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How Demi Lovato's New Song 'Still Have Me' Is Empowering to People with Bipolar Disorder

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The thing with most people with bipolar disorder is that when we love, we love hard. And by that, I mean we love so hard that we’re on top of the world. It can feel like the biggest high. Sometimes it even makes me feel unstoppable.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

The downside to that, however, is sometimes that love can deprive us of making proper judgment due to the excitement. It can cause relationships to move too fast or become toxic. Then when the relationship ends, it can feel like the absolute biggest low.

That being said, Demi Lovato represents so many people in the bipolar community in her new song “Still Have Me.” For those of you who haven’t heard it, it’s a ballad full of heartbreak — and how she’s still OK despite it.

While she sings powerful verses full of how, “Everything around me shattered, all the highs are now just low, but it doesn’t even matter, ‘cause I’d rather be alone,” that’s not what stands out about this song. What stands out is her resilience in the chorus. For those of you who haven’t heard it, she adamantly sings, “I don’t have much but at least I still have me and that’s all I need.” And that part of the song is what I want to focus on today.

Finding yourself after a breakup can be hard, and that line is filled with so much empowerment that it blew me away when I first heard it. Having a song that explains the misery of a breakup while validating that she’s better off alone because at least she still has herself is breathtaking. I mean, how powerful is it to say, “I still have me and that’s all I need”? In my own experience, realizing I only need myself to thrive is the greatest thing that could’ve happened to me.

Life will always give you ups and downs. It’ll give you love and breakups and heartbreaks galore. It’s really easy to lose your identity in all of that. But this song isn’t about that. It’s about turning around and loving yourself despite it all — even if the person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with is no longer in picture. That’s the definition of true empowerment. Once you’ve reached that point, no one can stop you because you have the resilience many people spend their whole lives striving for.

I think Lovato being bipolar plays a large part in how resilient she is. She’s talked about therapy, medications and how she’s taken a lot of time to self-reflect in order to become a better person. I have done the same, so I know that when a person takes the time and goes through those steps recovery often requires, they usually come out with the level of resiliency this song portrays.

Lovato’s entire song is about how much pain she’s in, while simultaneously realizing that even though she’s in pain, she’s still OK. She might be heartbroken, and she might be depressed, but at the end of the day she has herself and that’s all she needs.

What’s most notable for me is, I don’t think we would’ve heard this song back in 2011 when Lovato was in rehab or even a few years ago around the time of her overdose. I think a break up song during those times would’ve sounded a lot different — and a lot more helpless.

I view this song as a direct result of the hard work she’s put into herself because it takes an extremely well-balanced person to be able to cope with those two conflicting ideas at the same time. The fact that she can be at an all-time low and still recognize that she’s OK because she has herself is phenomenal, and a true testament of how recovery really can heal you. It might not be able to cure bipolar disorder, but it can certainly can make managing it easier.

Overall, “Still Have Me” is a song I wish I had when I was younger and going through my first heartbreaks, and I think it will help a lot of people out there who are going through the same thing now. As a society, we need more songs like “Still Have Me” and with Lovato being the most stable she’s ever been (at least, from the public eye’s standpoint), I believe we’re going to get them. I’m looking forward to those days.

Header image via Demi Lovato/Instagram 

Originally published: October 1, 2020
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