“My lupus, my kidney transplant, chemotherapy, having a mental illness, going through very public heartbreaks - these were all things that honestly should have taken me down,” Gomez told the publication. “Every time I went through something, I was like, ‘What else? What else am I going to have to deal with?”
Gomez first sought treatment for mental health after being diagnosed with lupus in 2014, four years later she then came to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But when the celebrity rumour mill went into overdrive, she found herself to be the subject of a “nasty” narrative online that proved demoralising. It was only when she took a step back that she realised she had the power to flip the narrative, and help people by giving visibility to issues via her platform.
“That’s really what kept me going,” she said. “There could have been a time when I wasn’t strong enough, and would have done something to hurt myself.”
Gomez now uses her platforms to promote self-acceptance and other causes, but does so indirectly. She provides images and quotes to her assistant, who then makes the posts on her behalf. By removing herself from the use of social media, Gomez believes she’s more present and able to focus on projects. “I don’t have it on my phone, so there’s no temptation,” she said. “I suddenly had to learn how to be with myself. That was annoying, because in the past, I could spend hours looking at other people’s lives.”
“Now I get information the proper way,” she added. “When my friends have something to talk about, they call me and say, ‘Oh, I did this.’ They don’t say, ‘Wait, did you see my post?’”