Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

I Tried to Save Amy Winehouse from Bulimia - Interview with Naomi Parry


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Cecilia

Cecilia

    What kind of fuckery is this?

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,187 posts
  • LocationUK

Posted 23 July 2014 - 10:40 PM

Naomi was Amy's friend and stylist. She did this interview about Amy and Bulimia with Cosmopolitan to help raise awareness of eating disorders, which is really great of her imo. Anyway, here's the Interview:

 

I Tried to Save Amy Winehouse from Bulimia

 

23 July 2014 by Cosmopolitan

 

Naomi Parry, 28, was one of Amy Winehouse's closest friends. On the third anniversary of Amy’s tragic death, Naomi talks about the friend she dearly loved and why she’s supporting our partnership with eating disorder charity beat

 

When singer Amy Winehouse died at just 27, the papers immediately drew one conclusion –that she’d died after a ‘drink and drugs binge’ or ‘suspected drug overdose’. An inquest found that she’d died of alcohol poisoning, after a binge that followed weeks without a drink. But those close to her knew there was another addiction Amy struggled with – one that, they say, also played a part in her death.

 

amy-winehouse-main.jpg

 

“I met Amy 10 years ago,” says Naomi. “It was just after the release of her debut album, Frank. I was out in London’s Soho, and so was Amy. My friend liked the look of her friend, so he sent them some drinks. They came over to talk to us and, as they flirted, Amy and I just clicked – we bonded over backcombing. “From the start, she was a bit restrictive with food, but as I hadn’t been exposed to an eating disorder before, I didn’t put it down to that at first. Even when I realised she had bulimia, I didn’t feel comfortable talking to her about it. It was something we just didn’t discuss.”

 

Naomi quickly became part of Amy’s circle – but, from the start, she was worried. “Amy had a beautiful, healthy body. But she soon became a shadow of her former self. When Frank came out, she was curvier and got a lot of stick for being ‘fat’. She wasn’t; she looked great. But if you’re thrown into the public eye and are already worrying about your weight, it’s going to be a huge factor.”

 

Staying in Control

 

Naomi was a stylist and eventually they worked together. Like many sufferers of eating disorders, Amy was a high achiever – claiming to have cancelled gigs because she was such a perfectionist – and Naomi believes the bulimia stemmed from a need for control.

 

“Eating disorders aren’t just about how you look,” she observes. “I think Amy started to lose control in other aspects of her life, which led her to control her eating instead. Of course, that doesn’t just go with being famous: anybody can feel like that, and anything can trigger an eating disorder. The irony is, when you have such an illness, you actually lose control.

 

“I don’t think sufferers realise the damage eating disorders can do to their health – particularly one like bulimia, ‡ which puts pressure on your organs. I don’t think Amy had any idea it could do just as much damage, if not more, than drinking. I didn’t.”


amy-winehouse-2-main.jpg
 
 

How to Help

 

Watching someone with an eating disorder can be terrifying, which is why Naomi wants to raise awareness of Beat, Cosmo’s partner charity [link to B-eat.co.uk]. Beat is committed to helping sufferers and their friends and families.

 

“Seeing someone in the grip of an eating disorder can make you feel powerless,” says Naomi. “I moved in with Amy for five months, hoping to be a good influence. But how do you approach someone who doesn’t want to talk about it? How do you deal with it?

 

“I never forced her to eat. I tried to be healthy, lead by example and hope she’d take it on board. I introduced Amy to scrambled eggs and avocado. I’d cook breakfast and encourage her to eat it.

 

“I’d never say, ‘You need to eat this,’ or chastise her when she ate certain things, like sweets, which I knew she wouldn’t keep down. If you shout at someone with an eating disorder, or tell them what to do, you’re trying to take the control away from them. It won’t work.

 

“You couldn’t force anything on Amy anyway: she was her own woman, very strong-minded. She didn’t want anybody to think there was anything she wasn’t in control of. In the end, I decided to try to tackle it by letter. I couldn’t say what I needed to face-to-face but, if I wrote it down, she could feel angry or upset, then re-read and digest it. I spent hours writing it – I wanted to make sure everything I needed to say was there: telling her I recognised she was ill and that if she wanted to talk about it I’d be there.

