LOS ANGELES, June 27 (UPI) — Demi Lovato is opening up about her troubled past in an effort to help others.
The 23-year-old singer discussed her struggles with bulimia, drug and alcohol abuse and bipolar disorder in the July issue of American Way, explaining she wants fans to know they’re not alone.
“I didn’t go into treatment thinking, ‘OK, now I’m going to be an inspiration,'” she told the magazine. “At times I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility, but now, it’s really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable.”
Lovato developed eating issues in childhood and would self-harm as a teen. She also started abusing alcohol, cocaine and OxyContin after gaining fame from the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock.
“I lived fast and I was going to die young. I didn’t think I would make it to 21,” the star admitted.
Lovato was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after she first entered rehab for bulimia in 2010. She later checked into a sober living facility to address her drug and alcohol problem and has been sober since 2012.
“When I have meet-and-greets, I can’t tell you the amount of times that girls will show me their arms covered in scars or cuts. They’ll tell me, ‘You helped me get through this. Because of you, I stopped self-harming,’ or ‘I got sober.’ Hearing those things gave my life new meaning,” the singer said.
Lovato celebrated her fourth year of sobriety in March and told reporters this month she’s working on “bettering herself” following her split from boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama. She and the 36-year-old actor were together six years.
“[My health and music] are pretty much my life. And I love it. My life now consists of doing things that are bettering, that are going to better myself,” she said, revealing she’s keeping busy at the gym, recording studio and AA meetings.
Lovato will kick off her Future Now tour with Nick Jonas Wednesday in Atlanta, Ga. The pair will perform across North America before bringing the venture to a close Sept. 17 in Inglewood, Calif.