Former Disney actress Demi Lovato admits she hasn’t experienced a flawless journey toward freedom from her eating disorder, drug abuse and self-harm behaviors, but she is encouraging others to continue to fight each day.
Recently the actress told MTV that she believes the challenge will be a daily one, but that she isn’t letting the hard work involved stop her from pursuing recovery.
Lovato gained fame for working in “Camp Rock,” a Disney movie that featured teen rockers the Jonas Brothers, but her rise to fame also covered up deep problems with her self-esteem, physical appearance and bouts of depression.
Self-cutting behaviors and drug use followed, along with an eating disorder that the actress claims caused her to lose control, as described in a NY Daily News article.
Like many people with addictions, it was those close to the star such as her parents , that encouraged her to face the struggles head-on and enter treatment. Parts of her story have become a documentary, marked by periods of depression and self-esteem problems over her appearance that she says began in childhood.
The star also explained that she deeply resented being someone other teens looked up to and followed as an example, and the pressure turned her toward activities like drugs and alcohol to escape.
Strong feelings of shame are also part of Lovato’s addiction and recovery story, with the actress saying that she continually heaped these negative feelings on her own shoulders. This is a pattern that prompted the self-cutting behaviors.
She also carries a permanent physical scar: the words “Stay Strong” tattooed on her wrists to mask the self-cutting injuries and remind her of how far she’s come in rehab.
Lovato’s documentary, airing in the Spring of 2012 on MTV, is intended to share her story honestly and encourage other teens and young adults to move through the pain and get help, with a message that recovery is a process that unfolds over each day, one day at a time, not just as a one-time occurrence.