By: Becky Root
Oprah interviewed Lady Gaga in front of a live studio audience in Ft. Lauderdale to kick off her Weight Watchers 2020 Vision Tour. Backstage afterward, Oprah tearfully told Gaga, “To be the truth that way? Nobody does that and you know that.”
Gaga says she sees pain when she looks at the Oscar she won for the song “Shallow” from her 2019 film “A Star Is Born.” She struggles with chronic full body pain, admitting there is some disagreement about what is traditionally classified as “fibromyalgia pain.” Gaga revealed that her pain is connected to PTSD or unprocessed trauma from being repeatedly raped at the age of 19. Gaga started to experience intense pain throughout her body “that mimicked the illness I felt after I was raped. It was a trauma response.” In addition to fibromyalgia pain, Gaga revealed that she used to cut herself and slam herself against walls, describing that she thought she would be distracted from her constant pain for the half second of alternate pain. Those actions would quickly lead to chaotic spiraling and she felt worse off than before. Self-harm was also her physical way to show people around the pain she was enduring, admitting that “I was in so much pain that I needed help.”
Despite the stigma, she states, “I’m not ashamed of it.” Throughout the #Metoo movement, she chose to not say who raped her because she made a personal choice to not relive it, asking for the world to respect that.
When Oprah asked what helps her get back up, Gaga credited the reciprocal strength of her Little Monsters, or her army of fans, turning to the audience and simply stating, “All of you. And women like you. Faith. Inspiration. Hope.” Then she confirmed what she has experienced to be a controversial stance: medication helped her journey out of endless pain. Gaga credits antipsychotics and other medicines for the mind, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), transcendental meditation (TM), and radical acceptance. She explains this acceptance as putting “my shame in a box and I put it over there. I am a survivor, I am living and thriving, I am going to take all my experiences and share them with the world and make it a better place.” Oprah agreed with radical acceptance, realizing that all stress emanates from wanting someone or something to be what it isn’t.
Gaga shares the fact that after she had a psychotic break, she began her journey away from fear and to lessen pain without narcotics. She concludes, “I think I was more scared of the psychotic break itself than people finding out about it…I’m perfectly imperfect and we all are…You cannot problem solve if you are lying to yourself.”
It is clear why Gaga was the first guest of the tour. Oprah introduced her as one of the “rare few who have harnessed their own experiences to become a force for all that it means to be well and do well in this world.” Social media posts from the tour can be followed via #Oprahs2020visiontour. Future guests include Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Obama, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, and Gayle King.