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Selena Gomez Opening Up About Mental Health Makes Me Feel Closer to Her Than Ever


The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Selena Gomez has been a trending topic, making headlines for her new romance and even avant-garde airport style. But, truth be told, Gomez doesn’t love all of the attention she’s been getting. In fact, in the April issue of Vogue, Gomez shares that she can’t wait for people to just forget about her.

If you haven’t been following Gomez recently, you’re probably wondering where this is all coming from. I mean, surely someone with over 113 million followers on Instagram would love the attention. But, as Gomez’s April Vogue cover story reveals, the singer’s anxiety and depression became so overwhelming that she needed to take a timeout, both in life and on Instagram.

Gomez’s fans noticed this three-month break in 'grams too, and they couldn't help but miss her. I mean, it’s impossible not to love Gomez. We’ve watched her grow up, as Alex on Wizards of Waverly Place, and then followed her along as she grew into the outspoken musician she is today.

So, when Gomez took a break from her Revival tour last October to check into rehab, fans, including myself, were left in shock. 

Now that her treatment is over, Gomez is ready to tell fans what her journey has really been like. In her interview with Vogue, Gomez revealed that she felt very lonely on tour. “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable.” That is the vulnerability that fans are attracted to with Gomez; her ability to take a step back and admit that she needs help.

In a tearful section, Gomez shares that she used to ask fans to raise their pinkies and make a promise to never allow anybody to convince them or make them feel like they weren’t good enough. But, now that her shows attract an older crowd, which means alcohol and smoking, she felt like she couldn’t do that anymore. “It doesn’t work that way, and I know it because I’m dealing with the same shit they’re dealing with. What I wanted to say is that life is so stressful, and I get the desire to just escape it. But I wasn’t figuring my own stuff out, so I felt I had no wisdom to share. And so maybe I thought everybody out there was thinking, ‘This is a waste of time.’” As a long-time Gomez fan, this section tugged at my heartstrings.

Truthfully, I feel like I’ve been cheering Gomez on throughout what feels like most of my life and hers. And, this incredibly raw realization hit home because, I was that pre-teen singing along to “Who Says” in the car with her mom and two friends on the way to our first high school CYO dance.

Now, six years later, finishing up my junior year at the University of South Carolina, I would probably be one of those fans enjoying a drink in the crowd. That’s why that analogy feels all too real. There’s this reminder of how quickly life moves on. One minute you’re young and your biggest problem is who to sit next to at lunch and then, suddenly, you’re 21 and trying to maneuver your first real relationship or your blossoming career, unclear as to what your future might actually hold. In that moment, I felt so connected with Gomez. Suddenly, her and I, we weren’t that different. 

As the interview continued, Gomez said that she also struggled with staying in the moment, until recently, “It feels like I don’t have to be holding my breath and waiting for somebody to judge a piece of work that I’m doing. I’m not eager to chase a moment. I don’t think there’s a moment for me to chase.”

I think this interview was the piece of Gomez we’ve all been waiting for. Gomez has been one of the most real celebrities, acknowledging that in the interview by pointing out her onstage performances, “I’ve cried onstage more times than I can count, and I’m not a cute crier.” That unfiltered glimpse into Gomez’s life is what fans, like myself, love.

At the end of the day, Gomez is right. She’s there, with us, in the middle of life, on the verge of a new and uncertain stage. But, she’s showing us actively that it’s okay to stumble and it’s okay to ask for help. But most importantly, it’s okay to give back to yourself to make sure that you’re doing well, and not just when it comes to your career or grades.

This message rings true for a number of reasons, but especially now, in an era where women are encouraged to be their own boss. Sometimes that pressure can feel like too much. Like, we’re expected to be a kick-ass businesswoman, doting girlfriend, supportive friend and loving family member. Oh yeah, all while kicking ass in school, creating an impenetrable network and shocking the world while we’re at it on social media.

People forget to mention that it is okay to be vulnerable and focus on yourself and your wellbeing. And that, is exactly what Gomez’s interview with Vogue allowed me to do, to admit that I don’t have life worked out, and that, craziest of all, I’ll probably still be okay.

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