Demi Lovato Relapsed After 5 Years Of Sobriety
On Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 25-year-old singer Demi Lovato was admitted to the hospital for a drug overdose. Lovato had been open about her struggle with addiction and celebrated 5 years of continuous sobriety in March of 2017. In June of 2018, however, Lovato released a song titled “Sober”, where she admits she’s no longer clean and apologizes for the pain that causes to those around her.
According to People Magazine, the singer had been struggling with substance abuse for months. Those around her were prepared for something like this to happen. Luckily they had Narcan, a drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdose, on hand during the time of the incident.
Demi Lovato shortly recovered from the overdose, left the hospital, canceled upcoming tour dates and will enter an in-patient rehab facility where she will undergo treatment for her addiction.
Thankfully Lovato escaped with her life and is on an admittedly long road to recovery.
This unfortunate event brings strong feelings to the surface for those in active recovery. This article discusses 4 things those of us who share similar struggles need to be mindful of as we progress on our individual journeys.
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4 Takeaways From Demi Lovato’s Sobriety Relapse
Watch The Company You Keep
In recovery, it is so important to keep in mind that you are the only one responsible for your outcomes. Nobody else is to blame.
While personal responsibility and accountability is certainly key, there is something to be said for watching the company you keep.
Furthermore, according to People Magazine, Lovato had fallen in with the wrong crowd, was in a “dark place”, and “pushed her true friends away”.
Which came first? We will likely never know. But it may not matter.
Whether Demi Lovato picked up again and then began hanging with the wrong crowd, or if things happened in reverse, it’s glaringly apparent that spending time with people who actively partake in the thing you are working so hard to escape is not a healthy choice.
If you are struggling with alcohol abuse and want to quit drinking on your own, changing your surroundings is highly recommended. Especially in the earliest days.
If Demi Lovato’s experience is any indication, however, it may very well be that you must always be careful who you spend time with. You’ll always have to put your sobriety first, or risk losing it.
Don’t Get Too Comfortable
The second thing Demi Lovato’s addiction relapse brings to the fore is that no matter how much sober time you have under your belt, you can’t get too comfortable.
The problem gets better, but it never goes away completely.
After five years, a public battle, the best treatment money can buy, tons of public and private support, a thriving career, fame, beauty, and everything else under the sun… this beautiful woman still fell victim to her demons.
It can happen to anybody at any time.
Don’t stop whatever you’re doing or have done to get where you are. If you’ve been going to meetings, keep attending them. If daily yoga keeps you sober or writing in your sobriety gratitude journal helps you stay mindful of your goals, don’t you dare stop.
You might be doing great for an extended period of time and feel that you’ll be okay if you quit, and you know what? You might be right. But what if you’re wrong? Is the risk really worth it?
You’re literally just one drink away from day one.
Be Compassionate Toward Others
When the devastating news of Demi Lovato’s relapse hit the news, there was the expected outpouring of support. Many celebrities publicly rallied behind Lovato, cheering her on, showing her love and wishing her a speedy recovery. Many fans and other casual viewers sent well wishes and shared positive sentiments.
Disturbing and jarring, however, was an overwhelming presence of social media commenters who were downright cruel. People who really don’t understand addiction and how challenging it really can be. People wishing death upon her because they felt she deserved it for making the wrongful decision to do drugs in the first place.
The lesson here is two-fold. First, people who have never dealt with addiction don’t really “get it” and that’s okay. Sometimes you just don’t understand what you don’t experience. But the bigger lesson is for all of us to keep in mind that you never really know what the next person is going through.
This goes beyond addiction.
So many people have invisible struggles that you’ll never know exist. People who seem to “have it all”, or have more/live better than we do can still be hurting on the inside.
Even if you don’t understand and can’t really see why things are the way they are, we are all human. Everybody makes mistakes, and we all have our weaknesses. It’s so important to remain compassionate.
You don’t need to “get it” to be compassionate. You just need to be a decent person.
No Two Recovery Journeys Are The Same
Finally, it’s extremely important to look at Demi Lovato’s experience for what it is. An isolated experience. Her experience.
We can draw comparisons, learn lessons and see some of what we should and should not do along our own paths, but we are all different.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery and this is a reminder for us to always be learning and improving. Always seek new information, strategies, techniques, and resources.
Some people prefer group meetings, counseling, residential alcohol detox or rehab as recovery methods and that works for them. Others prefer a DIY approach. Some choose to simply reduce their alcohol intake without quitting and that is enough to make them feel good. Some relapse over and over again before finally figuring it out. Others nail it on the first try.
All we can do is try our best, never give up, and when we learn something new, strive to share our knowledge to help others just a step or two behind us move closer to their goals.
Thankfully Demi Lovato emerged from this potentially deadly situation with her life and has another chance to re-establish her health and sobriety. Among the lessons we can take away from her experience are to watch the company we keep, don’t get too complacent in our efforts, be compassionate to others, and remember that no two journeys are the same.
Did this situation bring up any strong emotions for you?
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