Just over a week ago, we reported that Skyler Moon‘s absence from WWE‘s NXT live event shows and on the company’s website was because of her being part of sponsored rehab. Following that, some websites erroneously reported that the rehab was down to drug issues, which the former Buggy Nova took to her Twitter to clarify:
For all the rumors and speculations, I do not have a drug problem, I have an eating disorder. Thank you all for the love and support!! I will b back stronger then ever :) soon!!!!! I love you guys thanks for having my back. I’m not ashamed of my disease, i’m blessed to want to make myself better.
The series of tweets has since been deleted for reasons unknown, but it prompted speculation about whether going into rehab would affect her standing in WWE. I have a few thoughts on that – but first, it may be worth providing some insight on what Skyler is dealing with, and it’s just as serious as any addiction.
While Moon makes no reference of what eating disorder she is battling, it tends to be one of two – Anorexia nervosa or Bulimia nervosa. The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines anorexia as when someone who loses weight than is considered healthy for their age and height, with people possibly experiencing intense fear of weight gain, even when they are underweight. Bulimia is slightly different, as it is comprised of binge-eating food and then purging it by either vomiting or using laxatives to prevent weight gain – some people with bulimia may also be anorexic, though this is not always the case. When it comes to anorexia, the University Of Iowa claims “participation in sports, ballet, modeling, wrestling, and other activities that promote thinness accentuates the drive to lose weight.
Complications from anorexia can include osteoporosis (brittle bones, which is not good for wrestling), kidney and liver problems, depression, tooth decay and seizures. Bulimia can lead to issues like dental cavities and permanent damage to the oesophagus due to the acid from vomiting, as well as electrolyte imbalances, depression again and pancreatitis. Both conditions are potentially fatal. In the US, there are up to 24 million people with an eating disorder, and the conditions have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
As you can see, we are talking about serious consequences here. A number of celebrities have dealt with eating disorders in the past. Paula Abdul, Lady Gaga, Joan Rivers, Sharon Osbourne, Geri Halliwell and in the last few hours, Nicole Scherzinger have all admitted to battling bulimia, while Calista Flockheart, Snooki, Tara Reid, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Halliwell’s Spice Girl bandmates Victoria Beckham and Mel C have all dealt with anorexia, while in wrestling, Angelina Love had to go to some lengths to refute claims that she had a problem. Some, like Jane Fonda and Alanis Morrisette fought both issues, while for others, it has claimed their life – the most famous of which was Karen Carpenter, who went on a water diet to lose weight, before eventually dying from her anorexia in 1983 at the age of 32 weighing just 80 pounds.
With all that in mind, and considering the potentially lethal consequences of eating disorders, I have to congratulate 22-year old Skyler for acknowledging hers, and also accepting the help which WWE offered to her. As Halliwell told the BBC in 2003, part of the recovery means holding your hands up in the air: “I think there’s a well known quote – the truth sets you free. It’s a very liberating thing – when you say this is who I am warts and all and then you can just get on with life. It’s amazing.”
By accepting the help, Moon has shown – and stated in her tweets – that she WANTS to deal with it, and that is a massive boost to her – which brings us back to the speculation about if this will affect her prospects. Personally, I would not imagine it will. After all, she has accepted the help rather than reject it – doing that may have been a black mark against her, as Jeff Hardy was released from WWE in 2003 for not accepting rehab for what was later revealed to be an addiction to crystal meth. By showing the strength to sort things out rather than bury her head in the sand, it has to be a plus.
If you wanted to take a more cynical look at things, it would not look good for WWE to let someone go after they have accepted the help – in that situation, Skyler would be damned if she did and damned if she didn’t. Besides, the media would have a field day with it, and despite her not being part of WWE anymore, Linda McMahon‘s political opponents may try to use it as ammunition.
There is no guarantee that it will be a permanent solution – former Big Brother UK contestant and admitted anorexic Nikki Grahame has relapsed a number of times, and has been in rehab on eleven occasions, saying “It’s something I will battle all of my life, but I want more than anything to get it under control” – but it’s certainly a step in the right direction, and that has to be supported.
There is a possibility that Moon’s temporary public acknowledgement could inspire others to seek help, which is a light in the dark. A couple of examples of websites where you can get more advice on eating disorders can be found by clicking here and here.
All the best to you Skyler, hopefully we’ll see you back in the ring at some point soon.
– Lee Burton