Singer, Demi Lovato has always been vocal about her struggles with drugs and alcohol and her battle with an eating disorder. In her YouTube documentary, “Simply Complicated,” Lovato reveals that she began using cocaine and abusing alcohol towards the end of her Disney channel career. On June 21, 2018, Lovato confessed in her emotional song, “Sober,” that she broke her six-year sobriety. As she opens up about her struggles and triumphs, there are important lessons everyone can learn from Demi Lovato’s road to recovery.
Celebrate Your Victories
The first message people can learn from Lovato is to be proud of your sobriety, whether you’ve been sober for a couple of months or a few years. It is really hard to admit to yourself that you have a problem and get the help you need, so when you take steps in the right directions, it should be celebrated.
In her documentary, Lovato shares that her first attempt at being sober completely failed. Her management team commented that Lovato portrayed a sober lifestyle while still being high. “I wasn’t working my program, I wasn’t ready to get sober. I was sneaking cocaine into planes, I was sneaking it in bathrooms, sneaking it throughout the night. “Lovato admitted.
But she later came to terms that she needed to get help and worked on becoming truly sober.
Relapse Doesn’t Mean You Failed
The second lesson that everyone can learn from Lovato is that relapse doesn’t mean you failed. Like with any other disease, symptoms of addiction can resurface. While addiction can be managed successfully, and people gain control over addiction’s effects, the illness cannot be completely cured. The National Institute of Drug Abuse reported that the relapse rate for addiction is between 40 to 60 percent, a ratio that is similar to recurrence rates of other chronic diseases.
But relapsing doesn’t make you a failure, instead, it just means you need get more help. The most valuable lesson you can take away from a relapse is the need for more help. Lovato acknowledges this in her song by ending with: “I’m sorry that I’m here again, I promise I’ll get help / It wasn’t my intention. I’m sorry to myself.”
Hardship Can Trigger a Relapse
In her powerful song, Lovato reveals what triggered her relapse by singing; “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know why / I do it every, every time / It’s only when I’m lonely.” Lovato has mentioned in previous interviews that she struggles with loneliness and admitted, “When I feel lonely, my heart feels hungry…I don’t know how to figure out how to be alone.” Anxiety, depression, stress or loss of a job or a loved one can trigger a relapse for some people. If you’re a recovering addict, and you feel extremely low, don’t be afraid to ask for help because there are people who are and want to help you. Even if you are not recovering from an addiction, reach out to a friend if you notice that they are pulling away from their support system and spending more time alone.
Honesty is Key
The final lesson that Lovato teaches everyone is the importance of honesty. Lovato’s honesty about her journey to sobriety destigmatizes stereotypes surrounding drug and alcohol addiction and inspires others to be honest about their own struggles. It can take a long time for people to be honest with themselves and get help, but Lovato’s continued openness about her battles serves as an inspiration for so many people. Whether they’re struggling with an addiction or mental health, Lovato has helped people to be open about their own issues and get help.
Lovato is a role model for so many young people, and I hope that she continues to encourage and share her truth.