Former Disney star Demi Lovato now she seems at peace with herself after going through rehab for bulimia, anorexia and cutting earlier this year. Has she finally beaten her demons, or are they still lurking?
When she left rehab after three months of treatment in January, Lovato decided to turn her negatives into a positive by speaking out about her ordeal, hopefully to help others.
But the real test will come when she embarks on a world tour this winter. All the pressures will return and Lovato will be tested all over again.
She tells Glamour magazine she’s thankful, this time around, to be alive.
Demi, 19, started self-mutilating when she was 11 years old.
“I think scars are like battle wounds — beautiful, in a way. They show what you’ve been through and how strong you are for coming out of it,” she said.
“My tattoo’s say, ‘Stay Strong.’ ‘Stay’ on one [wrist] and ‘strong’ on the other. Now I’m able to look at them and be thankful for being alive. I think that I’ve been blessed over the past year to be able to start over.”
Although she’s had success early in life with the “Camp Rock” movies, and as Sonny Munroe in the Disney sitcom “Sonny with a Chance,” her early teen years were stormy.
Lovato has been estranged from her father, Patrick Lovato, since her parents divorce in 1994, and the lyrics “For the Love of a Daughter,” hint at the discord she’s gone through.
Lovato’s meltdown came in Oct. 2010 while she was touring with the Jonas Brothers band in South America, just after breaking up with Joe Jonas.
She got into an altercation with a backup dancer Alex Shorty Welch and the blow up landed her in rehab, although Demi denied that drugs were the issue.
Rehab, she says, has really turned her life around. Now she says she hopes to find a partner who understands what she’s been through and can support her “emotional recovery.”
“It’s a big responsibility dating me. Because I come with a little bit of baggage, you know?,” she explains.
“I’m completely open. I’m honest about the journey I’ve been on, so I definitely don’t take dating lightly anymore. And they have to make me laugh!”
Her new album, Unbroken, which dropped in September largely channels her struggles through the music.
Her single “Skyscraper,” she acknowledges, is aimed at the people in her life who have hurt her.
“It’s to every person who tried to bring me down. Everyone has the bully or the mean girl or the ex-boyfriend who tried to bring them down,” she says.
“For me, I think of the people who really weren’t there for me when I went into treatment.
“It was a really dark time for me because I had only a few people—I had surrounded myself with so many artificial friendships. It’s about those people too.”
Demi recently returned to her treatment center, Timberline Knolls in Illinois, but this time as a motivational speaker.
“Wow what an inspiring day… Many tears were shed and many memories were brought back at Timberline Knolls today,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Today I went back to the treatment centre I went to last year, to speak to the beautiful women fighting their inner demons… Was so honoured. To be able to share my story and let them know that it gets easier.
“Life is beautiful…. You are worthy of it,” she added.