When “Sunday Morning” last met mega-pop star Demi Lovato in 2016, who was training with a boxing sparring partner in 2016, it looked like she had it all.
“You look like a fighter to me,” said correspondent Tracy Smith.
“I look like a sweaty pop star now, that’s what I look like!” She answered.
Lovato appeared to be in control of the eating disorder and substance abuse that had plagued her for years, and with a healthy new lifestyle she was better than ever.
“The most successful thing I have done,” she said to Smith, “is to conquer my addiction and that I am sitting alive before you today.”
But that was it then.
In July 2018, news came that she had overdosed on heroin with fentanyl and had barely survived. In many ways, the Demi we met in 2016 was a very different person than the one Smith sat with at her Los Angeles home last week.
“I’m not sure if people even realize how serious this was and how it still affects you,” said Smith. “How close did you get to dying?”
Lovato replied, “The doctors told me I had five to ten minutes. If no one had found me, I wouldn’t be here. And I’m grateful to be sitting here today, yes.”
“Me too,” said Smith. “I have to tell you, I mean, we had a similar conversation in 2016. What happened?”
“I was probably 24 years old when we did the interview. So let’s do this interview, I’m in recovery from a number of things, and I’ve been sober for so many years, but I’m still unhappy. And then of course no matter how you are feeling right now, you want to say, “Yes. I’m good “because I’m in front of a camera doing an interview.
“It’s like essentially dying to wake up for the first time in my life.”
It seems that behind the smile and the apparent sheen of success, Lovato was deeply unhappy. She talks about everything and more in a new YouTube Originals documentary released this week, “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil”. It paints a picture of a beloved pop star who lived more or less like a prisoner in the time before her overdose.
Smith asked, “How much of your life have you controlled?”
“I didn’t control anything of my life at the time,” said Lovato. “But yeah, I also had to grow up and take control. And I’ve only been doing that for the last two years of my life. That means I’m now in control of my finances, I’m now in control of the food, that I eat how often I exercise … “
“Stop for a second because I think this is going to confuse people that you weren’t even in control of that Food that you ate? “
“Obviously, I was in control of what I put in my mouth,” said Lovato. “But there were times when phones were taken out – in fact, every time I was in a hotel room, my phone was taken out of the room so I couldn’t order room service.
“Regardless of what other people may have said or done, my actions have put me in the place before you today,” she said. “Unfortunately, no one but me can answer for my overdose.”
Leaf through all of these magazines
Tell me who to be
Far too good in disguise
I can’t see what i am
I only see what I am not
– “I love myself”
Since her overdose, Lovato has said she found a way that works for her.
Smith asked, “So you do what they call moderation I think right? So you drink, smoke some weed, is that fair to say?”
“Yeah. I think the term I best identify with is sober in California,” Lovato said. “I really don’t feel comfortable explaining the parameters of my recovery to people because I don’t want anyone to look at my safety parameters and think this will work for them because it may not.”
“I am careful to say that I do not think this journey of moderation is a one-size-fits-all solution, just as I think the method of complete abstinence is not a one-size-fits-all solution.”
Lovato said she still had ongoing problems with her vision and hearing, but she also discovered that her singing voice was as strong as ever – and she picked last year’s Grammy Awards to make this the world (and maybe herself yourself) to prove.
But a few seconds later her feelings overwhelmed her. She started singing and then stopped.
What was on her mind? “I didn’t know if I would ever set foot on a stage again. When I woke up in the hospital, I said, ‘I don’t know how much damage was done.’ I hadn’t tried to sing yet. “
And then she started again in what would be one of the most triumphant performances of the year.
This song “Anyone” is the first track on their upcoming album. It could also be the soundtrack of a time in her life that she is both grateful for and hopes to leave behind forever.
Smith asked, “For you personally, how are you feeling right now?”
“I feel so good,” she replied. “I feel more joy in my life than ever before because I am not calming or diminishing any part of myself.
“I think all my life I was the horse that led everyone to the well and they couldn’t make me drink the water from the well. Only last year I was able to taste the freedom of the water in the well because I was finally ready to drink it. “
To watch a trailer for the YouTube Originals documentary Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, click the following video player:
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Story produced by John D’Amelio. Editor: Joseph Frandino.