by Natalie Dest
Pop star Demi Lovato gets personal in the release of her newest and most revealing documentary, “Simply Complicated.” The documentary exposes her past battles with mental health, eating disorders and excessive drug abuse.
Coinciding with the release of her newest studio album, “Tell Me You Love Me,” the YouTube exclusive delves into Lovato’s heavy history with a mind of the present, as the 25-year-old narrates the struggles of her road to recovery.
Through a series of vulnerable and honest interviews, Lovato sets the tone of the documentary by stating, “I actually had anxiety around this interview because the last time I did an interview this long, I was on cocaine.” Referring to her past MTV documentary, “Stay Strong” back in 2012, the singer/songwriter is in a clearer state of mind more than ever before.
Leading into the story of her life journey, Lovato discusses her most notable triumph against addiction and bipolar disorder. It was admitted through several interviews with Lovato, along with her friends and family, where her issues stemmed from, including the passing of her father, bullying and teenage partying. These were the main causes that influenced Lovato’s addiction and body issues.
Lovato mentions those who encouraged her to start “partying” at such an early age, heavily introducing her past 17-year-old self to the addiction of drugs and alcohol, more specifically Adderall and cocaine. She would later be dependent on these drugs to get through the day.
“I was scared because my mom always told me that your heart could just burst if you do it,” Lovato admits. “But I did it anyway, and I loved it the first time that I did it.”
Lovato’s biological father, who had passed away from cancer back in 2013, was an addict and alcoholic himself. “I guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him, and he chose that over a family,” Lovato said.
After several years of discussing the struggles that came from the relationship between her and her father, Lovato states within her documentary that these issues will always be relevant, and that she’s still overcoming them to this day.
Viewers are met with interviews from Lovato’s manager Phil McIntyre and personal development coach Mike Bayer, who admits to the singer’s low moments with drugs that almost cost both her life and career.
“Demi was on a road to suicide. She’d have bags of pills and an 8 ball of coke,” Bayer states. Either craving drugs or on drugs, Lovato admits that she was not easy to work with. Confessing to sneaking out for drugs and faking drug tests, the teenager at the time was almost to her breaking point.
Phil McIntyre admits in an interview that he and the rest of Lovato’s management team were willing to drop the pop star during her time of addiction. “It wasn’t a matter of if they were going to leave,” Lovato states. “It was, ‘we are leaving. There’s no more we can do for you.’”
Lovato recounts the night she had smashed her phone during the pivotal moment of her addiction. According to McIntyre, the phone “Was the wrong people. It was drug dealers, it was a lot of the negative influences in her life that were coming through the cell phone.”
The 25-year-old now looks back at this moment as just the beginning of her journey to sobriety. Lovato eventually entered treatment for the first time at 18-years-old and was officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
However, addiction was only half the battle, as her mental state and eating disorders played side by side in the destruction of her health. Lovato considers this to be the one demon she still has yet to overcome.
“I haven’t relapsed in drugs and alcohol,” she states. “I’m coming up on five and half years of sobriety, and that’s something that’s been difficult at times, but one thing that I haven’t fully conquered is my eating disorder.”
In the documentary, we see Lovato in the back of a car with McIntyre where she admits that only a few nights ago she had relapsed with bingeing and purging, triggered by missing her ex, Wilmer Valderrama. “When we broke up, it [bingeing] was one of the first things I did. When I feel lonely, my heart feels hungry, I end up bingeing, and I don’t know how to figure out how to be alone.”
Lovato has been open about her body disorder for years in the media and continues to be an advocate to help those who struggle with the same issues. “Simply Complicated” does its job as showcasing just how much of an impact this problem affects the 25-year-old both professionally and personally.
She continues to mention how she envy’s those who don’t have to struggle with an eating disorder but makes it prominent that it is a day by day process, and she intends to become stronger every day.
Lovato’s project “Simply Complicated” serves many purposes, one of them is the artist’s ability to overcome battles she thought she could never win. Viewers are met with raw stories and confessions that showcase Lovato’s personal struggles, and a sense of vulnerability that she is willing to expose for the sake of saving someone else in the process.
Through waves of honesty and authenticity, Demi Lovato proves what her fans have known all along; through the toughest times, all you can do is “Stay strong.”