When I looked out the window I smiled to to think just how grateful the deer must be for all we have done for them in 2010:  providing homegrown tomatoes, swiss chard, lima beans, strawberries, raspberries and a variety of delicious perennials for their dining pleasure during the summer.  We planted fruit trees that they could nibble on in spite of the deer fence that we installed. They must have seen it as a great opportunity to flex their muscles, ripping the fence down and nibbling on choice young branches. Not only that, we planted beds of entirely new landscaping (pictured here) that was supposed to be unappetizing to the large deer population at our farm….only to find that deer will eat anything and everything in winter.  As my husband has reminded me, we are unwittingly raising deer.  We are darned lucky that they let us live here!

The flip side of living in the presence of deer is that they are gorgeous, curious and fairly tame. Last week, on Christmas day, a herd was walking in a line single-file through the new snow, through the evergreens and up over the back mound, just like a scene on a card.  In the spring and summer we get to enjoy the new, spotted fawns nurse on their mothers.  Then they grow from wobbling to leaping as the days pass. They sometimes let us get up close, but so far I haven’t gotten to touch one. Yes, we are darned lucky that they let us live here.

Our world has lost one more dear young woman to the ravages of anorexia nervosa.  The French model Isabelle Caro, famous for allowing herself to be photographed naked for an Italian advertising campaign to raise awareness of the disease, has died at the age of 28.  She was also known for the “No — Anorexia” movement. I have been told that Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness.   Society isn’t doing nearly enough to deal with this crisis.  If you have a loved one with the disease, you know how difficult it is to find, arrange and pay for treatment. You know how overwhelming it is to navigate the maze.

As a “breast cancer survivor” (I hate that phrase), I have seen that people come forward with sympathy, groups literally run to raise money for research, and the medical community exists to seamlessly place the patient within the treatment network.  And, we are all heroes for having had the disease. When a girl or boy, man or woman, develops an ED, the stigma keeps that person silent.  In the case of bulimia, often the world doesn’t see the internal ravages since the person may maintain a normal weight.  In my support groups I often hear from people who had no idea their spouse, child,or friend had suffered from purging for years or even decades. That is because our society meets the illness with blame, lack of compassion, anger, and misunderstanding. The ill person feels horrific shame.  Can’t we do better?

If you would like to read the article about Isabelle Caro from the NYTimes you can find the link below.  Be warned that if you live with an Eating Disorder this may be triggering.  It will surely be upsetting to all readers.