Demi Lovato can sing.
While some people might think of her as a Disney kid who got a singing/acting career from being cute, she’s an incredibly talented vocalist. You can hear in Demi’s voice that every note is wrapped in power, in happiness or in pain. She leaves everything she has in her vocals. She’s a powerhouse.
She also struggles with addiction.
News broke Tuesday afternoon that Demi was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital after an apparent heroin overdose. As of the time of this blog, she was in stable condition, awake and with her family.
This blog is about what we do to take care of ourselves. Addressing mental health is something I’ve done before, after the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Addiction is just as big of a monster as any mental illness. Many times, they go hand-on-hand. Self-medicating is another way to numb the pain. Demi has spoken at length of her bi-polar disorder diagnosis, her struggles with cutting and self-mutilation and her battle with disordered eating.
After I heard about Demi, I expected backlash. I expected to see my social timelines filled with “poor little rich girl” and “if you don’t want to get addicted, don’t do drugs.”
I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. While there were still some harsh comments, I mostly saw an outpouring of love and support. Everyone from teens to grandmothers were keeping Demi in their thoughts and pleading for those struggling to seek help.
The reality is that most of these people probably know or love someone who struggles with addiction.
Addiction is walking a tightrope over a pit of sharks. Loving someone who struggles with addiction is like watching someone drown. They gasp for air and try to keep their head above water. If they manage to stay afloat, one move or circumstance can cause them to slip below the surface.
We need to take care of ourselves, but we also need to take care of each other. Let’s be understanding and gentle. Put ourselves in their shoes. Be empathetic. Reach out. Listen to them. Help them however we can, because Demi, just like you or your parent, your sibling or your best friend, is so much more than her demons.