Demi Lovato is ready to be brutally honest about her story. The singer appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote her first single since dropping her new track, "Anyone," and Demi Lovato explained how her disordered eating contributed to her relapse and her July 2018 hospitalization following an apparent overdose. After the talk show host revealed that Lovato’s former team used to clear the sugar out of her dressing room before she appeared on the show, the singer admitted that those "controlling" habits led to her eventually questioning her own decisions and sobriety.
"I lived a life for the past six years that I felt wasn’t my own because I struggled really hard with an eating disorder," Lovato — who has been incredibly open about her experiences with bulimia — explained to Ellen DeGeneres. "My life, I just felt it was so … controlled, by so many people around me." According to the singer, her team would confiscate the phone in hotel rooms so she couldn’t order room service, would monitor her Starbucks orders, and even had fruit taken away from her due to the natural sugars. "I think at some point it becomes dangerous to try to control someone’s food when they’re in recovery from an eating disorder," Lovato explained.
Eventually, her team’s strict rules and control took a toll on the singer’s mental health, leading her to question her sobriety. "My bulimia got really bad and I asked for help and I didn’t receive the help that I needed," the singer explained. "I was stuck in this unhappy position," relying on the strict approach that she and her team took, based on a "one size fits all solution."
As a result, Lovato said that she became "really, really unhappy," explaining, "Here I am sober and I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m six years sober, but I’m miserable. I’m even more miserable than I was when I was drinking. Why am I sober?’" When she shared those thoughts with her team, they quit, which she says triggered her abandonment issues and anxieties. "I felt completely abandoned and I drank," she recalled, adding that that same night, "I went to a party and there was other stuff there." Three months later, Lovato overdosed and was hospitalized.
Despite sharing the experiences that contributed to her hospitalization, the singer made it clear that she doesn’t blame her former team for her relapse. "Ultimately, I made the decisions that got me to where I am today. It was my actions that put me in the position that I’m in," Lovato said, explaining that it was only by taking responsibility for her choices that she was able to "learn to love" herself.
Now, a year and a half after her hospitalization, Lovato has a new manager and is happier than ever. "For many years, I didn’t even have a birthday cake," she said, revealing that she used to celebrate birthdays with a "watermelon cake." So, when manager Scooter Braun gave her a cake for her 27th birthday in August, she broke down crying. "I was finally eating cake with a manager that didn’t need anything from me and that loved me for who I am and supported my journey."
Lovato is hoping to share her newfound happiness and self-love with her fans, with her empowering new single, "I Love Me," dropping on Friday.
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder and needs help, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline at 1-800-931-2237, text 741741, or chat online with a Helpline volunteer here.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).
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