Nagi Sakai for Refinery29
Karen Mizoguchi
May 17, 2016 07:50 PM

The reason why Demi Lovato named her last album Confident is quite obvious, it’s because she is.

But just a few years ago during her darkest days, the Disney Channel alum’s addictions led to meltdowns that got the best of her. The 23-year-old singer candidly revealed to Refinery29 about her life before sobriety and a time Lovato says she couldn’t go an hour without using cocaine.

“‘Try to ground me – I pay your bills,'” she remembered telling her parents. “Prior to getting sober, I was one of those people who was like, I don’t give a f—, whatever. And I used that as an excuse to do whatever I wanted. I was a nightmare to work with.”

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A three-month stint in rehab for substance abuse, eating disorders, and cutting had proven to be a failure when she relapsed at age 18. “I had to learn the hard way that I can’t do parties anymore,” she recalled. “Some people can go out and not be triggered, but that’s not the case for me.”

Demi Lovato
Nagi Sakai for Refinery29

Looking back at her downward spiral in 2010, Lovato described herself as “just bitchy, a c—.” But fast forward to the present, the “Stone Cold” hitmaker has turned over a new leaf having celebrated her four-year sobriety anniversary in March. These days she’s advocating for the mentally ill, speaking up for LGBT rights and about to embark on her Future Now Tour with co-headliner and childhood friend Nick Jonas.

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“I’m still underestimated,” Lovato said about those who typecast her as a former child star. “I still have more things to prove – not just about the things I can do with my voice. Some people think that because I’m young, I can’t stay sober. But these are things I want to prove to myself.”

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