Things That Matter

This Documentary Reveals The Truth Behind Demi Lovato’s Dangerous Cocaine Addiction And Eating Disorder

“I actually had anxiety around this interview because the last time I did an interview this long I was on cocaine.”

This is the opening line to Demi Lovato’s documentary, “Simply Complicated.” At 25 years old, this award-winning pop singer, actor and songwriter has experienced a lot of love, pain, heartbreak, guilt, happiness and anger. But on that rollercoaster ride of emotions she has learned a lot. The documentary begins with Lovato touching on her high school experience, a time in her life when she was bullied while yearning to be liked by others. This desire for popularity led her to excessive alcohol consumption, which then led to a cocaine addiction. She was 17 years old when she first tried cocaine. Even though she was initially scared to try this drug because her mom told her her heart would explode, she tried it. And she was hooked.

Lovato connects her love for cocaine to her birth father, who was also a cocaine addict and alcoholic. In the documentary Lovato’s mom, Dianna De La Garza explains, “I knew that he had a good heart. But sometimes if you don’t get the help for what you’re struggling with, a good heart just isn’t enough.” Lovato’s older sister, Dallas Lovato, remembers that Lovato had a lot of love for her birth father, but once alcohol and cocaine were involved, he would explode in rage, yelling and throwing things around the house, making it difficult for Lovato to view him with the same regard. Looking back Lovato admits, “I guess I always searched for what he found in drugs and alcohol. Because it fulfilled him and he chose that over family.”

After her parents’ divorce, it was Lovato, her mom and her older sister against the world. Lovato’s family later grew after her mom married Eddie De La Garza and brought her little sister, Madison De La Garza into the world. At a young age Lovato and her sisters began to participate in beauty pageants, and that’s when Lovato completely fell in love with singing. After realizing how talented Lovato was, her mom began taking her to singing lessons, acting lessons and auditions. And after many attempts, Lovato finally booked “Barney and Friends.” Soon after this, she booked a television show for Disney channel and then booked the Disney movie “Camp Rock” at 15 years old. It was during the rehearsals for “Camp Rock” that Lovato was picked up by her manager, Phil McIntyre. Even though Lovato was happy to see this success, it also caused her a lot of anxiety. Lovato admits, “Looking back, I think it was a lot for anyone, let alone a kid.”

It was during a concert in Colombia that Lovato reached her breaking point and entered a treatment facility. She was 18 years old at the time and was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. However, even after treatment, Lovato wasn’t ready to get sober. She remembers sneaking cocaine onto planes, into bathrooms and at night and no one knew. She was either craving drugs or on drugs. Lovato recalls, “There was one night that I was using a bunch of coke and I popped a few Xanax bars and I started to choke a little bit and my heart started racing.” After putting her life at risk, Lovato was rushed to the hospital and then entered a psych-ward for help. Still, this wasn’t much help.

No matter how much her friends and family tried to help her, Lovato recalls how little she cared at the time. She would fake her drug tests with other people’s urine, she would lie to people’s faces about being sober and just knew, “I needed to be high to get through what I was going through at that point.” After a few months of this, Lovato’s manager wanted to drop her. He didn’t know what else to do, so he resorted to his final plan, which was to convince every single person on the team to quit and leave if he left. Realizing that she would be losing everything and everyone, Lovato decided to commit to getting sober. The first thing her team did to help Lovato in the right direction was take away her phone, the gateway to everything painful in her life. From this point on everything changed.

At 19 years old, Lovato was booked as a judge on “The X-Factor” and was on her first year of sobriety. She was totally and completely committed to the process of becoming sober and learned along the way that “you really have to lean into the people who are trying to help you.” Although she didn’t relapse to her cocaine addiction, Lovato did relapse to her eating disorder. This came after her breakup with Wilmer Valderrama, who she was with for six years.

For Lovato, this eating disorder traces back to high school. Lovato remembers a girl from her class who suggested to her that she killed herself. The same girl started a suicide petition for Lovato, which she passed around and other students signed. Lovato didn’t understand why all of these students wanted her to kill herself. Based on what she was bullied for, she assumed her classmates wanted her dead for “being a whore” and being “fat.” Shortly after, Lovato began binge eating and forcing herself to vomit.

As a way to get past this eating disorder relapse, Lovato decided to start working out. She started going to the gym and was then introduced to Jiu-Jitsu, which she immediately fell in love with. Since then, Lovato has been on a on track toward bettering her physical and mental health. Along the way, Lovato has learned that “secrets make you sick.” She learned that “love is necessary,” and that “the key to being happy is to tell your truth.” She thanks everyone who has helped her along the way, but most of all thanks her fans because if it wasn’t for them, she wouldn’t be alive today.


Fans are in shock after watching Lovato’s revelations.


Even though this documentary is heartbreaking, Lovato’s fans are also in awe of her transformation.


And thanks to her story, many are reminded that it’s possible to overcome anything.


Thank you so much for opening up about this Demi Lovato. You are a queen. ?


READ: Selena Gomez And Demi Lovato Are Coming Together To Encourage Young People Who Want To Help


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Working From Home Can Impact Your Mental Health, Here’s How To Stay Sane And Healthy

Things That Matter

Working From Home Can Impact Your Mental Health, Here’s How To Stay Sane And Healthy

Kathleen Demayo / Getty Stock

A recent survey shows that thirty-five percent of workers who telecommute said their mental health had deteriorated as a result of doing so amid the coronavirus lockdown. As someone who has gone from working in a social, fun-filled, compassionate office space, I can consider myself part of that 35%.

