In the wake of Demi Lovato’s rumored recent drug overdose, a surprising thing happened. Her fans rallied to assert that her struggles with addiction did not diminish her integrity as a role model. The hashtag #HowDemiHasHelpedMe emerged, connecting first-person accounts of how Ms. Lovato’s openness about addiction and recovery has influenced fans for the good.
In the article excerpted from Vox below, a strong case is made for the value in public figures being honest about their issues with addiction and mental health. We hope sharing it here will further inspire people experiencing their own challenges to reach out for help and guidance.
…when Lovato released her new single “Sober” last month, singing, “Mama, I’m so sorry, I’m not sober anymore,” her fans understood. Relapsing was a step backward, but Lovato had been there before and would make an effort to get better. She was resilient. And in fact, that was the note the song ended on: “I promise I’ll get help / It wasn’t my intention,” Lovato assures her listeners.
In the context of this narrative, Lovato’s apparent overdose is scary and saddening, but it is not the stuff of salacious scandal, and it isn’t being met with eye rolls and dismissive talk of “the ~drama~.” Instead, the overdose becomes a part of the process of her recovery, which is a story that her fans know intimately and that has inspired many of them through their own recoveries.
The news is part of the story of what makes Lovato both relatable and aspirational: She has been through terrible pain and darkness, but she has risen out of it to become a superstar, while acknowledging that her recovery hasn’t been easy and will continue forever. “If she can do it, then so can I.” It becomes not a moral failing but part of the story of Demi Lovato, who is resilient.