Just officially turned 6 years sober. So grateful for another year of joy, health and happiness. It IS possible. ??
— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) March 15, 2018
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.