Why Demi Lovato is still My Hero.

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A post shared by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) on

I’ve admired Demi Lovato for years; a superstar musician with an incredible voice. But her musical talents are not the only reasons I’ve come to respect her so much.

Sadly, as you may have read, Demi Lovato overdosed this past Tuesday. Currently, she is in the hospital after a reported all-night bender at her home. While someone stuck around to give her Narcan, an emergency medicine used to reverse the effects of a narcotic overdose, the house was empty of its partygoers once the ambulance arrived.

Demi has long been open about her mental health issues, eating disorder, drug addiction, and the demons that seemed to plague her life. In my mind, her opennesses and honesty made her a hero. Often, having a mental illness is something we keep hidden like a secret overflowing with shame. But not Demi—she has always held her head high.

My life has been touched by mental illness. In 2017, after a series of unfortunate events, I experienced major depression. The kind of depression that I had never experienced before and pray to never see again.

When Demi Lovato had the courage to speak about her struggles, it somehow felt like the plastic bag over my head had been lifted and I could breathe again. At a young age, even under the magnifying lens of Hollywood, Demi Lovato had the courage to say, “I’m bipolar.”

Undergoing treatment, Demi was able to stay sober for six years (an accomplishment not to be ignored). Overcoming addiction, having mental health issues, and facing personal demons are all lifelong processes—at least from my own experience. Like any human beings—Demi included—we take steps forward and backward. We stay humble and recognize that health must be our first priority ad infinitum. I don’t get to take a vacation from prioritizing my mental health; just like relationships, there’s a lot of maintenance involved.

As Demi toured the world as a musician, she held mental health and motivational conversations before each concert in conjunction with CAST Centers, a rehabilitation facility in California. Demi has spent years helping to light the way for others who are struggling.

“This is an ongoing process and the hardest part about these diseases is that they’re things that I’m going to have to face every day for the rest of my life.” ~ Demi Lovato

As Rumi says, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” But there’s no paradox here: our struggles are the place where we have the opportunity to shine our brightest light. Each of us must walk through our own fire at times.

Demi Lovato had the courage to let people know that they’re not alone.

You are seen. You are heard. You are loved.

She insisted on being a voice speaking on behalf of all of us.

Demi—the person, not the famous superstar—has showed me and an entire community of people that you can struggle, speak your truth, and be damn proud. Dare I say, even confident.

We’re praying for you Demi and sending you and your family our love.

~

Relephant: The Simple Buddhist Trick to being Happy.

 

author: Alyssa Rachel Gross

Image: @ ddlovato / Instagram

Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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Alyssa Rachel Gross

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Alyssa Gross is a thirsty soul looking to help create and sustain spirituality, mindfulness, and positivity within community. She invites you to come along. For future articles and features email her or follow her on Instagram.

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Ruth Miller Jul 29, 2018 1:26am

Thanks Alyssa!! Beautifully written!! I always love reading your elegant prose and deep thoughts.

Jodi Earls Jul 28, 2018 7:39pm

Yes. And the deep healing can be in the act of returning back to our place of center. We go out and we RETURN and that call is beautiful. Sending healing and support to Demi and to all of us returning to our optimal states of truth; time and again.

Gabriel Jáquez Jul 26, 2018 3:28pm

Thanks for writing this Alyssa. I am glad Demi is alive and well and I hope this experience helps her double down on her recovery effort. I am a singer too, and have struggled with a lot of mental and emotional imbalances myself. It seems to be linked with the package of being a creative and artistic type. Our high sensitivity, not only makes us want to write songs and sing, but it also makes us feel isolated, alone and unworthy at times. Like everything else in life, it's a double-edged sword. Not being highly sensitive comes with fewer mental and emotional challenges, but it also comes with less art. And science corroborates that our fundamental makeup is determined in utero. As someone who knows you a little, I know how much you admire and appreciate openness in other human beings. I remember opening up to you about some of the support groups I go to and I remember how you commended me for that. And I think I understand why you value that so much. I come from a family that was pretty secretive and walled off when it came to talking about their struggles. "The neighbors can't know." As I've heard more and more people's stories, it seems to be a pretty common theme in our parent's generation and the ones before it. As times are changing a lot of the stigmas and fears around revealing many truths are lessening. Demi Lovato is an example of this. Now it's even more on the cool side to open up about your mental health issues. Now coming out of the closet is easier than every - of course I know this isn't true across the board, but generally speaking it has becoming a lot more easy. Revealing that you're HIV+, confessing you're bipolar, dyslexic, codependent, ADHD, left handed, transgender, atheist, financially challenged, etc. is a lot easier now than it has ever been. And if it's not easy in your hometown and with physical folks around you, it can easily be done online. A lot of the things we used to be ashamed about and not allowed to talk about back in the 80's, 90's and early 2000's are again, not only easier to talk about, but even cool and respected and admired. And that is just a sign of the amazing amount of collective maturing and growing up that we have done. We have de-stigmatized a lot of the stigmas and that is just a beautiful thing. And artists like Demi have always been at the forefront of these revolutions. That is why art is so important. It's outside the box and it keeps pushing the envelope on things. Artists are always at the leading edge of human consciousness and development... we are usually way ahead of the times and we are usually leading a gentle and quiet revolution. Sadly though, when we're in the spotlight like Demi, it becomes increasingly difficult to deal with our issues. And that is why I feel my psyche has delayed the spotlight. It's hard enough struggling with these mental and emotional imbalances out of the limelight, let alone doing so in front of millions of people. I hope Demi takes a nice long break and forgets about being a role model and a helper and, as we say in Zen, works out her own salvation diligently. According to some, the Buddha's last words were those We are here to "workout our own salvation diligently." As I've grown and matured I've seen that this is certainly true.

Michell Hamlet Hartman Jul 26, 2018 3:02pm

Thank you for those beautiful words. She is my hero too. If there is one thing in this world I could change or stop it would be addiction. Much love and peace to you, Demi and her family and all those who suffer from addiction.

Naomi Boshari Jul 26, 2018 2:39pm

Beautiful article, Alyssa. Such an important message. Sharing it! xo