Demi Lovato wasn’t always open about dealing with addiction and body image disorders. For years, the 25-year-old singer struggled silently — but when she did finally start to share that extremely personal information with her fans, it was as if a floodgate had opened up.
She was able to talk about some of the serious issues that had plagued her as a child growing up in the spotlight, and was able to become an advocate for women to stop hating their bodies and put a spotlight on mental health issues.
Once she started revealing information about some of the more dark sides of her life — the side the public doesn’t always see — she also admitted to having a drug addiction and receiving help to try and remain sober.
“I was using while I had a sober companion and I went through like 20 sober companions. I was either craving drugs or on drugs. I was not easy to work with,” Lovato said in a 2017 documentary called “Simply Complicated.” “It’s embarrassing to look back at the person that I was.”
But after getting sober in her teens and keeping an impressive record of more than six years of sobriety, the singer confirmed on June 21 that she had broken her sobriety. She broke the news in an emotional new song called “Sober,” which served as an apology to all those who had stayed by her side — including her parents, fans and herself.
Listen to the whole track below. The song starts at about the 39-second mark.
“To the ones who never left me/We’ve been down this road before/I’m so sorry/I’m not sober anymore,” the singer says in the ballad.
She announced the release of the song on social media writing, “My truth… #sober out now.”
Relapsing after such a long period of sobriety is not common, according to a sweeping, eight-year study of about 1,200 addicts that was published in 2007. It found that, while people who’ve been sober for five years or less are at relatively high risk of relapsing, once someone has at least five years of sobriety, there’s only about a 15-percent chance they’ll use again.
In the song, Lovato cites loneliness as one reason she failed to stay sober, singing, “It’s only/When I’m lonely.”
And she’s been open about feeling lonely after her break-up from Wilmer Valderrama. The two were together for six years, but they started dating when she was just 18 — so she felt she’d never gotten to be “on [her] own” as a single woman, which is what ultimately led the pair to decide to part ways.
“It had nothing to do with falling out of love. We decided together that we’re probably just better as friends,” she said in the “Simply Complicated” documentary. “I’m growing up, by myself, and to have my own place designed the way that I want it to look, with my dog … I wanted to know what it’s like to be on my own … and this is where I finally feel like I can be grown up.”
After the release of “Sober,” Lovato had an outpouring of support from fans to let her know that while she may feel alone — she’s not.
“Me. I’m here for u always,” Twitter user @sweetmistake wrote.
Me. I'm here for u, always. pic.twitter.com/Fgnp5Em6bs
— 🦋 (@sweettmistake) June 21, 2018
Twitter user @slaydd wrote, “I love u and I proud of u and your journey, life is like this and nobody is perfect. I’m gonna stay with you no matter what.”
I love u and I proud of u and your journey, life is like this and nobody is perfect. I'm gonna stay with you no matter what, I promisse ❤️
— 𝒍𝒖𝒊𝒔𝒂 🦋 (@slaydd) June 21, 2018
Another fan, Twitter user @KayCarruthers97, thanked Lovato for her honesty and reminded the singer, “even the strongest fall, they just pick themselves back up and try again.”
We will always stand beside you demi no matter what you do, we love you regardless. Now all you can do is work on being in a better place. Thank you for telling us, but just know even the strongest fall, they just pick themselves back up and try again. ❤️💕
— 🏳️🌈🇬🇧Kayleigh LOVES DEMI🇬🇧🏳️🌈 (@KayCarruthers97) June 21, 2018
It’s great to see such support from the singer’s fans.
Struggling with these issues isn’t easy, but Lovato is proof that you can always talk about them and try to make it through, even if it’s just one day at a time.