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Op-Ed: An Honest Reaction to Demi Lovato’s ‘Simply Complicated’ Documentary

Previously for Infectious Magazine, I wrote an article about making my peace with Los Angeles’ music industry scene, and since moving back to Texas, I’ve focused on taking care of myself and my mental health. I’ve been seeing my therapist and incorporated a daily workout that is at least one hour a day solely dedicated to myself. Life has gotten better, but I still struggle with my anxiety daily.

Recently I watched Demi Lovato’s YouTube documentary, Simply Complicated, which released on October 17, 2017, hot on the heels of her latest album, Tell Me You Love Me. In a nutshell, the documentary dives into the “demons” that have developed in her life since her early childhood. Tales from her past are uncovered, which fed into her addictions that plummeted her down into a dark place and ultimately rehab. On the other side of the coin—the message from this documentary—Demi sheds light on how, at 25 years old, she’s reflected on her past decisions and actions, which have motivated her dedication to live her life healthier on all fronts.

Demi is one of my favorite singers in the industry, so learning everything she went through really affected me because it just shows you never know what someone is going through. In addition, this could very well serve as a cautionary tale of what can happen to artists trying to make it in the industry—or even, in her case, have made it. Also in watching Simply Complicated, I found similarities between myself and her. Before becoming currently five years sober, Demi was battling her demons in addiction, depression, eating disorder and bi-polar disorder. All of this derived from chasing success and obsessing over self-image, the two things I gravitated to the most.

Most of my anxiety correlates to self-image and “success,” which are both driven by my low valued self-worth. Hustling day and night in LA, I was always trying to show people I was worthy of their time, networking or friendship-wise, and when I didn’t get the desired reaction or results, I instantly questioned my self-worth, believing there’s something wrong with me. And for the people back home in Texas—who bullied me, who told me I wouldn’t make it, who tried to knock me down from chasing my dreams—I wanted to maintain an image of success: that I was making it in the music industry… even though I wasn’t. I obsessed over masking my “unsuccessful” life, anxious to make sure everything about me looked perfect, so much so in fact that I even believed it myself.

In my eyes, perfection is a key ingredient to success, but that shouldn’t be the case. To this day, I continue to have an irrational belief that I’m still not good enough, so I’m constantly working around the clock to prove myself and worrying about how I come across to people to ensure that I’m always well-liked. Those are two of the major challenges I’m working through. I need to rediscover and accept who I am whilst letting go of the versions of myself I believe others expect me to be. Going further, I also need to realize that I hold too high of standards for myself and redefine what “success” is without letting my anxiety of “self-worth” manifest it for me.

Demi and I are both currently on a road to self-discovery, letting go of the crutches of our addictive and poisonous vices to focus on ourselves. My anxiety and panic disorder are part of my body’s chemistry, but I shouldn’t let it get the best of me. In addition, I’m still working on accepting reinforcing thoughts of self-love, especially when times get tough. In her documentary, Demi says, “I’m on a journey to discover what it’s like to be free of all demons,” and this is a mantra I have fully embraced for life going forward.



Full documentary:



Since relocating to Texas, Siri is currently working as a freelance writer for various publications and artists as well as a copyeditor for fledgling authors, and she is focused on building her brand as a Twitch TV live streamer. In addition, Siri has plans to self-publish three writing projects, which include poetry/prose collections and a coming-of-age novel.

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Angela Mastrogiacomo

Founder of Infectious Magazine & Muddy Paw Public Relations. Lover of passion, ice cream, and books.

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