Demi Lovato found out who her true friends were when she checked in rehab in 2010 to treat her drug addiction, bipolar disorder and bulimia.
“A couple of months before I went to rehab, I had a birthday party and there were a couple of hundred people there,” Lovato told UK’s Company magazine. “It was full of people who I considered my closest friends.
“When I turned my phone on after being in rehab for three months, I expected lots of text messages and phone calls. I had four texts. That was a wake-up call.”
After that, Demi got rid of her fair-weather friends and began investing in her true pals. Lovato, 20, now has fewer friends, but they’re people she trusts and can truly count on. Demi was previously close friends with Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus. It’s unclear if those friendships remain intact.
“I don’t have loads of friends,” she says. “I used to, but then I realized, ‘Do any of them actually care?’ Now I have people who, if I break my leg in the middle of the night, they’ll come to the hospital with me. Or they’ll answer the phone at 4 a.m. if I need them.”
While the road to recovery has been long and hard, Demi is healthier and happier than ever after seeking treatment. “I make time for myself and meditate,” she told Self. “I’ve spent the past two years getting over an eating disorder and issues like self-harming and bipolar disorder. I have to work on this stuff every day. I’m reminded of that whenever I eat or feel down.”
Demi, who checked herself into rehab for drug addiction, bulimia, bipolar disorder and self-mutilation in October 2010, said hurting herself physically (like cutting her wrists) was a way to cope with the avalanche of negative emotions she often felt.
“There were times I felt so anxious, almost like I was crawling out of my skin – that if I didn’t do something physical to match the way I felt inside, I would explode,” Lovato recalled. “I cut myself to take my mind off that. I just didn’t care what happened. I had no fear.”
When Demi was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she felt a tremendous sense of relief. “Finding out I had a real emotional disorder helped me put together the pieces of the puzzle,” she said. “I remember being on my tour bus thinking, ‘My life is so awesome right now, but I’m so depressed.’ Then, a few days later, I’d be on top of the world. It was really confusing. When I got diagnosed, my life made more sense.”
Lovato, who was in rehab from October 2010 to January 2011, learned how to cope with negative emotions through therapy. “So many things were going great in my life [right before I checked into rehab], and then all of a sudden my personal life just went down at crazy speeds,” she said.
“I had a negative breakdown and it changed my life forever. If I hadn’t gone into treatment, I don’t know if I’d even be sitting here today or if I’d be alive today.”