Lady Gaga has always been upfront about the fact that celebrity life can be taxing on one’s mental health—she titled one of her albums The Fame Monster, after all. Even so, the artist just got more candid than ever about the day-to-day reality of being a superstar, and how the spotlight almost destroyed her in the past two years.
Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, opened up in a new CBS Sunday Morning interview that aired on September 20. “I totally gave up on myself. I hated being famous, I hated being a star,” she said of a recent rough period. “I felt exhausted and used up.”
The constant attention and lack of privacy being unable to do things like go to the grocery or have a regular dinner out with her family, she says, threw her into a crisis. “My biggest enemy is Lady Gaga! My biggest enemy is her,” Gaga felt at the time. And while music could be therapeutic, it couldn’t do everything.
“It’s not always easy if you have mental issues to let other people see. I used to show, I used to self-harm,” she explained. “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,” The artist added that she got to a point where “I didn’t really understand why I should live, other than to be there for my family.” She had thoughts of suicide “every day,” but survived thanks to people around her lifting her up, and quite literally watching her in her home to make sure she was safe.
While success in music comes with its share of baggage, Gaga said her new album Chromatica allowed her to express some of her pain artistically. “There’s not one song on [Chromatica] that’s not true,” said Gaga. Songs like “Rain On Me” and “911” are about substance use, while others deal with the ongoing trauma following a sexual assault when she was nineteen. She said she used to think of her piano as the thing that “ruined her life,” but now she loves and is grateful for the instrument she uses to create. “I don’t hate Lady Gaga anymore. I found a way to love myself again. Even when I thought that was never gonna happen,” she said.
An added perk of the Chromatica era? Collaborating with pop star Ariana Grande. “I like that girl,” Gaga said. “You know how hard it is to make a female friend in this business?”
Watch the entire interview, below.
If you are struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.