Nearly three years before her 21st birthday, Demi Lovato pulled out of the Jonas Brothers tour and entered rehab. Since then, the former Disney star has admitted to an eating disorder, bi-polar disorder, and self-medication with drugs and alcohol.
Naturally, becoming sober drastically changed her plans for the big 2-1. Instead of partying, the singer spent her most recent birthday in Kenya for the Free the Children charity. “I was used to drinking and doing drugs on my birthday,” she told Cosmopolitan Latinas. “I always imagined my 21st being a huge party where I’d get s–t-faced and go crazy. But I realized that there’s so much more to life than that. Imagine walking 10 miles a day just to get water for your family? We have so much to be grateful for.”
Now, Demi is back on her feet and as successful as ever. She’s currently continuing her Neon Lights tour in South America, and has become an inspiration to young girls experiencing similar problems that she did in the past. “When I was younger, I needed someone in the spotlight to idolize, who stood for positivity and light and happiness, and wanted to change the world,” she admitted. “And because I didn’t have that, I realized I want to do that, if only for my 12-year-old little sister.”
Still, the “Give Your Heart a Break” singer will forever remember the painful years, particularly as she continues to treat her bi-polar disorder. “It’s a daily thing,” she revealed. “I treat it with medication. Not everybody does that, but it works for me. That’s what works for me — medicating, checking in with people, being honest and being grateful for things.”