Simply Complicated

As a child of the late 90’s, some of my biggest idols as a kid were Disney Channel stars such as Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato. While to me they seemed to be so much older and more mature, in reality they were growing up at the same time as I was.

The difference between my childhood and my idols' encompassed so much more than a few-year age gap. We grew up in two completely different worlds. While I was growing up in my small town in Connecticut, my heroes were growing up in Hollywood, being judged and criticized every time they stepped outside of their home. I hadn't fully realized this drastic difference until recently when I watched Demi Lovato’s new documentary, Simply Complicated.

Recently, Lovato came out with a documentary on YouTube where she finally shared her full story. For those of you who may not know, Lovato suffered through drugs and alcohol addictions when she was only 19 years old. When she first went to rehab, Lovato came out with her album, Unbroken, dedicated to her battle with addiction. Despite her claims of sobriety to the public, she suffered with a cocaine addiction for about a year afterwards before actually becoming clean.

To be completely honest, when I first learned the truth about her struggle with addiction while watching this movie, I was upset. As an avid fan, I kept up religiously with Lovato’s recovery. I listened to her album on repeat, memorizing every word, watched her first documentary, “Staying Strong,” and saw her on tour. I was inspired and moved by this person I admired so much who had suffered greatly, but beat her addiction. When I watched her movie, I couldn’t believe that all of that time she wasn’t being her true self.

Then, I watched her movie again, and got over myself. I realized, firstly, that her battle is her own and not mine to judge. Secondly, I took a minute to think about how lonely that year must have been. A whole year of lying, sneaking around, and not being able to trust anyone. In spite of this horrible year, Lovato took control, without anyone knowing, and got her life on track. This time, it wasn’t to please the public or for an interview. This time, it was because she wanted to live a better life for herself.

As an early twentysomething, I have made mistakes and poor choices; I think most of us have. But, what’s important is learning from them and bettering yourself. What is even more important is improving yourself because you want to, not because other people tell you to, and that is what Lovato has shown us. It doesn’t matter what other people think or want for you, what matters is what you want for yourself. Lovato wanted to be clean, she wanted to live a healthier and happier life and so she did. Five and a half years later she is still sober and learning from her mistakes. She continues to fight her battles just like the rest of us and learn from them.

If you haven’t had the chance, I highly recommend watching Simply Complicated (for free!!) on YouTube. At the very least you’ll get to learn a lot about a super cool artist, but hopefully, you will be inspired by someone who has struggled and grown, and think about ways in which you can too.