Simply Complicated provides insight into Lovato’s struggles
Demi Lovato is back and better than ever. After announcing that she was quitting the music industry in 2016, she left fans confused and heartbroken. However, this was certainly not the end for the Grammy-nominated artist. Lovato took a year to devote herself to personal growth. Little did anyone know, during this time, she was working on a new album called Tell Me You Love Me, which was released on Sept. 28.
Lovato left the industry mainly because of the harsh criticism she was receiving from the public. Social media was getting too hard to handle, and her life seemed to be spiraling out of control. She also experienced a break-up with “That 70’s Show” star, Wilmer Valderrama, after a six-year relationship.
From her time of being on Disney Channel to now, Lovato has changed tremendously as a person. She suffered with depression, an eating disorder and drug addiction during her peak of fame. She hid her issues as much as she could from the press, so she could be a role model to her young fans. Although Lovato has always been open about her issues, many questions were always left unanswered. She reveals a lot in her new documentary, Simply Complicated, out on YouTube Originals.
Simply Complicated is remarkable. Lovato briefly touches upon everything that she has been through during her life in an hour and a half. It is perfectly paced, leaving no room for confusion. The documentary also shows the process of recording Tell Me You Love Me in between interview segments with the artist.
Lovato opens up the documentary with, “the last time I sat down for an interview this long, I was on cocaine,” which immediately draws the audience in to learn about a past they may have never known about. She reflects on her early childhood and how even though she had a noticeable talent at such a young age, her life was not at all perfect. She was bullied in school and wished to be like the popular girls. She was called names, mostly aimed toward her weight.
These comments triggered things inside Lovato that stuck with her for the rest of her life. She developed an eating disorder and depression after being bullied in school.
The documentary then quickly goes into her rise to fame. Lovato starred on a Disney Channel show called “As the Bell Rings,” and then later landed a role in the hit Disney Channel Original Movie, Camp Rock, at the age of 15. Behind her smiles and amazing voice, she was not happy with herself, or her life. She discusses how during this time, she started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. The pressures from Disney Channel were too much to handle and she had to find ways to cope with everything.
Lovato started using cocaine at the age of 17, and when she stopped with that, she would abuse alcohol. She also turned to self-harm as a way of instant release. These were all things unnoticed by fans at the time.
Simply Complicated truly gives an inside look at what her life was like when the cameras were off. News articles during the time of her Disney fame blamed her behavior on normal teenage stuff.
People close to her such as managers and family members looked past her behavior and saw a normal teenage girl going through normal teenage issues. However, Lovato’s issues should not have been ignored and she was lucky enough to have supportive people by her side to eventually realize her issues were way deeper than being a normal teenager.
The eye-opener for her crew was the time she physically harassed one of her backup dancers, Alex Welch, on tour. Upon boarding a plane, Lovato proceeded to punch the dancer in the face and then walk to her seat totally ignoring what happened. During the time of the incident, the media did not have the full story. It was just looked at as an incident of revenge Lovato sought after finding out one of her backup dancers told her crew about her bad behavior during the tour.
In the documentary, Lovato reveals that her backup dancer actually told her crew that she was on Adderall, which was completely true. She was furious because she did not want her family or fans finding out about her drug abuse. After Lovato crossed this line, her managers immediately entered her into a rehab facility, where she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
After Lovato was released from rehab, she went on to promote a new way of life. She spoke out about sobriety and shared her ways of coping with addiction.
She did interview after interview, promoting this new way of life, but after watching the documentary, fans learn that Lovato was not completely sober after rehab. She quickly went back to her old ways and abused drugs while promoting sobriety.
Lovato reached her breaking point when her crew threatened to give up on her because they felt as if they did everything they possibly could have done. Lovato agreed to enter rehab again and cut out all the people that were bad influences in her life.
She worked as a judge on “American Idol” while living in a home that prohibited her from having a phone and continued her recovery.
The documentary ends on a positive note, revealing that the artist is five and a half years sober. Lovato is learning to live the life of a 25-year-old on her own now that she is out of a relationship.
Simply Complicated is an eye-opener to exactly what the artist went through. The journey is just the beginning for Lovato.