 

“I left the letter for her to find and, although she didn’t say anything about it, there was a slight change. It didn’t last long, but it hit home a bit. I just had to keep plugging away gently, rather than going in all guns blazing.”


The Real Amy
 

Publicly, Amy was widely perceived to be a reckless genius with an addictive personality, whose fame led to her self-destruction. But, to her friends, she was just Amy – down-to-earth, funny and fiercely loyal.

 

“For me, ‘Amy Winehouse’ is like a fictional character,” Naomi says. “Amy is the woman who ran around in jogging bottoms, with her hair undone and no makeup. We used to have movie nights, and she loved to cook – right up until her final days she’d cook for everybody. She was really warm and nurturing.

 

“She was one of the most amazing, inspirational people I’ve ever met. Not in terms of what she achieved, but how she was as a person. It didn’t matter where you came from, or how rich or famous you were, she’d speak to everybody the same way.

 

“She was hilarious too – the quickest person I’ve ever met. Even with all the traumatic shit going on in her life, she’d still bend over backwards for other people. She had the opportunity to hang out with the biggest A-listers in the world – but she always chose her friends.”

 

Speaking Out

 

Despite the efforts of worried friends and family, on 23 July 2011, Amy – who had sold over 9 million albums and won five Grammy and three Ivor Novello awards – was found dead in her home.

 

“I still meet people who say, ‘Oh, it was drugs’,” Naomi says. “But it wasn’t. She’d been clean for a long time. She got off drugs on her own, using willpower alone. She was an alcoholic, but if that was her only problem, or if she’d only had bulimia, maybe she’d have been OK. I believe it was the combination of the two that killed her, because of the extra pressure her eating disorder put on her body.

 

“A lot of people clung on to the [drugs] idea; perhaps it was easier. The thought that you can die from an eating disorder is terrifying. Before this, I had no idea of the effects of bulimia – and no idea of the toll it can take on your body.

 

“I want to raise awareness of eating disorders, and Beat – supported by the Amy Winehouse Foundation, who are funding the relaunch of its website. So many people suffer in silence, it’s vital to tell people that there is help available.

 

“We’ll see more tragedies – but maybe we can stop some before they happen.”

 

COSMO-BEAT-DE.png

 

Get help: “If you or someone you know is suffering from bulimia and you’re worried, remember that complete recovery is possible,” says Leanne Thorndyke, head of communications at Beat. “We work with many sufferers who have overcome their disorder, and with the right help and support you can go on to lead a healthy, happy life.” And, according to research, after treatment: 45% of sufferers make a full recovery and 27% improve considerably. To learn more about the illness and treatment options visit www.b-eat.org.uk

 

· The Amy Winehouse Foundation was set up by Amy’s family in September 2011, on what would have been her 28th birthday. Find out more here at amywinehousefoundation.org


  • Tara, LaPeep, pearljo and 16 others like this

smoke.jpg?t=1397395921


#2 HelloSailor

HelloSailor

    I said, "No, No, No"

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 952 posts

Posted 24 July 2014 - 08:38 AM

Well done Naomi! This is a classy interview. I was worried when I first started reading it that it would reveal sordid details of Amy throwing up, binge-eating, vomit on tooth-brushes, or what her favourite junk food was. I really appreciate the way this subject was dealt with and I'm glad people are discussing it more as one of the factors that led to her death. 


  • Cecilia, DARE TO BE D, Ace of Hearts and 2 others like this

#3 DARE TO BE D

DARE TO BE D

    You Know I'm No Good

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 334 posts

Posted 25 July 2014 - 02:06 PM

I remember reading an article where alex ( her brother) said he thought that this problem was what really caused her to pass.

Amy seemed to be a very strong lady,, with a quick wit.. And although she appeared to not care what people thought about her , I think she thought for the business she was in the weight was an issue. I also read an article about the stylist who worked with her on her cover for the Frank album

and he stated that " none of the outfits that he had fit her,, so she just wore the pink wrapped around her " Now i would be surprised if Amy

was even a size 10 at that time . But how stupid is that.. It shows that when your in that industry if your not size 0 they think your fat.

