'I Had Hit Rock Bottom': Everything Demi Lovato Has Said About Her Sobriety Journey
The singer has been open about her ups and downs with addiction since first seeking treatment in 2010. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
"In the same way [drug use] almost killed me, it saved my life at times, because there were times that I dealt with suicidal ideations.
"[I] turned to those coping mechanisms because I genuinely was in so much pain that I didn't want to die and I didn't know what else to do.
"I know how else to deal and how else to cope so I don't have to resort to those behaviors again.
"Everything had to happen in order for me to learn the lessons that I learned. It was a painful journey, and I look back and sometimes I get sad when I think of the pain that I had to endure to overcome what I have, but I don't regret anything. I'm so proud of the person I am today."
- on a March 2021 episode of Diane Guerrero's podcast, Yeah No, I'm Not OK
"I've learned that shutting a door on things makes me want to open the door even more. I've learned that it doesn't work for me to say 'I'm never gonna do this again.' "
"Telling myself I can never have a drink or smoke marijuana is setting myself up for failure because I am such a black-and-white thinker. I had it drilled into my head for so many years that one drink was equivalent to a crack pipe.
"I also don't want people to hear that and think they could just try having a drink or smoking a joint because it isn't for everyone. Recovery isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. shouldn't be forced to get sober if you're not ready. You shouldn't get sober for other people. You have to do it for yourself."
"Everything had to happen in order for me to learn the lessons that I learned. It was a painful journey, and I look back and sometimes I get sad when I think of the pain that I had to endure to overcome what I have, but I don't regret anything. I'm so proud of the person I am today. And I'm so proud that people get to see it in this documentary.
"I wanted to reveal it all for my fans and say this is who I am and this is where I'm at today and this is the journey that got me here, and if it helps you, then I hope that it can because that was ultimately my purpose in putting this out."
- in a chat with reporters while promoting her 2021 documentary, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil
"I was left with brain damage, and I still deal with the effects of that today. I don't drive a car, because I have blind spots on my vision. And I also for a long time had a really hard time reading. It was a big deal when I was able to read out of a book, which was like two months later because my vision was so blurry.
"I dealt with a lot of the repercussions and I feel like they are still there to remind me of what could happen if I ever get into a dark place again. I'm grateful for those reminders, but I'm so grateful that I was someone that didn't have to do a lot of rehabbing. The rehabbing came on the emotional side."
- in a chat with reporters while promoting her 2021 documentary, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil
"I've never had one of those moments on an awards show, and I thought, 'You know, if I ever come back from this' - because I was still in the hospital and I didn't know - and I thought, 'If I ever come back from this, I end up going back to music and I'm on stage and I get a first performance, I want it to be at the Grammys and I want it to be this song.'"
- in an interview with Andy Cohen on the Radio Andy SiriusXM Radio Show in January 2020, during which she discussed life after her 2018 overdose and choosing to perform her song "Anyone" at the 2020 Grammys
"I almost listen back and hear these lyrics as a cry for help. And you kind of listen back to it and you kind of think, 'How did nobody listen to this song and think, 'Let's help this girl?'
"I was recording it in a state of mind where I felt I was okay, but clearly I wasn't. I even listen back to it and I'm like, 'Gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help that version of myself.'"
"Thank you for never leaving me in my darkest moments, for always drying my tears.. even when they're from watching Moana.. thank you for being loyal, honest and so grateful for every little thing.. like crying because we swam with fish/sharks/stingray and coral reef. I'm so lucky to be best friends with two incredible souls who are so talented and creative because it inspires me daily. And you're so supportive of me and every little thing I do.. You've traveled across the country to visit me and stayed with me at my house for days on end when I'm struggling to make sure I'm okay but most importantly you never abandoned me like others did when I was going through shit.. you were there to listen, without judgement and only love and I can never fully express what that means to me. You're the greatest friends I've EVER had and our future together is so bright. I love you both more than you can imagine!! Thank you for this past week 💗 @sirahsays@matthew_scott_montgomery"
- in an Instagram post dedicated to her friends in May 2019
"Today I would've had 7 years sober. I don't regret going out because I needed to make those mistakes but I must never forget that's exactly what they were: mistakes.
"Grateful that AA/NA never shuts the door on you no matter how many times you have to start your time over. I didn't lose 6 years; I'll always have that experience but now I just get to add to that time with a new journey and time count.
"If you've relapsed and are afraid to get help again, just know it's possible to take that step towards recovery. If you're alive today, you can make it back. You're worth it."
- in a March 2019 Instagram story
"So grateful for the lessons I've learned this year. I will never take another day in life for granted, even the bad ones.
"Thankful for my fans, friends, family and everyone who supported me through this year. God bless."
- in a New Year's Eve 2018 Instagram story
"I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction. What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet."