Although working from home (for those privileged enough to do so) is a necessity for our safety and that of the community – it definitely presents some unique challenges.

Yes, the benefits are many: avoiding transit problems and the stress of commuting; sidestepping office politics; adopting a flexible schedule that allows for chores and errands to be incorporated into the work day; more time with family and pets; and a break on keeping up a business wardrobe and other appearance-related expenses.

But there’s a dark side. It’s an arrangement that fosters isolation and disconnection, two conditions that feed the greedy depression monster.

Here are some excellent tips for taking care of your mental health during these unprecedented times.

Break up your workday

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Some common challenges when working from home during the pandemic is the lack of stimulation and connection to people you used to see regularly. This can become a bit confusing, so it’s great to try to break up the schedule.

One of the best tips for working from home that I’ve discovered is breaking up the work day with movement. This can be a quick burst of movement (like jumping jacks, or lifting kettle bells) or some lower impact movement like a walk. I’m also a huge fan of taking a mid-afternoon break (longer than your typical 30-minute lunch break) to go on a long walk or run errands.

Get a routine and stick to it

Routine is essential, and it’s even more important when structure is missing.

Sticking to a routine does not mean that you have to abide by the old standard 9-5 office hours, and only take downtime in the evening. It simply means that you have a system for waking up on time, getting ready, feeling confident and getting your work done in a timely manner. 

When you do this regularly enough, it will feel more natural over time, and you won’t have to think about it so much. For me, this has meant taking my dogs out on a walk to get a coffee in the morning and then coming home and getting to work – it’s like creating my own little commute.

Stay connected

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Remember to keep up with friends and family, even if that can only be done through a Zoom or FaceTime call. Text someone you care about, and when restrictions are lifted in your area, try to make plans as regularly as you feel comfortable.

Connection is key, and it can be challenging when you don’t leave your home for long stretches of time.

It’s also helpful to join platforms of people doing similar work as you and interacting with them throughout the day. Or you can join an online book club or participate in volunteer work – having this sort of obligation will go a long way in helping you show up when you don’t feel great.

Incorporate wellness activities into your day

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One of the biggest perks of working from home is that you get to do things you might not be able to if you’re in an office all day.

I’ve been doing 20 minute walks around my neighborhood while listening to music. This moves the energy in the body and allow us to to have a shift in consciousness, which is so important when you’ve been isolated in front of a computer screen.

Another way to experience new energy in the body is to pause from work, find a comfortable place to sit, and then do deep belly breaths. This involves taking one deep breath in, and then focus on the exhale. You’ll notice your shoulders will relax, and your body will feel lighter.

Learn how to detach

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It’s so important when working from home that you keep your work and personal lives and actual physical areas totally separate. For many, it may not be possible to create an actual separate office space but you can create workspaces outside of your most “lived in” spaces. That’s what matters most.

There is a risk that working hours will get longer if the boundaries between work and personal life become blurred. It is necessary to establish a rigid system in which work can be carried out in a planned manner, such as by setting working hours and the timing of contact with supervisors.

No matter what you do, remember that working from home is yet another “new normal” to get used to — and the sooner you adapt to what makes you most productive, healthy, and mentally well, the better.

All Of The Documentaries Feminists Should Watch While In Quarantine

Entertainment

All Of The Documentaries Feminists Should Watch While In Quarantine

Netflix

Just because it might seem as if the world is on pause, it doesn’t mean that our efforts to learn more about it and better ourselves should be.

Documentaries alongside biographies can teach us so much about the world we live in and open our eyes to its complexities, even teaching us about the obstacles we did not know were right in front of us. As women of color, there are so many, and often times we use documentaries to learn about them, so we can better understand how to propel ourselves forward and continue to succeed. To make sure that you do too, we’re rounding up documentaries for you to learn, grow, and build hope from while in quarantine.

Check the documentaries we’re binging now that we’ve got the time below!

Becoming (2020)

Former First Lady Michelle Obama takes an intimate look at her life, relationships, and dreams in this documentary which sees her touring the country while promoting her book Becoming. The New York Times describes the film as showing “a familiar, albeit more carefree, former first lady.”

AKA Jane Roe (2020)

This documentary by Nick McSweeney highlights Norma McCorvey, the woman who made history as “Jane Roe” in the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade. Beyond the shock value of the movie’s twist, which unearths the reasons why McCorvey ultimately turned her back on the movement that advocated for her right to choose, it tells a story about the ruthlessness of political agendas.

Abuelas: Grandmothers On A Mission (2013)

Three decades after Argentinean mothers created a movement demanding Argentinean officials to discover what happened with the sons and daughters who “disappeared” during Argentina’s Dirty War, the grandmothers continue their efforts in this documentary.

Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004)

The historical documentary follows Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm during her campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1972. It will serve as an impressive reminder of this Black woman’s might and the fight she managed to get us all passionate about.

Honeyland (2019)

This Oscar-nominated film is about a beekeeper in North Macedonia. Directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov this documentary shows how the beekeeper’s life is affected when the ancient techniques she uses to farm bees are impacted by a new family who moves into the neighborhood and brings modern technology with them.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise (2016)

African- American poet Maya Angelou has her life depicted in the documentary that dives into her traumatic childhood and her life as a singer and dancer. The first feature documentary includes interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, and Common.

Knock Down The House (2019)

This documentary featuring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the league of women who ran for Congress in 2018 including Cori Bush, Paula Jean Swearengin, and Amy Vilela made waves when it first debuted on Netflix. Just as it did for us, we imagine it will give you a whole heck of a lot of hope and pride in the woman who fight for our rights and country.