Demi Lovato's Six Years of Sobriety Was a 'Fight Every Single Day': Source

Despite publicly celebrating her sobriety, Lovato struggled privately with the pressure to remain clean

After hitting rock bottom in 2010, Demi Lovato fought her way back up to the top with chart-topping albums and several sold-out tours before her shocking overdose last week.

The singer, 25, has proudly — and publicly — celebrated her sobriety milestones over the last six years, but a longtime friend tells PEOPLE exclusively Lovato struggled privately with the pressure to remain clean.

“Demi never wanted to be a role model. Her sobriety over the last six years was a fight every single day,” says the friend. “After she finally got clean, her team was very hard on her and treated her like she was a kid. It’s so hard to have all these eyes on you all the time.”

24th MTV Europe Music Awards, Arrivals, SSE Arena Wembley, London, UK - 12 Nov 2017
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Over the last year, Lovato yearned for more freedom and “slowly started breaking away” from her tightly regulated life.

“She is so young and she also has a very rebellious personality,” says the source. “She wasn’t drinking or using at first, but she’s even said herself that she can’t be in a [party] environment. She thought she could handle it, but it’s a very slippery slope.”


For all the details on Demi Lovato’s hospitalization and ongoing struggles following her overdose, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

California Mid-State Fair Featuring <a href="" data-inlink="true">Demi Lovato</a> and Iggy Azalea
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In March, the “Confident” singer marked “6 years sober” on her social media accounts, writing that she was “so grateful for another year of joy, health and happiness.”

Since her hospitalization following an overdose last Tuesday, Lovato has been surrounded by her immediate family and ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama, 38.

2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - Inside
Wilmer Valderrama and Demi Lovato. Kevin Mazur/VF16/WireImage

Sources told PEOPLE on Monday she is expected to make a “full recovery,” but that decisions in terms of treatment had not yet been made.

“It’s too soon to say what the next steps are in terms of entering treatment,” a source close to Lovato told PEOPLE. “Right now everyone is focused on getting Demi physically healthy.”

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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