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Why Demi Lovato's New Single Makes Her a Role Model to Me

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“We’ve been down this road before; I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore.”

Last week, Demi Lovato released her new single “Sober” with a caption on Twitter saying: “This is my truth.” In it, she revealed she had relapsed after six years of continuous sobriety. She apologized for letting her family, friends, and fans down. She sings, “I don’t know why I do it every time.”

Demi Lovato has been a role model for me for a long time, and the reasons evolved over the years. Initially, when I was much younger, I loved her on “Camp Rock” and I liked that she was different from what I saw of other actors and actresses on Disney. Then there came rumors she was self-harming, and while at the time it was denied, that made me love her even more. I was also self-harming, and it was a secret no one knew, a thing no one ever talked about. But those rumors started powerful conversations.

When Demi went to rehab, I loved her for getting help. I loved her because I was too scared to get help myself. And when she got out of rehab, she became open as an advocate for mental health awareness and body positivity. As time went by, she started to be even more open about her addictions, and I looked up to her for that because I had addictions too that, once again, no one knew about. And she made me feel less alone.

When the song “Warrior” was released, I listened to it on repeat. I played it for a friend who was dealing with issues similar to mine, and we started to tell each other we were warriors. Demi gave us hope, if only to keep making it through each day. She gave me courage to keep fighting, even when I didn’t want to.

As I was working to get sober last year, I looked up to Demi (and other celebrities) who had managed to get clean while being surrounded by an environment that praised drinking and partying. Demi touched me particularly, though, because I had watched that progression from broken to warrior. Through my journey to sobriety, she gave me the strength to start conversations, to feel less alone, to hope, to have courage, and to never give up.

After the release of her single, Demi has become more of a role model to me than she ever was before. Relapses are a part of recovery, and every relapse teaches you something new. But it’s what you do after the relapse that matters. And that’s what makes me proud to look up to Demi: because she did relapse, and from what I’ve read, she worked to come back from it. And then she shared it with the world.

Everything I’ve said about her so far is reinforced by her admitting and owning up to what happened. My own recovery has not come without relapses, and so many others out there have had difficult recoveries as well. Seeing your role model share their truth and show you that you are not the only one going through these things has more power than I could ever put into words.

Thank you, Demi, for staying strong and for teaching all of us to stay strong too.

Image via YouTube

Originally published: June 26, 2018
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