’ because that’s the only way they’re going to get it. And if I’m being honest, I can’t be ashamed of it.
She adds, “I don’t think there’s anything to be embarrassed about. Everyone has a struggle. I’m not trying to use this as some kind of gimmick. It’s just a big part of my life now, and I can’t keep hiding big chunks of my life anymore. I’m going to be crazy.
Being honest about her health and not talking about it in past tense is something Evancho said is important because she’s still dealing with the effects of anorexia.
“I’m still buzzing,” Evancho shares. “I’m still not healthy, I’m still trying to get the right kind of help, but often people talk about their struggles in the past tense when in reality a lot of struggles will never be over. tense. It’s always going to be a struggle, every day. I wanted people to see that it’s okay to talk about the fact that you’re still in pain right now. Evancho adds, “The more you hide things, the more these diseases start within us, and I feel like being totally transparent is the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves.”
In 2022, Evancho was also diagnosed with osteoporosis, which developed as a result of his anorexia after suffering two abnormal back fractures from a car accident. Osteoporosis is a common effect of anorexia due to decreased nutrition, especially calcium and vitamin D, and estrogen, which can negatively impact bone density. Extremely low body weight in women can prevent the body from producing estrogen, According to the National Institute of Health. Low levels of estrogen contribute to significant losses in bone density.
Throughout her personal struggles, Evancho said music has helped her recover, mentally and physically.
“Music is probably the only thing in my life that’s been there since the beginning, and was there when things were really dark and tough,” Evancho revealed. “And it has never been ruined for me. It never takes me back to a bad place. It always makes me feel better physically. I might get nauseous and get a headache, then I’ll sing and feel better. It’s the most healing thing in my life. I swear it’s my passion. This is why I exist.
In progress EMDR therapyeye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy used to treat people with anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress disorder or trauma and working to regain a normal weight is something Evancho is currently experiencing.
“I’m still not 100%,” she said. “My weight still needs to be worked on, but the key is that I fight.”
Photos: Courtesy of KMJPR