I woke up yesterday morning to the news that singer Demi Lovato had been rushed to the hospital after an apparent drug overdose. This was jarring because I've been closely following journeys with mental illness and addiction after deciding to pursue recovery myself.
I didn't really know much about Demi Lovato until I was admitted to a women's treatment facility in Chicago in 2016, the same one Demi was admitted to in 2010. So many women at the center talked about how much they admired Demi's openness in talking about her own battles.
After my discharge, I immediately started doing my research. I found a plethora of videos, photos, and tweets of Demi opening up to the world about her fight against mental illness. She shared her victories, her losses, and everything in between in hopes that her fans would find hope and encouragement in the struggle. Because of her transparency, people around the world have found the courage to get the help they need and begin their own recovery processes.
As heartbroken as I am over her relapse, I have found some sort of strange solace in it. This might sound like a terrible thing to feel after someone almost loses their life, but hear me out.
As a woman in recovery from mental illness, an eating disorder, and self-sabotaging behavior, I feel a constant pressure to be perfect. To never screw up. To get my crap together. This, of course, is a ridiculous standard for any human, but especially for someone traveling the long, laborious road to healing. Seeing a famous person who has been sober for six years continue to have hardships reminds me that there will always be a new mountain to climb, and sometimes I won't win. However, this does not mean that I have lost or that I will never reach my goals.
Even though Demi is struggling, and is in need of great love and support, I still believe she is the recovery advocate I've always known her to be. Her family, friends, and fans think no less of her but only want her to be healthy and happy. I know that when I'm in a low place, my loved ones want the same for me too.
I hope that Demi's followers are not discouraged in their own recovery process, but find peace in the re-breaking and re-building of life. Setbacks do not spell the end of hope for those in pursuit of a better life.