Following its premiere at the SXSW Festival on Tuesday, fans have been left stunned by the revelations the hitmaker and her loved ones have made about just how trauma she’s faced throughout her life.
Here are the most shocking moments and heart-breaking reveals from the documentary directed by Michael D. Ratner.
Demi relapsed one month before her overdose
In March 2018, Demi decided to start drinking again, just one month after celebrating six years of sobriety on stage with DJ Khaled.
She soon started to do drugs again as she explained: ‘I just so happened to run into my old drug dealer from six years before and, like, the odds of that happening were crazy and he had a duffel bag and I just went to town.
‘I went on a shopping spree. That night I did drugs that I’d never done before. I had never done meth before, I tried meth. I mixed it with molly, with coke, weed, alcohol, oxycontin. And that alone should’ve killed me.’
Two weeks after her relapse, Demi says she was ‘introduced to heroin and crack cocaine. I started using recreationally and obviously you can’t do that with heroin before you become addicted to it.’
The star was ‘physically dependent’ on heroin at the time she wrote her hit single, Sober.
She was hours away from death on July 23 and 24, 2018
Demi had kept the fact she was ‘addicted to crack and heroin secret from friends and family until the night of her overdose.
Recalling the night, she stated: ‘I met up with some friends. We went to several different bars, we came back to my house. And around 5:30 in the morning, I said I was going to bed, but the reality was that I had called one of my dealers over.’
The next morning, Demi’s then-assistant Jordan Jackson found the singer unconscious in her bed.
Paramedics were called and worked to ‘try to bring her back to life. There was one point where she turned blue, like her whole body…I was like, she’s dead, for sure. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.’
Demi’s best friend Matthew Scott Montgomery bluntly stated: ‘She should be dead. Like 100 percent.’
Waking up blind and other horrific effects of her overdose
Listing the many ways her body had begun to shut down, Demi explained: ‘I don’t think people realize how bad I actually was. I had three strokes, I had a heart attack, I suffered brain damages from three strokes.
‘I can’t drive anymore and I have blind spots in my vision, so sometimes when I go to pour a glass of water, I’ll like, totally miss the cup because I can’t see it anymore. I also had pneumonia ’cause I asphyxiated and multiple organ failure.’
But the most impactful injury for the Don’t Forget singer was losing her vision and being unable to see her little sister, Madison De La Garza.
She recalled: ‘I was legally blind when I woke up and my little sister was at my bedside and I was so blind I couldn’t see who she was. She just started sobbing because she thought from then on I wouldn’t be able to see.’
The singer has been left with blind spots in her vision following the overdose.
Demi was ‘taken advantage of’ the night she overdosed
‘What people don’t realize about that night for me is that I didn’t just overdose, I also was taken advantage of,’ Demi stated as she then accused her unnamed drug dealer of giving her ‘what I assume now to be fentanyl by giving me “aftermarket pills.”‘
She continued: ‘When they found me, I was naked, I was blue, I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me. And when I woke up in the hospital, they asked if I had had consensual sex. And there was one flash that I had of him on top of me, I saw that flash and I said yes.’
Weeks later, she realized she wasn’t ‘in any state of mind to make a consensual decision’.
She added: ‘That kind of trauma doesn’t go away overnight and it doesn’t go away in the first few months of rehab either.’
She used heroin again since her overdose
Many will be surprised to learn that Demi did hard drugs again after her near-death overdose.
She explained: ‘I wish I could say that the last night I ever touched heroin was the night of my overdose, but it wasn’t.’
After ‘a week-long intensive trauma retreat,’ she end up calling her dealer and taking drugs.
Demi explained: ‘I ended up getting high. I thought, how did I pick up the same drugs that put me in the hospital? I was mortified at my decisions.’
When Demi relapsed after her overdose, she called the drug dealer because she ‘wanted to rewrite his choice of violating me’ the night she OD’d.
She continued: ‘I wanted it now to be my choice and he also had something that I wanted, which were drugs. called him back and I said, “No, I’m going to f**k you.” It didn’t fix anything, it didn’t take anything away.
‘It just made me feel worse, but that, for some reason, was my way of taking the power back. All it did was bring me back to my knees begging God for help.’
Demi didn’t keep her relapse a secret, instead reaching out for help from friends and family.
Demi revealed: ‘I lost my virginity in a rape. I called that person back a month later and tried to make it right by being in control, and all it did was just make me feel worse.’