"I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side. I will keep fighting."
- in an Instagram post following her July 2018 drug overdose
"Mama, I'm so sorry I'm not sober anymore / And daddy please forgive me for the drinks spilled on the floor/ And I'm sorry for the fans I lost who watched me fall again / I wanna be a role model, but I'm only human."
- revealing she relapsed after six years, in her song "Sober"
"Tonight I took the stage, a new person with a new life. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey. It will never be forgotten."
- on Twitter, after performing "Sober" for the first time in Portugal
"The final [intervention], everyone was like, 'We are no longer going to leave, we are leaving.' That was the moment when I thought, 'Okay, I really need to get help and get sober.' This time I knew … I had hit rock bottom and I just needed to do this for myself."
"I knew that I had a lot of life ahead of me but one of the main reasons of getting sober was so that I could be around my little sister because my mom and dad [said I couldn't be around her] if I was doing stuff."
"Every day is a battle. You just have to take it one day at a time, some days are easier than others and some days you forget about drinking and using, but for me, I work on my physical health, which is important, but my mental health as well.
"I see a therapist twice a week. I make sure I stay on my medications. I go to AA meetings. I do what I can physically in the gym. I make it a priority."
- at the Brent Shapiro Foundation For Drug Prevention Summer Spectacular, where she received the Spirit of Sobriety award
"I had to learn the hard way that I can't do parties anymore. Some people can go out and not be triggered, but that's not the case for me.
"I know [my life] sounds so boring. But I've come to a place where I'd rather be relaxed than get all dressed up and go to some party or club with people who don't really care about my well-being at all."
"I couldn't go 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine and I would bring it on airplanes. I would smuggle it basically and just wait until everyone in first class would go to sleep and I would do it right there. I'd sneak to the bathroom and I'd do it. That's how difficult it got and that was even with somebody [with me], I had a sober companion, somebody who was watching me 24/7 and living with me [and] I was able to hide it from them as well.
"I was going to the airport and I had a Sprite bottle just filled with vodka and it was just nine in the morning and I was throwing up in the car and this was just to get on a plane to go back to L.A. to the sober living house that I was staying at…I had all the help in the world, but I didn't want it. When I hit that moment I was like, it's no longer fun when you're doing it alone."
- to Access Hollywood
"So grateful. It's been quite the journey. So many ups and downs. So many times I wanted to relapse but sat on my hands and begged God to relieve the obsession. I'm so proud of myself but I couldn't have done it without my higher power (God), my family, friends, and everyone else who supported me. Feeling humbled and joyful today. Thank you guys for sticking by my side and believing in me."
"[My sobriety anniversary] means so much to me because I feel like the day that I got sober was the day that I actually started living and so I like to call myself five years old. I've decided to be open about my story and share everything that I've been through because it helps others. And I've had several people come up to me and say, 'Hey, my dad got sober because you did.' or 'I got sober because you did.' And it just is so meaningful and impactful to me that I wouldn't change it for the world."
"After treatment, I had to have some time sober before I wasn't embarrassed to talk to [friend Nick Jonas]. The first time we saw each other since that tour was my [2012 Los Angeles] concert at the Greek [Theater]. We caught up right before the show, then performed. It was an emotional reunion - I got one of my best friends back."
- to Billboard
"When I went to rehab, my manager said you know, 'You can either keep this private or you can share this with the world, and hopefully, someone can learn from your struggles.' And when I heard that I thought, 'I think it's more important that people learn from my struggles than to keep it to myself.'"
"I'm still underestimated. 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."
"I didn't go into treatment thinking, 'OK, now I'm going to be an inspiration.' At times I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility, but now, it's really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable."
- to American Way
"If you were to sit my friends and me in a group together and we all shared our life stories, you wouldn't understand how we're still alive because of either our addictions or the stuff that we've survived. I never want to be like, 'Oh, I've been through so much,' like it's a sob story. I'm proud of what I've been through and gotten over and sometimes, even to this day, when I do go through something I'm like, 'OK. It's just a part of my story.' It'll be more to tell, and that's fine."
- to Complex
"People say that relapses happen before you use. Your mind starts setting up the relapse before you take that drink or that first hit. The times [Wilmer Valderrama and I had] broken up, I had already gone to that place of, 'Yeah, this is what's happening.' I didn't realize it at the time, but I just wanted to sabotage everything around me so that I could sabotage myself."
- to Cosmopolitan
"I am one of the 1 in 7 people who has faced addiction, and I am grateful to be in recovery today. It's time for us all to reflect, and start @facingaddiction. Let's stop ignoring the biggest problem in our country we often don't want to look at. We all are connected to this issue one way or another and we all need to be part of the solution. Together we can replace shame with support, hope, and healing."
- on Instagram