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If You're Still Processing Your Difficult Past, Ariana Grande Wants You to Know You're Not Alone

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It’s no secret the past few years have been difficult for Ariana Grande. After video surfaced of the singer crying during a performance of the song “R.E.M.” from her “Sweetener” album on Saturday in St. Louis, Missouri, Grande shared a now-deleted message to fans on social media. If you’re still processing your difficult past, she’s right there with you.

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According to fan accounts and social media video of the show, Grande started to break down in tears as she approached the chorus of the song as the crowd urged her on. 

Following the concert, many fans expressed concern online for the “thank u, next” singer. Grande responded in a now-deleted statement on Twitter and Instagram expressing her gratitude for those around her. She said it’s OK to express sadness and grief when you’re dealing with a lot from the past. She wrote: 

no matter how hard it gets or how many feelings come up that are screaming at me to be processed and sorted through one day, I’m grounded by gratitude and promise not to give up on what I’ve started. I feel everything very intensely and have committed to doing this tour during a time in my life when i’m still processing a lot … so sometimes i cry a lot! i thank you for accepting my humanness. 

Grande experienced the Manchester bombing during her May 2017 concert in England, the death of her ex-partner Mac Miller and a very public break-up from Pete Davidson. Because of these difficult experiences, Grande has been open about struggling with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

By showing fans the realness of her recovery journey, Grande can help others realize you can’t just “get over” trauma. Processing difficult past experiences takes time. Feeling big emotions — and sometimes crying a lot, like Grande mentioned — are part of the process. Mighty contributor Vicki Peterson explained why in her article, “Why Trauma Survivors Can’t Just ‘Let It Go,’” writing:

Too many people are trying to let go of trauma they haven’t yet fully grasped. To let go of something means you need to be aware that you’re holding it in the first place. Trauma that is stored in the locked closets and cupboards of the subconscious mind continue to control from within, often without the survivor fully understanding what’s happening. The process of letting go can’t happen until those things are dragged into the light and fully processed. Once again, that means feelings uncomfortable feelings. It means grieving. It means giving yourself the kind care and attention that no one else did. Sometimes, it means wallowing for a little while. 

Grande said she is committed to sharing her journey openly as she completes her Sweetener world tour, with dates scheduled in the U.S. and Europe, including a performance at Manchester Pride in August. If you’re also struggling to process hard events from your past, Grande concluded her note to fans with a message of support, writing: 

I’m sharing this because i’m grateful and because i want you to know that if you too are hurting, you can push through and are not alone. It is hard to balance taking care of the people around you, doing your job, and healing/taking care of yourself at the same time… but i want you to know, you aren’t alone and i think you’re doing great.

Image via Creative Commons/NRK P3

Originally published: July 8, 2019
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