In an emotional interview with Lee Cowan on CBS Sunday Morning, via People, the 34-year-old singer opened up about her struggles with becoming her alter ego, Lady Gaga, and missing her former identity as Stefani Germanotta.
“My biggest enemy is 'Lady Gaga', that's what I was thinking,” she explained. “My biggest enemy is her. You can't go to the grocery store now. If you go to dinner with your family somebody comes to the table, you can’t have dinner with your family without it being about you, it’s always about you. All the time it's about you."
“If I'm at the grocery store and somebody comes up very close to me and puts a cellphone right in my face and starts taking pictures, just total panic, full-body pain. I'm braced because I'm so afraid," she shared. "It’s like I'm an object, I'm not a person."
For this reason, she felt that during this time period of her life, "I hated being famous, I hated being a star, I felt exhausted and used up.”
The “Rain On Me” singer then told Cowan that every song on Chromatica alludes to a time when she was at her lowest. When everything was “so dark” and where it had reached a point where she “totally gave up on [herself].”
“There's not one song on that album that’s not true, not one," she told Cowan, adding that the lyric “pop a 911” is a “reference to the medication I had to take when I used to panic because I'm 'Lady Gaga.”
"It's not always easy if you have mental issues to let other people see," Gaga continued. "I used to show, I used to self-harm, I used to say, ‘Look I cut myself, see I’m hurting.’ Because I didn’t think anyone could see because mental health, it’s invisible."
Thankfully, after Chromatica and perhaps because of the social isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited her in person sudden fan interactions, Gaga has “found a way to love [herself] again.”
"I don't hate Lady Gaga anymore," she shared. "Now I look at this piano and I go, ‘Ugh, my god, my piano, my piano that I love so much. My piano, that lets me speak, my piano that lets me make poetry. My piano that’s mine.’”
Lady Gaga’s words speak volumes to everyone because, well, everyone struggles with mental health and it can seem invisible to the naked eye. Her story reminds us all that you never know what someone is going through on the surface level, and if you are struggling, to get professional help and speak to someone about it.
If you or anyone you know is feeling distressed or has experienced a traumatic event, know that there are people who are ready and willing to listen. Contact Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or QLife (1800 184 527). If you feel your life is in danger or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please talk to the folks at Lifeline (13 11 14), 1800Respect (1800 737 732) or 000.