Demi Lovato once believed she wouldn’t live past the age of 21.
In a recent interview with a magazine, the American Way, she revealed that her past drug and alcohol use made her believe that she would die at a very young age.
She revealed that she started struggling with her body image when she was 2 or 3 years old. She opened up about her mother, Diana Hart’s struggle with an eating disorder.
“Even though I was 2 or 3 years old, being around somebody who was 80 pounds and had an active eating disorder,” Lovato revealed, “it’s hard not to grow up like that.”
Lovato said that she started in pageants at a young age and that lead to binge eating at the age of 9. “My body-image awareness started way before that, but I do attribute a little of my insecurities to being on stage and judged for my beauty.”
She continued, “when I was gaining weight because I was becoming a woman, I would look at those images and say to myself, ‘Wait, this is not what I look like. I’m getting fat on the hips and on my butt.”
Things escalated for Lovato when she hit her early twenties. The now 23-year-old self-medicated with alcohol and drugs, including cocaine and Oxycontin. She entered a treatment facility in 2012 and lived in a sober home for a year following her treatment. In 2015, she opened up about her struggle with bipolar disorder.
“Once I started eating again, the other issues got worse. It was like Whack-a-Mole,” Lovato said. “I lived fast and I was going to die young. I didn’t think I would make it to 21.”
In the short years since she got sober, Lovato has become a role model to fans, a title she wasn’t necessarily comfortable with at first.
“I didn’t go into treatment thinking, OK, now I’m going to be an inspiration,” she said. “At times, I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility, but now, it’s really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable.”
(h/t US Weekly)