Dear Demi Lovato: You Don't Need to Apologize for Your Relapse

“To the ones who never left me, we’ve been down this road before…”

Anyone who has been in recovery for an addiction or lived with a mental illness understands it takes strength to fight every day. It can feel like a never-ending cycle of either being stuck in the same place or going through the same motions every day. It takes strength to accept that we need help from those around us and maybe even more to accept it.  What is so difficult about it is admitting that, at least in our minds, we failed or that we were not strong enough?

“Sometimes I just wanna cave and I don’t wanna fight…”

Relapse is a monster that lurks in the corners of our minds when we are in recovery, constantly inviting us toward it. And sometimes, when I let myself be taken by that monster, I did not have the strength to admit it to anyone else. But you, Demi, did not let fear or weakness stop you from sharing with the entire world that recovery isn’t always pretty. Thursday’s release of “Sober” brought us yet another glimpse into your life and the strength you have in fighting this battle.

“I’m sorry for the fans I lost, who watched me fall again.”  

The first time I played this song, I thought you were saying sorry to us, but you instead said sorry for losing us; I’m not sure which would be more undeserved. You never have to apologize to us for living your truth and unapologetically being the Demi we love. What happened exactly doesn’t matter; you are more genuine on your worst days than most people are on their best. More importantly, do not be sorry for those who turn their back on you; I could not imagine the person who would use your music and strength in their recovery, but turn away when you needed support. Anyone who does that is not worth your time or your regret.

“I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human.”

Demi, you have been there for me so many times, even before admitting you had kept these dark secrets. The first time I accepted recovery, in 2014, was after backing away from the edge I almost couldn’t come back from. I can remember the first moment I realized I was singing, and I felt happy doing it. The song I found myself singing that day was “Believe in Me,” for the first time not focused on the lines about hiding behind fake smiles, but instead singing: “I’m not about to break down… now I believe in Me.”

All I pray, Demi, is that you know you are a role model to us, especially if you are only human. I hope we never put too much pressure on you because we see you as such, but instead that we can empower you in the same way you empower us. But if I could talk you, Demi, there is one thing I’d most want to tell you: Of any regrets you may have, all of the apologies you gave and the promises you made, the only ones that matter were those delivered last. I pray you find your peace again because you deserve that and so much more.

“I’m sorry that I’m here again. I promise I’ll get help… I’m sorry to myself”

Image via YouTube

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