Written By: Anton Sawyer
Warning: This article contains very open and frank discussions about drug addiction, eating disorders, self-harm, and abuse. Please keep this in mind as you continue on ...
As much as I have wanted to avoid the topic of Ms. Eugenia Cooney, it seems that my hand has been forced. Usually, when it comes to social media influencers, I try to break down their deceptions in such a way as to make an escape from reality an impossibility. Considering that Cooney spent a portion of a live Twitch stream speaking about this piece written about her, How Eugenia Cooney Is Normalizing Predatory & Grooming Behaviors, immediately after its publication, I thought that I had presented such air-tight scientific evidence that it may give her pause. From my understanding, it didn’t. I was notified by one of my readers that she put out another video at the beginning of July refuting some of the assertions I had made. She did not mention our article or site by name—which isn’t surprising—but about 75% of the video was dedicated to the specific assertions I had made in the piece. As you know, I aim to please, so by popular demand, here we are today.
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Given her propensity to either shift the blame to someone else (typically predicated on “misunderstandings” of the person making the claims), along with the problems I feel she may have, I want to make it clear that this is not a hit-piece or some kind of bullying. I’m giving her an out, right now; everything written here today are my feelings. These feelings may be wrong, and therefore from here on, you have the ability to say “I’m sorry you feel that way.”
It also needs stating that I do not want Cooney canceled in any way either. I am vehemently against any kind of censorship. I’m hoping that at some point, Cooney will “get it,” or be spoken to in such a way as to give her clarity with what she’s doing to herself and her ardent fans, and start age restricting her content or make the needed changes. I honestly hope Cooney gets help. I know what it’s like to feel that nothing you say or do matters and that the only way you feel good is by self-harm. It’s an incredibly dark place, and I hope for her sake that she can find her way through this blackened forest. One final disclaimer; though this article isn’t about me, I do have to explain why I feel that I am qualified to make the assertions that I am about to. I do not have a doctorate and am not any kind of licensed psychologist. But what I lack in formal education, I more than make up for in experience.
I am a drug addict. Though I’ve been clean from opioids for a couple of years now, the years of alcohol and drugs I have put through my system have permanently altered my neurons and brain chemistry itself. This is what happens to everyone that becomes addicted to something, this is why it’s called a disease. I started smoking marijuana when I was 16, and almost died of a meth overdose by the time I was 17. Through the years I bounced from meth, booze, and opioids. Because of these addictions, I have also attended four outpatient rehab programs lasting anywhere from six months to a year. With this also came a lot of personal counseling; both state-mandated and me voluntarily going in order to help get my life together. Throughout this time I studied evolutionary psychology with an emphasis on practical application. In essence, I may not be able to tell you the specific quadrants of the brain when it comes to things such as dream analysis or the like, but I can definitely tell you why you go for that extra piece of cake at dessert. None of what I’ve said is an attempt to glorify any of those elements from my past. In fact, some of those mistakes are reasons why this webzine is written the way it is.
*Everything written from here on are my feelings. If I say something like “she has …” these are my thoughts and not based on any professional diagnosis standards*
I'm guessing someone hurt Eugenia Cooney and she is using anorexia as her coping mechanism. I’m not even going to venture as to who, but I can tell you that all of the signs of self-destructive coping behaviors (SDCB) are in full force. With the severity of her eating disorder (ED), along with the visceral responses she has to any and all negativity sent her way, I am guessing it was someone trusted—either a family member or caretaker. In my experience, the severity of the addiction is almost congruent with how apparent the addict is suffering. For example, after the adoption of my daughter when I was 19, I was utterly reckless with my meth addiction while trying to cope. I did not care who saw me when or in what condition. I was so openly flagrant about my use that it was almost taunting in a way; like each hit was a way of saying “I dare you to care.” Given that her SDCB is centered around control, I’m guessing that hers was taken away completely. Her freedom and/or agency was completely ripped away at some point. I’m guessing it was something that happened over a long period of time, given the duration of her SDCB. With the severe body modification we see with Cooney, it’s about control. SHE DECIDES when she eats. SHE DECIDES how she looks. SHE CONTROLS the scale. This level of control she’s illustrating is also incredibly worrisome.
When comparing her weight currently with that of right before she sought out help in 2019, she appears to weigh less now than she did before getting treatment. It stands to reason that if this is true, then any comments she may be getting now do not have the same weight or value as they once did. This typically happens when the addict doesn’t feel that they are worth saving internally, or their active addiction cycle is going so “well” that they don’t care what is being said. If she is at the point in her SDCB where she’s getting the results she’s after, there’s nothing anyone can say to make a difference. When I mentioned the physical brain changes that occur in addiction, it re-routes all sorts of synaptic nerves. The reward center is so triggered that any efforts of the brain become dedicated to replicating the results of the behavior. I can still vividly recall the feeling of when I was able to score meth and how a sort of evil sensation would creep up my spine, and then spreading like a spiderweb from the base of my neck encapsulating the entirety of my skull. In the case of someone like Cooney, I imagine that the same kind of experience would occur if the scale portrayed some magic number.
The reason for these repeated articles is that her SDCB is such to where it can have a disastrous impact on the lives of many young fans. Imagine for a moment, if you will. A 13-year-old girl. She gets teased at school, bullied. She feels like a loner, an outsider. Though she’s only 13, she’s already been dealing with clinical depression for a couple of years. Even the respite that was the internet has now seemed to turn on her for whatever reason. She begins watching Cooney. She sees that Cooney is getting bullied too. She sees that people are constantly being mean to her about her weight (which is incredibly sad because this girl thinks Cooney is beautiful). The more she watches though, the more she realizes that Cooney is getting a lot of negative attention, but also getting a lot of money … and a LOT of love from her supporters. This young fan sees that just because of Cooney looking a certain way, Cooney is getting more affection and attention than our subject has in a very long time.
It would be utterly arrogant to think that this situation isn’t possible. With a fanbase of millions, to say that the law of averages can’t play out in influencing some young person to take drastic measures to secure love and attention because they follow Cooney is absurd. But this to be expected. As recovering addict Steve-O always puts it, "addiction is a selfish disease." It is. Hopefully, Cooney can find what she needs before anyone else follows in her footsteps.
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