Demi Lovato: The Road to Recovery

Nazlie Mohideen, Staff Writer

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Demi started “modeling” when she was five years old and had her mom take her headshots for no one to even see. Now, she models for magazine covers such as Billboard, Vanity Fair, and even walks various red carpet events.

Demi Lovato has recently celebrated being six months sober and continues to battle her various addictions. In 2017, she released an emotional documentary titled, Simply Complicated detailing many of her personal struggles. She explains her difficult childhood including the divorce of her parents, starting work early, and her constant battle with an eating disorder. Lovato started working at the age of ten and booked a role on Barney and Friends. She also participated in a major Disney role as Mitchie Torres in the film Camp Rock and starred in the series, Sonny with a Chance, as well as As the Bell Rings. While filming Camp Rock, she began to feel the pressures of being a teenage figure in the public eye. Lovato goes on to mention that she was often peer pressured and threw parties while on tour. Her drug addiction began when she was only seventeen years old and went on to consume her life for many years. Being bullied throughout school and becoming depressed with episodes of mania at a young age, Lovato turned to drugs and alcohol to “fit in.” Ironically, her biological father was also an alcoholic and was not a present figure in her life. Lovato emotionally explains, “I guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol because it fulfilled him and he chose that over a family.” Additionally, she mentions how she “felt out of control” and “loved it” the first time she tried drugs.

Trying to work with sober companions and fight pressure from the media, Lovato only began to live in a sober house when she was threatened to be dropped by her team. Meanwhile, she lived without a phone, judged on the X-Factor, and performed on American Idol. Lovato also mentions how she was nervous about filming the documentary and details the horrors of her drug and alcohol addiction. She feared that she had once overdosed after feeling a choking sensation and even turned physically violent towards her backup dancers due to her high alcohol intake. During the documentary, Lovato also revealed, “I haven’t relapsed in drugs and alcohol. That’s something that I’m very proud of.”

July 23, 2018, that all changed. She broke the news to fans in a power ballad titled, “Sober.” One of the lyrics reads, “Momma, I’m so sorry I’m not sober anymore/and daddy, please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor.” Just weeks later, Lovato was rushed to the hospital for a suspected drug overdose. Her friend wanted to keep the sirens off while the paramedics arrived, but quickly enough, the news spread and Lovatics became worried. She was found unconscious the morning after she celebrated a close friend’s birthday in Hollywood. Lovato had broke her sobriety streak in April 2018 and had contact with her drug dealer. Some fans, however, expected this after she supposedly forgot the last and undeniably, the most important verse of the song at a California Mid-State Fair in July 2018. The lyrics initially were, “I’m sorry that I’m here again/I promise I’ll get help/It wasn’t my intention/I’m sorry to myself.”

After weeks of anticipation, conspiracy theories, and speculation from the public, her family disclosed that the singer’s overdose was from a combination of multiple substances. This near-fatal drug combination could’ve taken Demi’s life that summer night, but thanks to the incredible doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Lovato continues to fight her addiction and is now seeking the help she needs. Fans flooded the Lovato family with support following her overdose with #HowDemiHelpedMe and #PrayForDemi. Fans took to Twitter to share personal stories of how Demi had an impact on their life regarding mental health, eating disorders, and even their own addictions. One fan shared, “Going through teenage life with not many friends and struggling with my mental health, Demi was always there, her music helped me get through these times and her personality and kindness always brought light into my life.” Others have shared that they entered treatment after hearing Demi’s story, realized that it’s okay to not be okay, and came out to friends and family after being initially not accepted into the LGBTQ+ community. After recovering from recurring complications following the overdose, the pop singer returned to social media, specifically Instagram, to share an update on her health.

 Demi strikes a serious pose for a Billboard magazine photoshoot.

In an emotional post, the star acknowledged her fan’s prayers and continual love. Additionally, she thanked God, her fans, family, and supportive team. She pledged to “keep fighting” and ends the message with a red heart.

Although Lovato has not returned to music-making, she has been spotted with new love interest, Henri Levy, and continues to work on herself as well. Fans have been concerned after pictures surfaced of her showing weight gain and walking the streets of California with this mysterious man. Henri, however, is a former addict himself and many think that it is best for Lovato to steer clear from romantic relationships and focus on therapy only in the upcoming months. “Fans” left hate comments on her social media platforms, but true Lovatics fought this unnecessary hate with love as per usual. One former supporter of Lovato ranted on a YouTube video which explained the overdose and said,  “She’ll do it again. She has more money than sense. Pity.” A true Lovatic counteracted this hurtful comment by explaining, “[She is] such a beautiful, strong woman. She will continue to fight.”

This fan was absolutely right as Lovato has celebrated six months being sober on January 25, 2019. Her friends and family expressed their gratitude for her and Lovato continually says that she is blessed to be alive right now. Lovato was rewarded with a cake and note from her team that read, “Happy six months. We are so…proud of you.” The funfetti cake was ice blue and even had a number six made out of chocolate chips on the top of the slice. Lovato has been staying in a rehab facility and far away from social media. She claims that reaching six months sober was the “best day ever” and showcased her six months sobriety coin in an Instagram story. Also, Lovato shared a picture of a new rose tattoo she got on her finger to further recognize this milestone. In her documentary, Lovato declared, “I’m on a journey to discover what it’s like to be free of all demons.” Fans are confident that she will achieve her goal of sobriety once again and return to the public eye shortly. What are your thoughts on Demi’s recovery? Will she return to the studio soon or will she stay in extensive treatment?

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