Demi Lovato’s Fight: How She Bounced Back From Her Struggles

Demi Lovato has been getting candid on her battle with drugs and alcohol, her bipolar disorder and eating disorder, and her issues with self-harm. The 23-year-old said that even though she has since been free from her demons, there were times when she didn’t think she would make it to her 21st birthday.

“I lived fast and I was going to die young,” Lovato revealed to American Way magazine for American Airlines. “I didn’t think I would make it to 21.”

Demi took note of Britney Spears’ infamous meltdown, when the pop star shaved her head, checked in and out of rehab, and was placed on a 5150 involuntary hold back in 2007. Similarly, Lindsay Lohan was arrested for a DUI and spent a brief time in jail. At the time, Demi was starring on Sonny With a Chance and filming the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock with the Jonas brothers, but she had a feeling that she would be headed down a similar path.

“I was definitely like, ‘Oh crap. In three years, that’s going to be me!” she recalled to the publication.

When Lovato checked into rehab in 2011, where she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the young age of 18, she was afraid how it would be portrayed by the media.

“So now I’m in rehab, and I thought, ‘Oh great, now the world thinks I’m just another stereotype,” she added.

Lovato also opened up about her eating disorder, which started when she was just a toddler. She revealed that it has been 4 years since she visited rehab; but, she still attends AA meetings on a regular basis to keep herself on track, especially since she’s been experiencing a lot of stress from her recent split from actor Wilmer Valderrama, and backlash on Twitter for her rants and feud with Mariah Carey.

Even Demi’s own mother and former Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, Dianna Lee Hart, struggled with an eating disorder shortly after she split from the pop star’s father when Demi was just a year-and-a-half old.

“Even though I was two or three years old, being around somebody who was 80 pounds and had an active eating disorder … it’s hard not to grow up like that. My body-image awareness started way before that. But I do attribute a little of my insecurities to being onstage and judged for my beauty.”

Nowadays, the singer is super focused on having a healthy and active lifestyle. Lovato says she knew that would become the key to her ongoing recovery. She has changed up her once dangerous diet, started working out with a personal trainer, and learned how to embrace her body as it is. Lovato is also ready to embark on her Future Now tour with friend and fellow pop star Nick Jonas, as she promotes her NYC New York Color line and her skincare line, Devonne by Demi.

She feels a lot stronger and beautiful these days. “I realized I’d rather be strong and happy than be what society thinks is thin and perfect and miserable,” she revealed in a recent interview with Fitness Magazine.

Demi has continued to be open and honest about her bipolar disorder, especially on social media and in her memoir, Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year. She explains why it’s so important for her to continue talking about it, since it never truly goes away.

“They say it takes the average person 10 years to get the right diagnosis and treatment. That statistic was very true for me, but I’m lucky to have the resources I need. Not everyone does. Sharing my story felt important if it meant that I’d be helping people get access to better care or showing that it’s still possible to live a normal life.”

Demi Lovato has also dipped her toe in the country music genre. The singer just released a new song with Brad Paisley, titled “Without A Fight,” which they performed on Good Morning America last week.

[Photo by David Becker/Getty Images]