Her side of the story. Demi Lovato spoke candidly in a new interview about the months leading up to her 2018 relapse, overdose and hospitalization.
“I have to preface it with the fact that I got sober at 19. So I got sober at an age where I wasn’t even legally allowed to drink,” the “I Love Me” singer, 27, said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday, March 5. “I got the help that I needed at the time, and I took on the approach of a one-size-fits-all solution, which is sobriety, just sobriety. My whole team took that approach and we did it and we ran with it and it worked for a long time.”
However, over time, Lovato started to struggle more and more with her eating disorder.
“It progressively got worse and worse, with people checking what my orders at Starbucks were on my bank statements. Just little things like that, it led me to being really, really unhappy,” she recalled. “My bulimia got really bad, and I asked for help and I didn’t receive the help that I needed. So I was stuck in this unhappy position. Here I am sober and I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m six years sober, but I’m miserable. I’m even more miserable than I was when I was drinking. Why am I sober?’”
The former Disney Channel star said that she reached out to members of her team at the time to ask for help, but they ended up leaving her.
“My core issues are abandonment from my birth father as a child. He was an addict, alcoholic, we had to leave him. And I have vivid memories of him leaving, so when [my team] left, they totally played on that fear and I felt completely abandoned, so I drank,” she admitted.
Later that night, Lovato went to a party where she had access to substances that she had avoided for six years. She returned to her vices and ended up in the hospital three months later after overdosing at home.
“Ultimately, I made the decisions that got me to where I am today,” she told Ellen DeGeneres. “It was my actions that put me in the position that I’m in.”
The Grammy nominee then shared a powerful message for other people who have struggled with addiction: “If you do go through this, you yourself can get through it. You can get to the other side and it may be bumpy, but you are a 10 out of 10 — don’t forget it. And as long as you take the responsibility, you can move past it and learn to love yourself the way you deserve to be loved.”
“I was so emotional I cried when I walked off stage,” she wrote. “Thank you Ellen for providing me a platform to speak my truth. Love you always and I’m so grateful for our chat today.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).