Demi Lovato is opening up about her long journey with an eating disorder and substance abuse that came to a head in 2018 with her near-fatal overdose. In an emotional interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, the talk show host noted that in the many times Lovato had appeared on the show in the past, her team had taken care to hide all the sugar in her dressing room.
"I didn't know that until today too, but I lived a life for the past six years that I felt wasn't my own because I struggled really hard with an eating disorder, yes, and that was my primary problem and then it turned into other things," Lovato responded. "My life, I just felt it was so... and I hate to use this word, but I felt it was controlled, by so many people around me."
Lovato explained that her hotel room phones were removed so she couldn't order room service and that the fruit would be taken out of her room due to the natural sugars.
"For many years, I didn't even have a birthday cake. I had a watermelon cake, where you cut your watermelon into the shape of a cake and you put fat free whipped cream on top and that was your cake," she admits. "I just really wanted birthday cake, so this year when I turned 27, you know, I have a new team, and Scooter Braun, my manager, gave me the best birthday cake. I spent it with Ariana Grande, who is one of my good friends, and we just had the best birthday and I just remember crying because I was finally eating cake with a manager that didn't need anything from me and that loved me for who I am and supported my journey. I think at some point it becomes dangerous to try to control someone's food when they're in recovery from an eating disorder."
With six years of sobriety under her belt, Lovato recalls how her eating disorder helped lead to her relapse and overdose.
"My bulimia got really bad and I asked for help and I didn't receive the help that I needed," she recalls. "So I was stuck in this unhappy position. Here I am sober and I'm thinking to myself, 'I'm six years sober, but I'm miserable. I'm even more miserable than I was when I was drinking. Why am I sober?'"
Asking for help from her team, Lovato says they abandoned her, triggering issues surrounding her birth father.
"So when they left, they totally played on that fear and I felt completely abandoned and I drank," she explains. "That night I went to a party and there was other stuff there and it was only three months before I ended up in the hospital with an OD."
Lovato knows that despite all the cards stacked against her, she is taking responsibility for her actions and her subsequent sobriety and recovery journey.
"Ultimately, I made the decisions that got me to where I am today. It was my actions that put me in the position that I'm in," she told DeGeneres. "I think it's important that I sit here on this stage and tell you at home or you in the audience or you right here that if you do go through this, you yourself can get through it. You can get to the other side and it may be bumpy, but you are a 10 out of 10, don't forget it. And as long as you take the responsibility you can move past it and learn to love yourself the way you deserve to be loved."
Photo credit: Taylor Hill, Getty