The pop star used social media to thank her longtime manager for helping her through rehab, bipolar diagnosis

By Lindsay Kimble
May 29, 2015 04:35 PM
Courtesy BeVocalSpeakUp.com

Demi Lovato is embracing her role as a mental health advocate through a joint campaign, Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health, and thanking the people who helped get her from rock bottom to inspirational spokeswoman.

Lovato, 22, who opened up to PEOPLE about her struggle with bipolar disorder on Thursday, used Instagram to honor those who helped her through rehab and her diagnosis.

The pop singer shared a smiling black-and-white image with manager Phil McIntyre, thanking her longtime rep for saving her life.

“This man not only believed in me when I was 15 and made my entire career happen, but he fought so f—ing hard to get me sober,” she wrote. “When so many others had given up on me, he never did.”

McIntyre gave Lovato an ultimatum – either get sober and he’d stay on, or “self destruct” and lose him as manager, the “Skyscraper” singer wrote.

“He did that out of love,” she said. “Not out of a money hungry I-don’t-give-a-f—-about-the-artist kind of way… But he cared so much that instead of being the kind of person in this industry who could care less about my well being and continued to make money while I was spiraling, he stood his ground and said ‘If you do this I will fight this battle with you every step of the way.’ I knew I couldn’t let go of him not only as a manager but as an extremely important person in my life who genuinely cares about me.”

Lovato checked herself into a rehabilitation center at age 18 for “emotional and physical” issues.

“He is one of the very few people who LITERALLY saved. my. life. I don’t think I’d be alive without him for many different reasons,” she said.

Lovato, whose new record label with McIntyre and singer Nick Jonas, Safehouse Records, launched on Thursday, also used the photo-sharing network to thank Disney Music Group execs Ken Bunt and Mio Vukovic.

“So grateful for these two men who also helped make this happen,” she wrote. “Thank you for continually taking care of me as an artist but most importantly a person. Who supports not only my music but sobriety and who were there at my party to celebrate my first year sober.”

Lovato told PEOPLE that despite her illness, she is “functioning like a very happy person would.”

“The people that are closest to me in my life are understanding and are willing to call me out on things if they notice unhealthy behaviors coming into play,” she said.

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