“So grateful. It's been quite the journey. So many ups and downs. So many times I wanted to relapse but sat on my hands and begged God to relieve the obsession. I'm so proud of myself but I couldn't have done it without my higher power (God), my family, friends, and everyone else who supported me. Feeling humbled and joyful today. Thank you guys for sticking by my side and believing in me.” -Demi Lovato on celebrating five years clean.
What it was Like
With the debut of Demi Lovato’s new single “Sorry not Sorry”, the release of her documentary about breaking the stigma against mental illness “Beyond Silence”, and her new album quickly approaching, it’s not surprising that headlines everywhere are flashing her name. However, they wouldn’t always spout uplifting or celebratory stories; they used to be much darker.
Although life wasn’t always so glamorous for Demi, it was fast-paced. Beginning on Barney and Friends as a girl, then landing Camp Rock at 15, Demi joked that in three years she would be sitting in the same shoes as the unfortunate child-stars who came before her.
For so many of us females battling drugs and alcohol, we hit the trifecta when it comes to the disease of addiction; untreated mental illness, cutting, an eating disorder. As it turns out, the beautiful, famous, and talented star is just like us.
The Turning Point
It is important to remember that though Demi may seem superhuman, she is human. It’s safe to say she was overworked, on top of trying to maintain her status of being a functioning addict and alcoholic with bipolar disorder. Yet unfortunately, still kept trying to underplay or dismiss her behaviors as just regular teenage behavior.
Things escalated quickly.
Drunk interviews turned into smuggling illegal drugs on airplanes. Demi admitted that she would start mornings with a soda bottle full of vodka for breakfast and a line of coke every 30 minutes.
At the young age of 18, an established triple-threat star, her earlier premonitions came true and she checked into rehab for “emotional issues”. Things had gotten so severe that she decided to seek treatment while on tour in late 2010.
Demi confessed that she assumed the world would view her as just another stereotype. She decided to put together a documentary on her life post-treatment called So Strong, with hopes to put a dent in the stigma against mental illness, which aired on MTV in 2011
She completed treatment and, like many, thought she could go back to old environments and party like she could before. She admits that they didn’t address her substance abuse issues thoroughly in treatment, though her bipolar, bulimic, and cutting behaviors were tamed.
Like so many of us who have made this mistake, she struggled for a bit. With all the resources at her fingertips, she chose to live in a sober-living home for an entire year! That’s right, she was judging The X-Factor and going back to her sober-living home after work...
...and we are happy to report that Ms. Demi Lovato celebrated five years clean and sober in March of 2017!
Demi Lovato’s Life in Recovery
When she’s not working on her career and other philanthropic efforts, she spends her time trying to help others who have walked in her shoes.
"Since I went to treatment, there have been days when it's felt really easy, and I've felt great about where I am. But then I have moments when it's not. That's life," she says. "You can't just take your mind and your body into the shop and get it fixed. It doesn't come out repaired. It's not like a car. It takes time—pace yourself. Every day is a new opportunity to change your life and be who you want to be."
She continues to work tirelessly fighting the stigma against addiction and mental illness. She partnered with five of the leading mental-illness advocacy groups to form the Be Vocal initiative, with a common goal of advancing mental illness awareness and prevention.
Additionally, in September of 2017, Demi was involved with the Ben Shapiro Foundation for Drug Prevention’s Summer Gala where she helped raise over $1 million for drug abuse awareness and prevention.
Always remember that you are not alone. If you or a loved one needs help, call Pax House today at 1-877-789-5592. And in the words of Demi herself, “stay strong”.