The Heart Attack singer said the horrific incident mirrored her being sexually assaulted by her drug dealer.
She described the ordeals as ‘textbook trauma re-enactments, and I really beat myself up for years, which is also why I had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that it was a rape when it happened’.
Recalling the childhood incident, Demi said in the documentary: ‘We were hooking up but I said, “Hey, this is not going any farther, I’m a virgin and I don’t want to lose it this way”. And that didn’t matter to them, they did it anyways.
‘And I internalised it and I told myself it was my fault, because I still went in the room with him, I still hooked up with him.’
Demi explained that it took her years to define the incident as a rape because ‘the Christian, southern girl in me didn’t see it that way because sex was not normalised as a child or in the south’.
She added: ‘And, you know what, f**k it, I’m just gonna say it: my #MeToo story is me telling somebody that someone did this to me, and they never got in trouble for it. They never got taken out of the movie they were in. But I’ve just kept it quiet because I’ve always had something to say, and I don’t know, I’m tired of opening my mouth. So there’s the tea.’
She isn’t sober – using alcohol and weed in moderation
Again, viewers may be shocked to learn that Demi is not living a sober life.
‘I’ve been hesitant to share until now that I’ve been smoking weed and drinking in moderation,’ Demi shared in the final episode.
She explained she’d been afraid to share that she wasn’t sober ‘after so many years of being the poster child of sobriety, I didn’t want people to criticize me for that.’
Demi urged other addicts not to break their sobriety again because of her, explaining: ‘Recovery isn’t a one size fits all solution.’
Demi then explains her decision as she continued: ‘I’ve learned that shutting the doors on things makes me want to open the door even more. I’ve learned that it doesn’t work for me to say, “I’m never going to do this again”.
‘I’ve really, really struggled with this. I’m done with the stuff I know is going to kill me, right? But I wish that I could get some relief maybe through, like, weed or something, and telling myself that I can never have a drink or smoke marijuana, like, I feel like that’s setting myself up for failure because I am such a black and white thinker.’
She’s confident that she won’t use heroin again but the Cool For The Summer songstress admitted she has to work every day to maintain her mental health.
‘The one slip-up that I ever had with those drugs again, the scariest thing to me was picking up heroin and realizing wow, this isn’t strong enough anymore because what I had done the night I overdosed was fentanyl,’ Demi stated, ‘and that, that’s a whole other beast. Realizing the high I wanted would kill me was what I needed to get me clean for good.’
She continued: ‘I have full faith that you’re not going to open up TMZ and see another overdose headline. But I also say this with humility that this is a very powerful disease and I am not going to pretend that I am invincible. I have to work every day to make sure that I am in a good place, so I don’t go to those things.’
She is using injections to stop from getting high
Demi ‘is getting ahead of the curve’ of her drug addiction by receiving injections to prevent a relapse.
She receives monthly shots of Vivitrol, a medication that stops the effects of opioids.
The treatment, which blocks opiate receptors in patients’ brains, can only be taken on a temporary basis — but the star believes it will give her good start on long-term sobriety.
‘At least for a few years it can’t hurt me, she says in her new YouTube docuseries, Dancing With the Devil.
But she claims she’s ‘done’ with the hard drugs that landed her in the hospital.
‘I know I’m done with the stuff that’s gonna kill me,’ she says in the YouTube series. ‘But I wish that I could get some relief maybe through like weed or something, right?’
She adds, ‘I’ve learned that shutting the door on things makes me want to open the door even more.’
Her bipolar disorder was a misdiagnosis
Demi was previously diagnosed as bipolar and the singer revealed the news with the world.
However, she has since learned she was ‘misdiagnosed’ at that time and realised it was a mistake not to seek a second opion.
The star mistakenly thought the diagnosis ‘put a reasoning’ behind her actions at the time.
‘I was acting out when I was 18 for many reasons, but I know now from multiple different doctors that it was not because I was bipolar,’ she explained. ‘And I had to grow up. I had to grow the f**k up.’
Her childhood trauma is linked to her father’s death
In 2013, Demi’s estranged father Patrick Lovato died without anyone realising.
Demi explained: ‘His death was very complicated because we don’t know the exact day he died. He had been laying there for about a week and a half before anyone found him…that was the fear that I always had for him, that he would end up alone and he did, he died alone.’
The star longed for a relationship with her father when she was younger but also ‘resented him because he was an addict and an alcoholic and he was abusive to my mom.’
Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil arrives on YouTube on March 23.
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