“Simply Complicated”: A Raw, Revealing & Inspiring Look Into Demi Lovato’s Life

by Aisha E. Al-Saqabi
Demi Lovato

Image: Demi Lovato // YouTube
*Contains Spoilers

A little over a week ago, Grammy-nominated international pop-star Demi Lovato released her YouTube documentary titled “Simply Complicated” which showcased the recording process of her sixth studio album “Tell Me You Love Me” and brought to light some of the struggles and issues she’s never talked about before. The documentary includes anecdotes from Demi, her family and closest friends and some of the members of her team.

Now some people might be surprised about this, considering the fact that Demi has always been very vocal about her struggles with bullying, body image issues, bipolar disorder…etc. Yet, not even five minutes into “Simply Complicated” Demi says, “I actually had anxiety around this interview because the last time I did an interview this long, I was on cocaine.” Here, Demi was referring to her 2012 MTV documentary “Staying Strong” which was filmed and released shortly after her exit from rehab.

Back in 2012, Demi was advocating for sobriety and recovery, highlighting how important it was for her to receive the help and support she had needed. In “Simply Complicated”, Demi’s manager, Phil McIntyre reveals that Demi was still using substances and alcohol even after leaving rehab while simultaneously promoting this “new way of life.”

Furthermore, Demi says that she was still using substances even while she had multiple sober companions. To add on, Demi had almost overdosed twice. Once while doing cocaine and taking Xanax and another in Palm Springs when she used and locked herself in the bathroom and had to be taken to the hospital. Mike Bayer, Demi’s life-coach also discloses that Demi had been taken to a psychiatric ward at one point but that it had not done anything to improve her recovery at that time.

Within the documentary, Demi also talks about the relationship that she had with her ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama. She reveals that she had never loved somebody the way she loved Wilmer. Demi then continues to describe how they had first met and how their relationship unfolded after they began dating. Although they are not together anymore, they remain very friendly and have a lot of love for one another. Another relationship Demi talks about is the one she had with her biological father, Patrick Lovato. It’s been revealed that their relationship was rocky and unstable and that he had suffered from drug and alcohol abuse as well.

While still dealing with substance abuse, Demi had learnt back when she was first admitted into rehab that she has bipolar disorder. To her, it was an eye-opening revelation as the episodes of mania she had experienced where she would stay up all night to write songs finally made sense to her.

Although Demi is currently a little over five years sober, she discloses that she still struggles with her eating disorder. She reveals that she had relapsed with her eating disorder especially after she had first broken up with her ex-boyfriend, Wilmer. Her eating disorder had developed when her classmates were bullying her at the age of 12. Over the next couple of years, Demi began to look up to people who had the body that she thought she needed to look like, which were very skinny and underweight women and girls. Now, Demi understands that what’s important is having a healthy body and treating it right whether it be through food or exercise. As she puts it, she tries to focus on “going to therapy, working her program and having an honest relationship with others and those around her.”

To conclude, being an avid fan of Demi for years, I think “Simply Complicated” was a perfect way of showing not only her fans but also the entire world that recovery is possible and that it is important, to be honest, and real with yourself and those you care about the most. Also, no matter how big our struggles might be, it is always possible to overcome them and learn from what we’ve been through. So, with that being said, I hope everyone takes the time to watch the documentary.

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