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Credit: Demi Lovato, OBB Pictures & SB Films
Demi Lovato opens up about her traumatic past and dives into hard-hitting topics in her third documentary Dancing With The Devil. Here are 3 main takeaways from the first two episodes.
**Warning this story contains spoilers and addresses topics of eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction, and sexual assault. **
She talks about hers and her parents’ past mental health struggles
Lovato shared that she had an estranged relationship with her late father. She explained that his addiction and alcoholism pushed her to cut him out of her life because it was “causing more harm than good”. She grew up in a household where she witnessed her mother suffer through an abusive relationship. Within her family history, her mother dealt with substances, on top of an eating disorder. “I didn’t know any better,” she explained. Competing in beauty pageants and being on camera from such a young age, only contributed to the decline of her mental health and self esteem as she grew older.
She was not sober when she wrote her emotional single, “Sober”
The first episode counts down the months and days to the night of her overdose, showing clips from her “Tell Me You Love Me” world tour as well as the 2018 documentary they were filming (which never got released). Lovato admitted that she only allowed crews, friends and family members to see what she wanted them to see. “I wasn’t showing them what I was doing behind closed doors,” said Lovato. While people around her thought she had been maintaining a level of sobriety, she had actually relapsed with alcohol and was dabbling with new drugs. Shortly after her relapse, she was introduced to heroin and crack cocaine. “I started using recreationally, and obviously you can’t do that with heroin before you become addicted to it.” During a trip to Bali in 2018, she wrote her single “Sober,” when she realized she had become physically dependent on the drug.
She suffered much more than an overdose
When explaining the night of her overdose, Lovato said she struggled to come to terms with everything that had happened. “None of my friends knew what I was using, so I kept it very hidden from everyone.” The night—which started off as a celebration with her friends—ended with Lovato calling her drug dealer over once she was home alone. Two unexpected things occurred that night. Not only were the drugs she was given laced with what she believes was fentanyl, but she was also sexually assaulted by her dealer.
The result of the overdose created life changing effects. “I had three strokes. I had a heart attack. I suffered brain damage from the strokes. I can’t drive anymore, and I have blind spots in my vision,” she detailed. Within the first 24 hours of her hospital stay, she had multiple doctors by her side to provide the best opportunity for recovery as they worked on the damages within different areas of her body.
Lovato revealed that her decision to get treatment following her overdose was because she wanted to be able to see her sister and maintain a relationship with her. In the past two years, she’s been working on confronting her traumas so that she can live a happier life, and be her best self. “It’s like a nice reminder that it wasn’t my time. You know…that there was more life to be lived,” said Lovato.
The first two episodes of Dancing With The Devil are streaming on Demi Lovato’s YouTube channel, and the last two episodes will be released over the course of the next two weeks. In addition to the release of her final episodes, Lovato will also be releasing her new album titled Dancing With The Devil The Art Of Starting Over, on April 2.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and visit https://www.samhsa.gov/ for resources and support.
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About The Author:
Chloe Leung is a senior Journalism student at Emerson College and an aspiring digital producer. She is an intern at Afterbuzz TV and a fanatic of all things entertainment, fashion, and pop culture.
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