Look at her friend Juliette that she grew up with, she is thin now that she has her music out. Pictures of her before with Amy show an average

size girl.. although we all dont admit it . Being called Fat in this society we have created is the worst .

It seems Bulimia was the pink elephant in the room ... Not even her father mentions it in his book...

 

I understand the need to be thin and I consider myself a strong Lady..I just wish it wasnt this way ...


  • Sassy, Cecilia, Tiny Penny and 3 others like this

#4 Ace of Hearts

Ace of Hearts

    I said, "No, No, No"

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 219 posts

Posted 27 July 2014 - 11:57 AM

That is one thing I thought was overlooked in his book. I think Mitch is either naive or in denial. I think it's more denial then anything else - he didn't ever really see any issue with her drinking, and just wanted her off the drugs.

All in all, I think it was a combo of alcohol and bulimia that ended it all. I think the role of her eating disorder has been massively underplayed in all of this. Noone thinks of "bulimia" when they think of Amy. All they think of is drink/drugs which is sad.
  • Cecilia, DARE TO BE D, Yousaymyname and 2 others like this

#5 Yousaymyname

Yousaymyname

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 03 August 2014 - 01:10 AM

IMO a lot a famous people who try drugs also start using them as a habit (crack, coke, heroin) to lose weight. I believe this happened to Amy also because you can see how the weight just melted off her. Look at Peaches Geldof also (she was kinda chubby before she started using) and Kelly Osbourne as well seemed to drop a bit of weight when she was abusing Oxy. 

Because I grew up in a household affected by anorexia it's obvious to me that bulimia is different in the way that most sufferers binge. Add drugs to the equation and they no longer have the need to binge, making them essentially anorexic with the help of their friends (hard drugs) 


  • Love is a losing game and kellieny1 like this

#6 crol

crol

    i'm not ashamed, but the guilt will kill you

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,108 posts

Posted 03 August 2014 - 07:40 AM

IMO a lot a famous people who try drugs also start using them as a habit (crack, coke, heroin) to lose weight. I believe this happened to Amy also because you can see how the weight just melted off her. Look at Peaches Geldof also (she was kinda chubby before she started using) and Kelly Osbourne as well seemed to drop a bit of weight when she was abusing Oxy. 

Because I grew up in a household affected by anorexia it's obvious to me that bulimia is different in the way that most sufferers binge. Add drugs to the equation and they no longer have the need to binge, making them essentially anorexic with the help of their friends (hard drugs) 

Peaches lost weight when she came off heroin. And it seems Amy's eating issues started before her serious drug issues. But I think the weight loss would have somewhat pleased Amy in that it was an outward manifestation of her inner pain - in the same way that she would cut her forearms for all to see or would leave the house with an enormous dishevelled beehive. Those external signs are all cries for help, or at the very least acknowledgement of her problems.


  • HelloSailor and kellieny1 like this

#7 Yousaymyname

Yousaymyname

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 03 August 2014 - 11:25 AM

The point is that perhaps by using drugs that suppress the appetite the bingeing cycle of bulimia in Amy was halted. Bulimics usually have an uncontrollable compulsion to binge, then purge. By using drugs that suppress the appetite you take away the bingeing (or at least lessen it) and the bingeing causes self hatred which results in purging. However you are right @Crol in that the drugs probably served many purposes apart from that, it was just a bonus, and perhaps some ppl experiment then realise it keeps their weight/appetite down and get addicted in the process. But it's all so complicated, the obsessive nature of an eating disorder and addiction. They are very similar but fatal more often than not when combined in the way Amy did. And yes, with anorexia and bulimia the weight loss is a external way to show the inner pain. 


  • kellieny1 likes this

#8 Yousaymyname

Yousaymyname

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 122 posts

Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:34 AM

I don't want to be a pain, by bringing Peaches Geldof into this, but she used Methadone to stop using heroin, and perhaps as @Crol said, this is why she lost weight when she quit heroin. I'm not a drug counsellor, but have seen heroin addiction in a close friend of mine, and it's devastating. This friend of mine actually was a qualified counsellor in drugs and alcohol herself, and methadone can create problems, which sometimes leads to OD. I don't know if Methadone affects the appetite to suppress it, but a brief Google search seems to show it may be the case in some ppl. 


