On Thursday, after six years of sobriety, Demi Lovato confessed to us that she recently relapsed in her most heartbreaking song called “Sober”. In it, she explains some of what happened, apologizes to everyone individually – including her fans – and promises she’ll get help. I never cry, but I cried that day. It sounds silly, but she is someone who is close to my heart. She has a connection with her fans and vice versa that I don’t think anyone could understand. I wasn’t exactly sure how to feel. I was mostly sad and scared for her. A tiny part of me was mad, but I understand that isn’t fair. A part of me was proud of her, as always, for her bravery in admitting it. But, then again, who is ever proud of someone for relapsing?
I wish I could reach out to her, hold her and help her, which I trust her family and treatment team are doing. But, all fans can really do is tweet her and forgive her, which I have done.
There are a few things everybody can learn from Demi’s relapse.
NOBODY’S PERFECT, AND YOU CAN’T EXPECT THEM TO BE
Using Demi as an example, sometimes it seems that her and her life is awesome, flawless and perfect. I’m even guilty of thinking that sometimes. But, the truth is, Demi is far from perfect. Sometimes she does or says stuff that people don’t like and sometimes she makes mistakes – big or small. She’s allowed to, though, because she’s only human. Just like everyone else.
DEMI’S IMPERFECTIONS MAKE HER A BETTER ROLE MODEL
The people who others should look up to the most are the people who make mistakes and learn from them – who overcome obstacles in life. Demi is not a bad influence for relapsing. I’m not going to relapse just because she did. Like when I was in high school, a few people assumed that I self-harmed because she did. But now, because of Demi, I know if I ever relapse, I should tell someone, get help and not feel ashamed.
If we look up to someone who appears to be perfect, then we will feel the pressure to be perfect, and that’s not okay.
RELAPSE IS A PART OF RECOVERY
Whether you’re recovering from addiction or mental illness, relapse is a part of recovery. It’s okay to relapse. I used to feel ashamed when I relapsed with my mental illness. I hate it. It’s ugly. It’s hard on someone who has made a lot of progress. But, the truth is, it’s okay! Relapse doesn’t make you weak. If you survive a relapse and get right back up, you are so strong. You are stronger than you think. Relapse doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Relapse doesn’t mean you’re back to where you started. It can happen to many people who are in some type of recovery…including Demi Lovato.
IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW FAR YOU ARE IN YOUR RECOVERY, RELAPSE CAN STILL HAPPEN
Demi just celebrated her sixth anniversary of sobriety in March, so her relapse was shocking. However, it was an eye-opening reminder that the length of sobriety doesn’t make a person any less at risk for relapsing.