Demi Lovato Recalls Dark Drug-Use Days: ‘I Didn’t Think I Would Make it to 21′
"Confident" was not always the name of the game for Demi Lovato, who revealed in a new interview that there was a time she thought she wouldn't live to see a milestone birthday.
Lovato told American Way as part of its July 2016 cover story that she remembers seeing Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan melt down in the public eye while Lovato, herself, was making Disney film Camp Rock. She was sure she'd eventually find her way on the same path (“I was definitely like, ‘Oh crap. In three years, that’s going to be me," she recalled).
And when overlapping inner-demons — depression, body-image issues and even suicidal thoughts — became too much to handle, she turned to drugs, and her self-prophesied tailspin began.
"I lived fast and I was going to die young,” she said. “I didn’t think I would make it to 21."
Since Lovato was financially supporting her family, there was nothing her mother could do to stop her partying — Lovato recalled dismissing any attempt at parenting. Finally, when the pop star hit rock-bottom, infamously earmarked by punching a backup dancer in the face while on tour, Lovato finally decided to seek treatment at a rehab facility where she was diagnosed with bulimia and bipolar disorder.
Still, the path to recovery wasn't easy, and issues persisted even after she was discharged.
“I thought, ‘I’m not in treatment for a drug and alcohol problem,'" she said. “But once I started eating again, the other issues got worse. It was like whack-a-mole."
Now, Lovato says she's managed to keep her addictions and image issues in check with regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and an insistence to keep the conversation surrounding mental illness open with her fans.
"When I have meet-and-greets, I can’t tell you the amount of times that girls will show me their arms covered in scars or cuts,” she explained. “They’ll tell me, ‘You helped me get through this. Because of you, I stopped self-harming,’ or ‘I got sober.’ Hearing those things gave my life new meaning."
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