Demi Lovato, the 21-year-old Disney veteran turned reality-singing-competition-judge and memoirist, 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 I’ve never talked about before – but with my drug use I could hide it to where I would sneak drugs.
2) Addiction does not take a break.
I couldn’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. I’d sneak to the bathroom and I’d do it. That’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) Even Disney stars act like jerks when in the throes of addiction
I’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 to want to get better.
I had all the help in the world, but I didn’t want it. When I hit that moment I was like, it’s no longer fun when you’re doing it alone. I’ve really never talked about this stuff before… I don’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 God… that is alcoholic behavior.” [It’s] no longer – “I’m young and rebellious and out having fun.” It was, “wow, I’m one of those people…I gotta get my shit together.
via Access Hollywood//Image via Getty