Demi Lovato was a guest on Ashley Graham’s Pretty Big Deal podcast on Tuesday, February 18, and opened up about some of what led to her 2018 overdose. The “Anyone” singer specifically talked about her eating disorder recovery and how that played a factor in “everything happening over the past year.”
“When you have certain people around you that are telling you certain things, that you should look a certain way, it makes it harder,” Lovato told Graham, per People. “So I was in that situation—I was just running myself into the ground, and I honestly think that’s kind of what led to everything happening over the past year. It was just me thinking I found recovery when I didn’t and then living this kind of lie, and trying to tell the world that I was happy with myself when I really wasn’t.”
Lovato says she’s trying her best to shake old mindsets about body image—especially when it comes to the album cycle she’s about to begin. “I made a choice going into this next album, okay when I present this, I’m not going to worry about what I look like,” she told Graham. “I’m not going to worry about trying to look a certain way or fit a certain mold or whatever, that’s just not who I am. Someone needs to stand up for people who don’t naturally look that way. Like I had to work my ass off every day at the gym six days a week to maintain that figure, and it’s just like, that led me only one way, and I don’t want to go down that path again. So I’m not willing to destroy my mental health to look a certain way anymore.”
Demi Lovato has been open about her battles with both addiction and an eating disorder. In July 2018 she suffered an overdose and spent two weeks in the hospital before seeking treatment. “I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction,” she wrote on Instagram in 2018. “What I’ve learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet.”
She’s primarily been using her music, like the song “Anyone,” to talk about what happened two years ago. Slowly but surely, she says she’s getting comfortable revealing more. “I’m grateful that I have this opportunity to sit here and tell a little bit of my story,” Lovato told Zane Lowe from Apple Music in January. “As time goes on, I’m gonna tell more and more about it.”
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.