By this point, seemingly everyone’s talked a lot about the mental toll pandemic isolation can take on a person — and rightfully so. The loss of casual meetups with friends, of hugs, of incidental run-ins with strangers, and so much more…it can absolutely lead anyone down a dark spiral, especially when those avenues for connection are ripped away so suddenly by a thing that’s so far beyond your control.
But Demi Lovato, 29, just shed light on how isolation can propel personal growth while reflecting on a “transformative” two years.
“I’ve learned how to be alone,” Lovato recently told Rolling Stone. “I think that at the beginning of Covid, I wasn’t alone. A part of that situation was me not wanting to be alone and then I really came to terms with it. Ever since I’ve been alone, I feel like I’ve learned more about myself.”
The star expanded on how the learning has affected their life. “I’ve become more secure in the person that I am. It was just time that I needed to spend by myself because I feel like my whole life — well not my whole life, but ever since I started dating — I was always talking to somebody, or hooking up with someone, or in a relationship, and these past two years have been truly transformative for me,” they shared.
Of course, it doesn’t take a pandemic to experience what it’s like to be out of a relationship. But maybe for some people, the pandemic and the isolation it has demanded of them have helped to break cycles of dependency.
For two years, many people have been forced to get really familiar with their own company. It hasn’t always been easy or enjoyable, but as Lovato’s comments suggest, this sort of intense solitude can be really powerful. For Lovato, who came out as non-binary last year and ended their engagement to Max Ehrich in 2020, it has inspired self-awareness on many levels. And when you learn who you truly are and want you really want to be? That’s a seriously empowering place to be.
“I’m definitely in a better place than I was two years ago,” they said during her interview with Rolling Stone. “And not that I was in a bad place — but like I said, I’ve just learned a lot about myself. Today, I’m more focused. I’m more clear-headed and excited to be working on new music.”
This isn’t the first time Lovato has spoken about how they’ve been affected internally by the pandemic. “It’s very common for people to only really work on themselves when crisis happens or when they notice that they’re slipping into old patterns or behaviors,” they told Bustle in a 2020 interview. “So to be able to walk into this experience without a personal crisis and just be like, ‘I can do the work on myself now because I have the time’….It was a beautiful thing.”
“Before quarantine, it was very difficult for me to cry. I had programmed the thought into my head when I was 16 that I’m only going to cry if people pay me to,” they added during the same interview. “I started doing all this work, allowing myself to feel the pains of all the losses that I’ve had or the adversities or traumas that I’ve faced. I think my ability to be vulnerable and be more intimate with people has really heightened.”
The opportunities for self-learning have inspired Lovato both personally and professionally. See: The star’s decision to hold a funeral for their “pop music” earlier this month. During the recent interview with Rolling Stone, they spoke about the different directions their music will take. Lovato’s new single, “fiimy (f*ck it, i miss you)”, is a collaboration between them and Winnetka Bowling League. The single feels unlike Lovato’s radio-ready catalog (a far cry from the Camp Rock soundtrack, if you will), but Lovato urged listeners: Don’t look at this as a change.
“I’m not changing with the new music,” they said. “I’m just going back to my roots.”