Demi Lovato,Â the 21-year-old Disney veteran turned reality-singing-competition-judge and memoirist,Â has publicly dealt with self harm, drug abuse and disordered eating. She has somehow managed to maintain a squeaky clean persona despite having openly discussed dark and filthy aspects of her private life.
Perhaps her willingness to discuss such sensitive and private issues is a branding angle, but I suspect her candid revelations come from a combination of a publicist’s expertise and the desire to help her young fan base. Recovering publicly is no easy feat, but it’s nice that a star like Lovato can use the positive attention she receives as a platform to raise awareness about addiction. Her tale of redemption narrative is so different from Lindsay Lohan’s and other party girls; Lovato’s image as a good girl who strayed (and got better) inspires more sympathy and helps to chip away at the stigma surrounding addiction.
The Renaissance-celeb recently spoke to Kit Hoover with Access Hollywood about her struggle with addiction. Lovato opened up and was honest, but in a way that seemed carefully crafted as a cautionary tale.
Here are 7 lessons from Demi Lovato:
1) There’s a difference between partying hard and drug addiction.
Something Iâ€™ve never talked about before â€“ but with my drug use I could hide it to where I would sneak drugs.
2) Addiction does not take a break.
I couldnâ€™t go 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine and I would bring it on airplanes.
3) First class is really different from coach.
I would smuggle it basically and just wait until everyone in first class would go to sleep and I would do it right there. Iâ€™d sneak to the bathroom and Iâ€™d do it. Thatâ€™s how difficult it got and that was even with somebody [with me], I had a sober companion, somebody who was watching me 24/7 and living with me [and] I was able to hide it from them as well.
4)Â Even Disney stars act like jerks when in the throes of addiction
Â Iâ€™m very, very good at manipulating people and that was something that I did in my disease, I would manipulate everyone around me. There were times I would just continue to lie, so that everything looked OK on the outside.
5) Things get very dark and very cliche.
I was going to the airport and I had a Sprite bottle just filled with vodka and it was just nine in the morning and I was throwing up in the car and this was just to get on a plane to go back to LA to the sober living house that I was staying at…
6) They’re serious when they say someone has toÂ want to get better.
I had all the help in the world, but I didnâ€™t want it. When I hit that moment I was like, itâ€™s no longer fun when youâ€™re doing it alone. Iâ€™ve really never talked about this stuff beforeâ€¦ I donâ€™t know if I should be sharing this.
7) If you’re lucky, you’ll have a “eureka” moment.
I had a moment where I was like, “Oh my Godâ€¦ that is alcoholic behavior.” [Itâ€™s] no longer â€“ “Iâ€™m young and rebellious and out having fun.” It was, “wow, Iâ€™m one of those peopleâ€¦I gotta get my shit together.
via Access Hollywood//Image via Getty