Selena Gomez is getting real about her struggles with lupus.
In part two of Today's interview with Gomez and her best friend, actress Francia Raisa, the 25-year-old singer admits that she initially couldn't accept that she had lupus, and kept working despite experiencing painful symptoms.
"I’d get fevers, headaches. I’d get fatigued, but I always kept going," Gomez tells Savannah Guthrie. "I ignored it to be honest, because it wasn’t something maybe I really wanted to accept. I don’t think I made the right decisions because I didn’t accept it. And that’s extremely selfish and at the same time, really, really unnecessary. You know, I’m not really proud of that."
"I'm definitely the hardest person on myself," she adds.
Eventually, Gomez took time off last August to deal with anxiety, depression and panic attacks caused by the autoimmune disease.
"I went into a facility. I took some time off. I had to get my mind right, be healthy," the singer says of the much needed break. "I removed myself from everyone in my life."
"Everything affects your body too," she notes about dealing with anxiety and depression. "That’s a huge part of why I was feeling that way. I had a lot of fatigue; I wouldn’t want to leave the bed a lot."
Understandably, her decision to isolate herself wasn't easy on her loved ones.
"We went six months without speaking," Raisa, who donated a kidney to Gomez over the summer, shares. "It was a huge lesson of friendship for me, and trust. Because it's easy to feel offended or want to be there. It's just, they need to go through their own thing."
One thing the former Disney Channel star is adament about is that her struggles had nothing to do with getting caught up in the business of fame.
"I don’t think I ever accepted the position that I had," she explains of her celebrity status. "It was me almost feeling guilty about fame. People could see anyone in my position and just say, 'Wow, they’ve got it all figured out, they’ve got everything. They get to live this cool life.' [But] you’re isolated, you’re being looked at, you’re being judged. I was always trying to be nice, I wanted to be great, that’s genuinely who I am deep down. But, it just seemed pointless."
These days, Gomez wants her fans to know that her battle with lupus has only strengthened herself as a person.
"What I believe is that it does happen for a reason," she muses. "I think a huge part of my discernment and my honesty and my truth has been because I have a relationship with God."
"I don’t want people to say that it’s a sad thing that I went through this with Francia or with anything in my life, because at the end of the day, I think that all the stuff that I went through made me and defined everything that I am right now," she continues. "I think it’s a really beautiful thing and I have to remind myself that. It’s not a negative experience."