  • kellieny1 likes this

#9 Ace of Hearts

Ace of Hearts

    I said, "No, No, No"

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 219 posts

Posted 11 August 2014 - 10:24 PM

Dare I also say Amy's dental issues (I.e losing teeth) was exacerbated primarily by her bulimia and not from drug use. But the media preferred to blame everything on her drug use without looking at the deeper, complex issues she had.
  • Yousaymyname and kellieny1 like this

#10 Cecilia

Cecilia

    What kind of fuckery is this?

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,187 posts
  • LocationUK

Posted 14 August 2014 - 04:35 PM

All these issues, the eating disorder, the addictions, the self harm, the obsessive destructive relationship with Blake etc can't be seen in isolation, they're all manifestations of the same thing. People focus on the drugs and forget about the bigger picture.

 

Amy cried out for help in her actions but refused to accept a lot of the help that was offered to her. It's difficult.

 

I think Mitch was in denial about a lot of her issues, not just the severity of her eating disorder. A lot of parents are. They don't want to see their child ill. I can't blame them for it, it must be so difficult.

 

That said, I'm glad both Alex and Naomi have spoken out about the bulimia. Eating disorders are deadly, and often misunderstood.


  • allisost, TBR, Ace of Hearts and 5 others like this

smoke.jpg?t=1397395921


#11 BeehiveQueen

BeehiveQueen

    Camden Girl

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 504 posts
  • LocationHollywood, CA

Posted 20 August 2014 - 08:18 PM

Exactly @Cecilia

Anorexia and Alcoholism are the two mental disorders that claim more lives than any other. It's very frightening.
And of course, no parent wants to have a kid with problems.

Eating disorders generally stem from some kind of trauma that people have experienced and are manifested as a way to show some form of control.


I think it would be apparent from what we know about Amy that she felt very out of control in other areas of her life.


  • kellieny1 likes this

#12 HelloSailor

HelloSailor

    I said, "No, No, No"

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 952 posts

Posted 27 May 2015 - 02:14 PM

I know this topic is old, but I just finished reading Janis' book, and I'm glad to see that she also addressed this problem quite openly. Although she says she wasn't completely aware of the extent of it and the vomitting, she understood that Amy was desperate to control those parts of her life because everything else was so chaotic.

 

I hope this will be dealt with in the documentry also, because it clearly played an important part in her health problems/death. It's so simple for people to blame it all on the drugs. It's much more complciated than that.


  • kellieny1 likes this

#13 HelloSailor

HelloSailor

    I said, "No, No, No"

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 952 posts

Posted 27 May 2015 - 02:39 PM

IMO a lot a famous people who try drugs also start using them as a habit (crack, coke, heroin) to lose weight. 

 

Not just famous people.

 

Saddly, I have several friends who took drugs to lose or keep the weight off.

 

At first it was my friend's sister who lost a lot of weight when she went to uni. She claimed it was because she was "dancing it off" in clubs every friday and saturday night, failing to mention the large quantities of ecstasy she was downing every weekend.

A few years later, when my friend went to uni herself, she also lost a huge amount of weight, just like that. I asked her if she had changed anything in her diet or lifestyle, she told me she didn't know what had caused it. I didn't need to ask her, I knew that she had gone down the same path as her sister. I also knew when she stopped taking E on a regular basis, because the weight piled back on just as fast as it had dropped. I tried speaking with her about it at the time, I said I thought her weight-loss was due to the drugs, but she didn't want to talk about it. 

 

I also worked with a young kid who lost loads of weight (several stones) in weeks! He had discovered recrational drugs, and told me that losing the weight was an added bonus, as he had been teased loads at school for being fat. The drugs were affecting his work, but he didn't want to cut back because, in his words, he didn't want to be a "fat bastard" anymore. 

 

So yeah, sometimes recreational drug use leads to unhealthy weight control.

It's possible that Amy thought it was a quick-fix solution (just as she thought bullemia was a new diet), as she clearly had issues with her weight. And who can blame her, the music industry is harsh on people's looks !


  • kellieny1 likes this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users